I am currently an Economist in the Human Development Team of the World Bank's Development Research Group. My primary research fields are development economics and economics of education, with a focus on violence and crime.
 

Combining experimental and non-experimental approaches, one strand of my research agenda studies how educational interventions and infrastructure projects implemented in developing countries can produce short- and long-term effects on their economic outcomesI also empirically analyze the interaction between crime and welfare, noting how criminal organizations usually harm countries' economic growth path. 

 

I have built original datasets from the ground up, by combining datasets from administrative and geographic records, with primary data collected by myself. have additional ongoing joint research projects in Chile, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. 

 

I obtained my Ph.D. and Master in Economics from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in 2018 and 2016, respectively. I got my B.A. in Economics from ESEN in El Salvador, the country where I was born and raised. 

 

Contact:

ldinartediaz@worldbank.org

1818 H St. NW, Washington D.C. 20433, USA.

Phone: +1 (202)-473-3058

Twitter: @ile_din

 

 

 

 

Publications

 Joint with F. Morrison, M. Montoya, M. Susperreguey, C. Rojas, C. Föster and E. San Martin.  

In Press. Early Childhood Research Quarterly. 

 

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Working Papers

Peer Effects on Violence. Experimental Evidence in El Salvador

 This paper provides experimental evidence of the role of having different levels of violent peers in the context of an after-school program. By randomly assigning students to participate in the intervention with a set of similar or diverse peers in terms of violence, I measure effects of tracking on students' behavioral, neurophysiological, and academic outcomes. Participants were between 10-16 years old and enrolled in public schools in El Salvador. Results indicate that integrating students with different propensities for violence is better than segregating them, for both highly and less violent children. Particularly, the intervention can have unintended effects on misbehavior and stress if highly violent students are segregated and treated separately from their less violent peers.

Unintended effects of Public Infrastructure: Labor, Education and Crime outcomes in El Salvador

Joint with Wilber Baires.

 

This paper exploits the construction of a highway in the north of El Salvador to measure short-term impacts of infrastructure on development outcomes, such as economic activity, labor force participation in the formal sector, school drop out, and criminal activities, using an IV approach. We find that the construction of this highway positively impacted relevant economic activities in the region. However, it reduced the labor force participation in the formal sector, for males and females between 15-19 years old, and increase dropout rates of men between 13-16 years old. To explain these results, we propose the gangs' arrival to municipalities nearby to the highway as a plausible mechanism that could be describing these results. In fact, we find that municipalities closer to the NTH faced an increase in the short-term homicides rate and extortions, without any effect in other non-gangs related crimes. 

 

Preventing Violence in the Most Violent Contexts. Behavioral and Neurophysiological Evidence.

Joint with Pablo Egaña.

This paper provides experimental evidence of the overall impact of an after-school program on students’ violence, misbehaviors and academic outcomes, and of how changes on participants’ emotional resilience from the intervention is a plausible mechanism explaining the results. Participants are between 10-16 years old and enrolled in public schools in El Salvador. Using administrative and self-reported data, we find that the program reduced bad behavior reports by 0.17 standard deviations (sd), school absenteeism by 23%, and increased school grades by 0.11-0.13 sd. Then, by implementing a lab-in-the-field setting, we use electroencephalograms to collect physiological recordings to measure students’ emotional regulation and stress. We find evidence that the program’s effects on behavior and academic performance can be driven by positive effects on emotional regulation: participants’ reaction towards stimuli reduces by 0.36 sd and their belief that one’s life can be controlled increases by 0.25 sd. Finally, we find positive spillover effects for non-enrolled children exposed to treated students. Together, these results suggest that the program have significant impacts on behavioral and psychological well-being of at-risk youth. 

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Projects

 

Financial Aid Information Effects on Parents and Children Expectations, Joint with Taryn Dinkelman and Claudia Martínez.

 

Losing grams due to Gangs: The effect of Salvadoran Gangs Violence on birth outcomes. Joint with Wilber Baires and Carlos Carcach

 

Do we educate in the same way? Determinants of Education Quality in Nicaragua. Joint with Alan Rico . 

 

Los caminos en la mitad del mundo”: Long-term effects of roads on economic development in Ecuador. Joint with Julio Galárraga. 

 

Who is under control? Political Lobbying under Democracy and Weak Institutions. Work in progress. 

 
Teaching Experience

 

 

PONTIFICIA UNIVERSIDAD CATOLICA DE CHILE

Instructor

         Introduction to Economics. 2016-2017.

Teaching Assistant

*Undergraduate courses:

Economics of Social Policies. 2015, 2017.

Game Theory. 2015, 2016.

Microeconomics. 2016

*Graduate courses:

Economics of Public Policies. 2015, 2017.

Applied Econometrics. 2014.

Time Series Theory. 2015. 

Advanced Game Theory, 2015.

*Executive Education: 

Impact Evaluation Training J-PAL, 2016.

Quantitative Economics and Game Theory and Negotiation. MBA, 2016.

 

 

ESCUELA SUPERIOR DE ECONOMIA Y NEGOCIOS, El Salvador

Lecturer

Topics in Development Economics. 2017. Lecturer.

Instructor

Economics and Business. 2012, 2013.

Teaching Assistant

Microeconomics and Industrial Organization. 2008-2009.

 

 

HOCHSCHULE FURTWANGEN, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Lecturer

           Economics and Culture in Latin America. 2012.

           Doing Business in Latin America. 2012.