In this article we propose a framework to tackle conflict prevention, an issue which has received interest in several policy areas. A key challenge of conflict forecasting for prevention is that outbreaks of conflict in previously peaceful countries are rare events and therefore hard to predict. To make progress in this hard problem, this project summarizes more than four million newspaper articles using a topic model.
In this paper, I study financial liberalization between economies that differ in their overall competitiveness. I first show that if firms compete oligopolistically, then competitiveness - relatively low aggregate unit costs of production - is a feature of an economy with fatter tailed productivity distribution and relatively more very large - 'superstar' - firms.
How does trade policy affect competition? Using the universe of product exports by firms from eleven low and middle-income countries, we document that tariff reductions under trade agreements have strong procompetitive effects - they encourage entry and reduce the (tariff exclusive) price-cost markups of exporters. This finding, that markups fall with tariff cuts, contradicts a core prediction of standard oligopolistic competition models of trade. We extend a classic international pricing model of oligopolistic competition to include multiple countries and a rich preference structure.
This document presents the outcome of two modules developed for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO): 1) a forecast model which uses machine learning and text downloads to predict outbreaks and intensity of internal armed conflict. 2) A decision making module that embeds these forecasts into a model of preventing armed conflict damages.
This paper studies the role of slums in shaping the economic and health dynamics of pandemics. Using data from millions of mobile phones in Brazil, an event-study analysis shows that residents of overcrowded slums engaged in less social distancing after the outbreak of Covid-19. We develop a choice-theoretic equilibrium model in which poorer agents live in high-density slums and others do not. The model is calibrated to Rio de Janeiro. Slum dwellers account for a disproportionately high number of infections and deaths.