Institutional Affiliation: University of Ottawa
|Sex, Drugs, and Baby Booms: Can Behavior Overcome Biology?|
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We study the behavioral changes due to marijuana consumption on fertility and its key mechanisms, as opposed to physiological changes. We can employ several large proprietary data sets, including the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, Nielsen Retail Scanner database, as well as the Vital Statistics Natality files and apply a differences-in-differences approach by exploiting the timing of the introduction of medical marijuana laws among states. We first replicate the earlier literature by showing that marijuana use increases after the passage of medical marijuana laws. Our novel results reveal that birth rates increased after the passage of a law corresponding to increased frequency of sexual intercourse, decreased purchase of condoms and suggestive evidence on decreased condom use...
|Do Information Technologies Improve Teenagers’ Sexual Education? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Colombia|
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Across public junior high schools in 21 Colombian cities, we conducted a randomized evaluation of a mandatory six-month internet-based sexual education course. Six months after finishing the course, we find a 0.4 standard deviation improvement in knowledge, a 0.2 standard deviation improvement in attitudes, and a 55% increase in the likelihood of redeeming vouchers for condoms as a result of taking the course. We find no evidence of spillovers to control classrooms within treatment schools, and we find treatment effects are enhanced when a larger share of a student’s friends also takes the course. The low cost of the online course along with the effectiveness we document suggests this technology is a viable alternative for improving sexual education in middle income countries.
Published: Alberto Chong & Marco Gonzalez-Navarro & Dean Karlan & Martín Valdivia, 2020. "Do Information Technologies Improve Teenagers’ Sexual Education? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Colombia," The World Bank Economic Review, vol 34(2), pages 371-392.
|Letter Grading Government Efficiency|
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We mailed letters to non-existent business addresses in 159 countries (10 per country), and measured whether they come back to the return address in the US and how long it takes. About 60% of the letters were returned, taking over 6 months, on average. The results provide new objective indicators of government efficiency across countries, based on a simple and universal service, and allow us to shed light on its determinants. The evidence suggests that both technology and management quality influence the quality of government.
Published: Alberto Chong & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2014. "Letter Grading Government Efficiency," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 277-299, 04. citation courtesy of
|Looking Beyond the Incumbent: The Effects of Exposing Corruption on Electoral Outcomes|
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Does information about rampant political corruption increase electoral participation and the support for challenger parties? Democratic theory assumes that offering more information to voters will enhance electoral accountability. However, if there is consistent evidence suggesting that voters punish corrupt incumbents, it is unclear whether this translates into increased support for challengers and higher political participation. We provide experimental evidence that information about copious corruption not only decreases incumbent support in local elections in Mexico, but also decreases voter turnout, challengers' votes, and erodes voters' identification with the party of the corrupt incumbent. Our results suggest that while flows of information are necessary, they may be insufficient to...