This article examines the long-term consequences of a historical human capital intervention. The Jesuit order founded religious missions amongst the Guarani, in modern-day Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Missionaries instructed indigenous inhabitants in reading, writing and various crafts, before their expulsion in 1767. Using archival records and municipal census data, I demonstrate that educational attainment was […]

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Journal of Applied Econometrics, March 2017, Volume 32, Issue 2. To improve the detection of the economic ”danger zones” from which severe banking crises emanate, this paper introduces classification tree ensembles to the banking crisis forecasting literature. I show that their out-of-sample performance in forecasting binary banking crisis indicators surpasses current best-practice early warning systems […]

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The Persistence of (Subnational) Fortune

with William F. Maloney — The Economic Journal, Vol. 126, Issue 598, pages 2363–2401. Using subnational historical data, this paper establishes the within country persistence of economic activity in the New World over the last half millennium, a period including the trauma of the European colonization, the decimation of the native populations, and the imposition […]

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with Oscar Jordà and Alan M. Taylor — Journal of the European Economic Association, Vol. 14, Issue 1. This paper studies the co-evolution of public and private sector debt in advanced countries since 1870. We find that in advanced economies financial stability risks have come from private sector credit booms and not from the expansion […]

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