CV Job Market Paper Research         
  Universitat Pompeu Fabra   Department of Economics and Business  


Felipe Valencia

Job market candidate


Contact information

C. Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Tel. +34 93 542 2696


Available for Interviews at:

Simposio de la Asociación Española de Economía (SAEe), December 11-13, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA) , January 3-5, Boston, US

Royal Economic Society Postgraduate Meeting, January 9-10, London, UK


Scheduled Presentations:

SAEe- Palma de Mallorca

Session: JM Development Macro December 11,from 16:00 to 17:30 Room: SB03


RES- London

Session 5: Development 1

January 9, 15:00 to 16:30

Chadwick G07



Research interests

Development Economics, Economic History and Economic Growth

Placement officers

Filippo Ippolito
José Luis Peydró



Hans-Joachim Voth
Oded Galor
Marta Reynal-Querol
Guy Michaels



"The Mission: Human Capital Transmission, Economic Persistence and Culture in South America (Job Market Paper)
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 and remains higher after 250 years in areas of former Jesuit presence. These differences also translate into 10% higher incomes. The effect of Jesuit missions emerges clearly after comparing them with abandoned Jesuit missions, Franciscan Guarani Missions and using an Instrumental Variables strategy. In addition, I collect survey data and conduct behavioral experiments, finding that respondents in missionary areas exhibit higher non-cognitive abilities and collaborative behavior. Such enduring differences are consistent with transmission mechanisms of occupational persistence, inter-generational knowledge transmission and indigenous assimilation. Robustness checks suggest that the results are not driven by migration, urbanization and tourism.

"The Persistence of (Subnational) Fortune(Joint with William F. Maloney) - (Conditionally Accepted: Economic Journal)
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 of potentially growth inhibiting institutions. We construct a data set incorporating measures of pre-colonial population density, new measures of present regional per capita income and population, and a comprehensive set of locational fundamentals. These fundamentals are shown to have explanatory power: native populations throughout the hemisphere were found in more livable and productive places. We then show that high pre-colonial density areas tend to be dense today: population agglomerations persist. The data and historical evidence suggest this is due partly to locational fundamentals, but also to classic agglomeration effects: colonialists established settlements near existing native populations for reasons of labor, trade, knowledge and defense. The paper then shows that high density (historically prosperous) areas also tend to have higher incomes today, and largely due to agglomeration effects: fortune persists for the United States and most of Latin America.

Engineers, Innovative Capacity and Development in the Americas" (Joint with William F. Maloney). IZA Discussion Paper.
Using newly collected national and sub-national data, and historical case studies, this paper argues that differences in innovative capacity, captured by the density of engineers at the dawn of the Second Industrial Revolution, are important to explaining present income differences, and, in particular, the poor performance of Latin America relative to North America. This remains the case after controlling for literacy, other higher order human capital, such as lawyers, as well as demand side elements that might be confounded with engineering. It then finds that agglomeration, certain geographical fundamentals, and extractive institutions such as slavery affect innovative capacity. However, a large effect associated with being a Spanish colony remains suggesting important inherited factors.