Cada año académico, CESS Santiago organiza seminarios, donde se invita a influyentes académicos a presentar sus investigaciones.

Los seminarios CESS  son una excelente oportunidad para interesados en el área de las ciencias sociales como también para estudiantes de magíster y doctorado, postdoctorantes y académicos que puedan conocer métodos experimentales de vanguardia e interactuar con reputados experimentalistas extranjeros.

Los seminarios se realizan en el las dependencias de CESS, ubicadas en Concha y Toro 32C, Santiago Centro (a pasos de metro República). Estos eventos son gratuitos y están abiertos a todos los interesados.

Seminarios anteriores

Enrique Fatas

(University of East Anglia)

Título: “Violent conflict and political inclusion: the value of political rights among victims and non-victims of conflict in Colombia”

Abstract: The experience of conflict generates a wide variety of effects in human behavior. A collective memory of violence may facilitate the perpetuation of conflict through aggressive in-group favoritism and a sense of duty for retaliation. Individual exposure to violent conflict may distort individual preferences by exacerbating risk loving attitudes and impatience. On a more positive side, the experience of conflict may also increase individuals’ egalitarian motivations toward others, and may trigger a sense of moral obligation and solidarity toward other victims. In this paper, we study how conflict shape preferences for the political inclusion of other individuals. In a lab-in-the-field experiment in Colombia, we measure how individual and family exposure to conflict change the value individuals assign to their own political rights and the political rights of others. Participants are asked to choose the rules governing a collective decision, and then use these rules to make a substantial donation to one of two well-known, and politically distant, local charities. We elicit their willingness to pay for three political rights used to design the ballots used to make the donations: freedom of expression (including a short message in the ballot), choice (making their preferred charity eligible for the donation), and vote (buying voting rights). Our within-subjects design controls for the level of exogenous (distance between local charities, high or low) and endogenous polarization (unanimity, majority or minority teams, depending on how individual preferences are aligned with the preferences of others). The between-subjects’ manipulation compares how much individuals are willing to pay for their own political rights (in Treatment 1) or the political rights of other team members (in Treatment 2). Our results strongly suggest that participants show a well-ordered preference between political rights, polarization, and group composition. While exposure to conflict does not change participants’ value for their own political rights, it does significantly increase their willingness to pay for the political rights of others, boosting political inclusion at the team level. The magnitude of the difference is larger for high levels of polarization (exogenous or endogenous), and the results are robust to different specifications and controls.

Margaret Roberts

(University of California, San Diego)

Título: “How Sudden Censorship Can Increase Access to Information” (with William Hobbs).

Abstract: Conventional wisdom assumes that increased censorship will strictly decrease access to information. We delineate circumstances when increases in censorship will instead expand access to information. When governments suddenly impose censorship on previously uncensored information, citizens who are accustomed to acquiring this information will be incentivized to learn methods of censorship evasion. Tools of censorship evasion not only provide continued access to the newly blocked information, but also extend users’ ability to collect information that they did not previously have access to. We illustrate this phenomenon using millions of individual-level, real-time actions of social media users in China before and after the block of the popular social networking website Instagram. The Instagram block decreased access to Instagram itself, but most Chinese users continued to access the site by acquiring virtual private networks (VPNs). These new VPN users then joined websites like Twitter and Facebook, which have long been blocked in China, but are more politicized than social media in mainland China or Instagram. We show that despite initially being apolitical, these new users began browsing blocked political pages on Wikipedia, following foreign news outlets and Chinese political activists on Twitter, and, after about one day on Twitter, discussing highly politicized topics such as opposition protests in Hong Kong. These results suggest a pathway through which increased censorship can counterintuitively popularize anti-government information and broaden political activism.

Link al paper aquí.

David Rueda

(University of Oxford)

Título: “Food Comes First, Then Morals: Redistribution Preferences, Parochial Altruism and Immigration in Western Europe”

Abstract: Altruism is an important omitted variable in much of the Political Economy literature. While material self-interest is the base of most approaches to redistribution (first affecting preferences and then politics and policy), there is a paucity of research on inequality aversion. I propose that other-regarding concerns influence redistribution preferences and that: (1) they matter most to those in less material need and (2) they are conditional on the identity of the poor. Altruism is most relevant to the rich, and it is most influential when the recipients of benefits are similar to those financing them. Using data from the European Social Survey from 2002 to 2012, I will show that group homogeneity magnifies (or limits) the importance of altruism for the rich. In making these distinctions between the poor and the rich, the arguments in this paper challenge some influential approaches to the politics of inequality (and its consequences for voting).

Martín Rossi

(Universidad de San Andrés – Argentina)

Título: “Social Housing Programs and Domestic Violence”

Abstract: Housing programs to low-income households are widespread interventions in development countries. In this paper, we exploit the random assignment rule implemented by the government of the municipality of Salto, Argentina, in its social housing policy in order to identify the effect of housing allocation on subsequent domestic violence. The social housing program consists in delivering a finished house located in the outskirts of an urban center. Beneficiaries receive the house in exchange for a long-term credit at a subsidized rate, and are entitled to its legal ownership after full payment. The assignment of beneficiaries was made by means of a well-documented public lottery. The lottery assignment of beneficiaries, the insignificance of attrition and non-compliance, and the balancing of pre-treatment characteristics indicate that results are not subject to significant sources of selection bias. We find that subsidized home-ownership programs to low-income households has an undesired side effect: the increase in domestic violence. Our preferred instrumental variable estimation suggest that being a beneficiary of the program increases average domestic violence from 15.7 percent to 23.1 percent (i.e., an increase 7.4 porcentage points, or around 50 percent). Finally, we explore various competing mechanisms and find support that the main driver behind our results is the increase in transaction costs of exiting a partnership.

Giovanni Ponti

(NYU CESS Visiting Fellow & Universidad de Alicante)

Título: “Some (Mis)facts about Myopic Loss Aversion”

Abstract: Gneezy and Potters (1997) run an experiment to test the empirical content of Myopic Loss Aversion (MLA). They find that the attractiveness of a risky asset depends upon the investors’ time horizon: consistently with MLA, individuals are more willing to take risks when they evaluate their investments less frequently. This paper shows that these experimental findings can be easily accommodated by the most standard version of Expected Utility Theory, namely a CRRA specification. Additionally, we use four different datasets to estimate a CRRA model and two alternative MLA versions, together with various mixture specifications of the two competing models. Our econometric exercise finds little evidence of subjects’ loss aversion, which provides empirical ground for our theoretical claim.

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