Hi, my name is Nicolas. I am currently based in Germany. I am a polymath, empathetic, proactive and pragmatic individual. I like teamwork, however I usually opt for a wide degree of autonomy and time flexibility. I enjoy challenges and I seek them actively. I am currently involved in research, showing special prowess at mathematical modeling and computer programming tasks. I am confident carrying out complex quantitative or qualitative analyses, specially in fields such as applied micro- or macroeconomics, and public policy. Furthermore, as a competent and active social volunteer, I have direct experience interacting with vulnerable population and designing and implementing social development and educational projects at local scale.
You can download my current Curriculum Vitae here.
At present, I am still defining what my research focus would be. Still, I am so far interested in exploring the intersection between applied micro- and macroeconomics: Labor, Education, Trade, Migration, Finance, and Public Policy. It seems a lot, but I believe all fields are closely interrelated, judging by the now-available microeconomic tools, their research prospects, and public relevance. For instance, when it comes to macroeconomics, I am captivated by the approach of Baqaee-Farhi models (2018, 2021) and the Balance-of-payments dominance theory laid out by Ocampo (2016) as far as developing (Latin-American) economies are concerned. Moreover, I eagerly dive deep into econometric theory, especially causal inference and machine learning algorithms.
Some side yet relevant details: (i) I found out that an extension of evolutionary theory, called Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, is capable of explaining various economic phenomena. Therefore, I seek to restate some of its insights into economic analysis, particularly the notions of equilibrium and path-dependence. (ii) After the series of recent political crises around the globe, I got interested in comparative politics, voting behavior, and constitutionalism; their connection to conflict, governance, and economics. (iii) More often, as I deem them crucial to understand the current state of different relevant social phenomena, all my analyses include thorough historical reviews. In fact, I love history, and reading about it consumes a significant part of my free time. (iv) To widen my exposure to state-of-the-art research, I am also willing to join projects on environmental or behavioral economics. I have attended some lectures but have no formal experience in related undertakings.
In subsequent, you can find my principal research outcomes at the moment, which are in a presentable shape:
In this document, I present an analysis of the expansion of the national preschool education in Peru, trying to exploit the exogenous variation generated by the policy after the 2004’s Education Reform. Consequently, using a family-fixed effects design that allows for heterogeneity, I seek to identify the effect through the variation in siblings’ exposure to the rollout of preschools across Peru. In theory, such an empirical strategy allows me to overcome selection concerns, as well as to account for external validity issues. Unfortunately, I find that the estimation framework, although appropriate in its theoretical concerns, cannot be used in this particular setting due to an important lack of power. I analyze the possible explanations and suggest new avenues to try to recover the Average Treatment Effect [ATE] for this particular example.
Regarding employment opportunities, ethnicity differences are among the most discussed questions of labor economists. Using data from the 1984-2018 German Socio-Economic Panel, we apply non-structural analysis to examine the occupational status gaps between native Germans and immigrants. In this paper, we develop two different occupational classification methods based on the skill-cell approach: the first classification relies on the ISCO-08 job skills level, whereas the second approach bases on the level of language proficiency as a job requirement. However, due to the inherent limitations of our modeling method, which fails to capture the heterogeneity of the assimilation process, we could not find large differences existing between native-born Germans and both the first- and the second-generation of immigrants after controlling for one’s education, experience, and other socio-demographic characteristics
We study international tourist arrivals to Colombia. We identify the travelers’ geographical origin and divide them into two subgroups: Colombians living abroad and foreigners. We find that the inflows of international tourists: i) are concentrated in 20 emitting countries, ii) are composed mostly of Colombians living abroad, iii) accelerated in the last 5 years due to the remarkable increase in foreigners’ arrivals, and iv) explain the evolution of international travel receipts. We estimate gravity equations using panel data models for the period 2001-2017, finding that arrivals depend positively on the size of the economy of emitting countries, the volume of trade, the Colombian population living abroad and the infrastructure in hotels and accommodation establishments, and negatively on the distance to Colombia and on the perception of internal security. In addition, we find that the determinants of arrivals are different for Colombians living abroad and foreigners.
This document reviews the role of public policies promoting microcredit in Colombia, using the case of “Banca de las Oportunidades” [B.O.]. For that purpose, we link social innovation and microcredit together while putting special attention to their conceptualization and purported goals. A critical revision, including both orthodox and alternative perspectives, allows us to analyze the problem comprehensively. Additionally, besides a historical review of the policies promoting microcredit in Colombia, we examine whether microcredit has abided to its original objective: As a tool for fighting poverty. Later, we present a brief qualitative analysis of those policies and comment on the microcredit policy introduced by the national government. Finally, after evaluating the impementation of B.O. and defining “microcredit” as a “social innovation”; we suggest that the government, far from enhancing the environment for social innovation, is financing the status quo of poverty.
Coding is not the future, it is already the present. Nowadays, besides attending +6 years to a grad school, it is almost required to be a computer scientist to become a successful economist, or better said, to be even able to carry out your research program. That is why, across all my work experiences, I have got to play around with code and gain valuable know-how while making things messier. Fortunately, from the chaos you can also get worthwhile lessons: I have become adept at functional programming and discovered a fair few perks and shortcomings of the languages I use the most — Extra thanks to Stack Exchange. As you can check in the following repository cards, I have gone through several applied macro- and microeconomics models plus some machine learning algorithms, both individually and in a group. Sadly, I cannot thoroughly publish all my codes due to copyright. So take them as a representative sample of my capabilities and style — Specially while looking at the most used languages bar, which uses only the publicly available GitHub data.
I believe that social and political engagement is not only a fulfilling yet challenging endeavor. It is also able to develop your creativity and solution-based thinking. But, in the end, what could even be more important; is that it is also a way to do one’s bit and unite efforts towards bringing science closer to the people and vice-versa, a so much-needed commitment in the light of our current challenges as humanity. Therefore, beyond researching, I enjoy partaking in different projects and ideas, willing to impact society through rigorous analyses or actions. Currently, I am a member of Cordillera, a group of Latin-Americans ready to represent fairly and without intermediaries a rainbow of Latin-American identities and values in Europe. Moreover, in 2021 I joined the Campaign for Peace in Colombia. A platform to make the German public and politicians aware of the systematic human-right violations in Colombia as well as their social and political background. In particular, the cases occurred during the national protests in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Finally, I was a volunteer in Techo Colombia, took part in the training as a development education multiplier at the Latin-American Center [LAZ] in Bonn, and led an environmental recovery and education project called Itaca in Tenjo, Cundinamarca.