Working Paper and Work in Progress


Published Articles


Revenue Slumps and Fiscal Capacity: Evidence from Brazil
(joint with Claudio Ferraz and Juan Francisco Santini)

This paper investigates how non-tax revenues impact tax collection in Brazilian municipalities, focusing on shifts in intergovernmental transfers due to population updates. Our analysis reveals asymmetric effects of shocks: revenue gains lead to increased spending without tax reductions, while losses in transfers prompt investments in fiscal capacity and boost tax revenues. Enhancing fiscal capacity entails adjusting tax bureaucrat payments, improving property registries, and cracking down on delinquency, with heterogeneous responses based on political competition and the educational levels of local leaders and the bureaucracy. These findings emphasize the importance of rules that reduce the reliance on non-tax revenues and promote effective tax collection.

Conference presentation: 5th World Bank/IFS/ODI Tax Conference: The Political Economy of Public Finances 

Tax Decentralization, Preferences for Redistribution, and Regional Identities

This paper provides novel evidence on the impact of tax decentralization on citizens' preferences for redistribution. The study leverages results from a large-scale survey experiment implemented in Spain. The experimental design is based on an information treatment which explains the normative power of regional governments in personal income taxation, a feature mostly unknown at baseline. First-stage results show that the treatment increases the salience of this characteristic by 40 percentage points. The treatment increases respondents' aversion against inequality but decreases their support for higher taxes on the rich. Both results are explained by the idiosyncratic identities of respondents. The effect on inequality is driven by individuals with a stronger regional than national identity, while the rejection of higher taxes on the rich is driven by participants which identify more with the nation than the region. Heterogeneous effects on the trust in the central or regional government confirm this pattern. These results shed light on the role of identity in shaping preferences for redistribution and provide novel evidence that redistributive policies work as a local public good when local attachment of citizens is large.

Paper available at:

Conference presentation: 5th World Bank/IFS/ODI Tax Conference: The Political Economy of Public Finances 

Treatment animation (in Spanish):



Wealth Tax Mobility and Tax Coordination
(with David R. Agrawal and Clara Martínez-Toledano)
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics (fortcoming)

Media coverage:

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Income insecurity and mental health in pandemic times
(joint with Pilar Sorribas-Navarro and Judit Vall Castelló)
Economics & Human Biology (2024) Volume 53 (April)

Relocation of the Rich: Migration in Response to Top Tax Rate Changes from Spanish Reforms
(joint with David R. Agrawal)
Review of Economics and Statistics (2019) Volume 101 (May), Issue 2

Overlapping Political Budget Cycles
(joint with Rony Freier, Mustafa Yeter, and Marc-Daniel Moessinger)
Public Choice (2018) Volume 177, Issue 1-2

'Ghost Citizens': Using notches to identify manipulation of population-based grants
(joint with Albert Sole and Jordi Jofre)
Journal of Public Economics (2017) Volume 154 (October)

Decentralization and the duration of fiscal consolidation: Shifting the burden across layers of government
(with Agnese Sacchi and Simone Salotti)
Public Choice (2017) Volume 171 (June), Issue 3 

Business Taxes and the Electoral Cycle
(with Nadine Riedel)
Journal of Public Economics (2014) Volume 115 (July)

Sub-national deficits in European countries: The impact of fiscal rules and tax autonomy
European Journal of Political Economy (2014) Volume 34 (June)

Strategic Fiscal Interaction across Borders: Evidence from French and German Local Governments along the Rhine-Valley
(with Aurelie Cassette and Edoardo di Porto)
Journal of Urban Economics (2012) Volume 72 (1)