Working Papers

Political Networks across the Globe
(with Simon Commander)
IZA DP No 13103 V-Dem WP No. 29
[Online Appendix]

Political networks are an important feature of the political and economic landscape of countries. Despite their ubiquity and significance, information on such networks has proven hard to collect due to a pervasive lack of transparency. However, with the advent of big data and artificial intelligence, major financial services institutions are now actively collating publicly available information on politically exposed persons and their networks. In this study, we use one such data set to show how network characteristics vary across political systems. We provide results from more than 150 countries and show how the format of the network tends to reflect the extent of democratisation of each country. We also outline further avenues for research using such data.

Are Inflows of FDI Good for Russian Exporters?
World Bank Policy Research WP No 9201

This study examines whether foreign direct investment inflows facilitate upgrading of export quality in host countries. The analysis focuses on the Russian Federation and uses customs data merged with firm-level information from Orbis. The results show a positive relationship between the quality of products exported by domestic firms and the presence of foreign affiliates in the upstream (input-supplying) industries. This relationship is present irrespective of export destination or foreign direct investment origin. The results are robust to using different proxies to measure product quality.

The Effects of Home Visiting on Mother-Child Interactions: Evidence from Dynamic Micro-Level Data
(with Gabriella Conti, Soren Kliem and Malte Sandner)
HCEO WP 2019-066 IFS WP 20/4 IZA DP No 12937

This study examines the effects of a home visiting program for first-time disadvantaged mothers on mother-child interactions. A sample of 109 dyads participating in the Pro Kind trial was videotaped during a 3-min typical play situation at the participants’ homes when the child was aged 25 months, and assessed for orientation and contingency. The results show a significant improvement of the interactions between girls and their mothers, by increasing both the persistence of girls’ positive behaviors (even in the absence of mothers’ positive behaviors). No positive impacts were detected for the boys. These results have important implications for the analysis of mother-child interactions data and the design of home visiting programs.

Regression with imputed dependent variables
(with Thomas Crossley and Peter Levell)
IFS WP 19/16 ISER WP 2019-07
[Stata package]

Researchers are often interested in the relationship between two variables, with no single data set containing both. A common strategy is to use proxies for the dependent variable that are common to two surveys to impute the dependent variable into the data set containing the independent variable. We show that commonly employed regression or matching-based imputation procedures lead to inconsistent estimates. We offer an easily-implemented correction and correct asymptotic standard errors. We illustrate these with Monte Carlo experiments and empirical examples using data from the US Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID).

Political Connections and Firms: Network Dimensions
(with Maurizio Bussolo and Simon Commander)
World Bank Policy Research WP No 8428 IZA DP No 11498

Business and politicians' interaction is pervasive but has mostly been analyzed with a binary approach, i.e. either a firm is connected to a politician or not. Yet the network dimensions of such connections are ubiquitous. This paper uses use a unique data set for seven economies that documents politically exposed persons and their links to companies, political parties, and other individuals. The data set is used to identify networks of connections, including their scale and composition. The analysis finds that all country networks are integrated having a Big Island. They also tend to be marked by small-world properties of high clustering and short path length. Matching the data to firm-level information, the paper examines the association between being connected and firm-level attributes. The originality of the analysis is to identify how location in a network, including the extent of ties and centrality, is correlated with firm scale and performance. In a binary approach, such network characteristics are omitted and the scale and economic impact of politically connected business may be significantly mis/under-estimated. By comparing the results of the binary approach with the network approach, the paper also assesses the biases that result from ignoring network attributes.

Work in Progress

Health effects of in utero exposure to the Dutch Hunger Winter (with G. Conti, P. Ekamper, G. Bijwaard, F. van Poppel, L.H. Lumey)

Winning Tactics: Cues of Intra-Party Competition and Vote Choice (with Raluca L. Pahontu)

Refereed Journal Articles

Sebert, S., Lowry, E., Aumuller, N., et al. (2019) "Cohort profile: The DynaHEALTH consortium – a European consortium for a life-course bio-psychosocial model of healthy ageing of glucose homeostasis" International Journal of Epidemiology, 48(4): 1051–1051k.

Sacher, P., Kolotourou, M., Poupakis, S., Chadwick, P., Radley, D., and Fagg, J. (2019) "Addressing childhood obesity in low-income, ethnically diverse families: outcomes and peer effects of MEND 7–13 when delivered at scale in US communities." International Journal of Obesity, 43: 91-102.
[Press Release]

Refereed Chapters

Developmental Origins of Health Inequality, Chapter in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance and in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Health Economics, also IFS WP 19/17, HCEO WP 2019-041, and IZA DP No 12448 (with Gabriella Conti and Giacomo Mason) .