About us

The blog of the IDB’s Research Department shares ideas that matter on public policy and development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Steven Ambrus

Steven Ambrus worked as a correspondent for US and European media during two decades in Latin America, covering politics, education, the environment and other issues. He currently works in the communications and publications unit of the Research Department at the IDB.

João Ayres

É economista do Departamento de Pesquisa do BID. Seus interesses de pesquisa se concentram em economia internacional, macroeconomia e finanças públicas. Formado em economia pela Universidade de São Paulo, João tem mestrado e doutorado em economia pela Fundação Getúlio Vargas e doutorado em Economia pela Universidade de Minnesota.

Samuel Berlinski

Samuel Berlinski is a Lead Economist at the Research Department of the Inter-American Development Bank. Prior to joining the Bank in 2010, he was an Assistant Professor of Economics at University College London and previously held appointments at Universidad de San Andrés and the London School of Economics. His work has appeared in numerous journals including the Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Law and Economics and Economic Development and Cultural Change. His research at the Bank focuses on the evaluation of public policy, with particular emphasis on Education, Health and Labor Markets. He completed his undergraduate studies in Economics at Universidad de Buenos Aires and obtained a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Oxford, Nuffield College.

Matías Busso

Matias Busso is a Lead Economist in the Research Department at the Inter-American Development Bank. He is also a Research Fellow at the Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS) and a member of the executing committee of the Network of Inequality and Poverty of LACEA. His research uses empirical evidence and theory to inform the design of more effective public policies in areas related to labor, education, and productivity. Matias received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan in 2008. He has published articles in the American Economic Review and The Review of Economics and Statistics, among others.

Eduardo Cavallo

Eduardo Cavallo is Principal Economist at the Research Department of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington DC. Prior to joining the IDB, Eduardo was a Vice-President and Senior Latin American Economist for Goldman Sachs in New York. Eduardo had already worked at the IDB as a Research Economist between 2006 and 2010. Before that he served as a research fellow at the Center for International Development (CID), a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and a member of the faculty at the Kennedy School of Government's Summer Program. In Argentina he co-founded Fundación Grupo Innova.

Eduardo’s research interests are in the fields of international finance and macroeconomics with a focus on Latin America. He has published in several academic journals, and is the co-editor of the books “Building Opportunities for Growth in a Challenging World” (IDB, 2019); “A Mandate to Grow” (IDB, 2018); “Saving for Development: how Latin America and the Caribbean can save more and better” (Palgrave, 2016) and “Dealing with an International Credit Crunch: Policy Responses to Sudden Stops in Latin America” (IDB, 2009). He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and an MPP from Harvard University, and a B.A. in Economics from Universidad de San Andres (UdeSA) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Julián Cristia

Julian Cristia is a Principal Economist in the Research Department at the Inter-American Development Bank. His current research analyzes how governments can promote skills development using technology in a cost-effective way. He has evaluated programs that introduced technology into schools and expanded access to pre-primary education. Additionally, he has produced systematic reviews on early childhood development, the use of technology in education and how to improve learning in primary schools. His work has appeared in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Human Resources, and Journal of Health Economics. His research has been covered by several media outlets including The Economist, NPR, and Associated Press. Prior to joining the IDB, he worked as an Associate Analyst in the Health and Human Resources Division of the Congressional Budget Office. Cristia holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland.

Veronica Frisancho

Verónica Frisancho es economista senior en el Departamento de Investigación del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID). El trabajo de Verónica mejor se describe como microeconomía aplicada, y su principal campo de especialización es la economía del desarrollo. Su investigación en estas áreas incluye un énfasis en educación, mercados laborales en países en desarrollo, violencia doméstica e inclusión financiera.

Julián Messina

Julián Messina is a Lead Research Economist at the research department of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Prior to joining the IDB, he worked at the World Bank and the European Central Bank, and he has taught at the Universities of Barcelona GSE, Georgetown, Girona, Frankfurt and Mainz. His research interests include labor economics, applied macroeconomics and the economics of education. He is author of three books, including two World Bank Latin American Flagship Reports. His work has been published in academic journals including the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Economic Journal, Journal of the European Economic Association and Labour Economics, and he is often featured in popular blogs and media outlets including The Economist. He has extensive experience advising governments in Latin America, Europe and Asia. Dr. Messina obtained his PhD. in Economics at the European University Institute in 2002.

Alejandro Izquierdo

Alejandro Izquierdo é o Principal Líder Técnico do Departamento de Pesquisa do Banco Interamericano de Desenvolvimento (BID). Anteriormente, ele ocupou os cargos de Economista-Chefe interino, Gerente do Departamento de Pesquisa, Assessor Econômico Regional para o México e América Central e Economista Principal em todo o BID. Alejandro liderou o Relatório Macroeconômico Anual do BID por vários anos e atualmente é codiretor do programa executivo da Universidade de Columbia-BID para questões financeiras internacionais em mercados emergentes. Ele também liderou o principal produto do BID, o Desenvolvimento nas Américas, em questões como crédito e gastos públicos na América Latina. Antes de sua carreira no BID, Alejandro trabalhou no Banco Mundial no Departamento de Política Econômica e ministrou cursos de macroeconomia e finanças internacionais em várias universidades latino-americanas. Ele tem várias publicações em periódicos profissionais e volumes editados. É Ph.D. em Economia pela University of Maryland, mestre pelo Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, Argentina, e bacharel em Economia pela Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Victoria Nuguer

Victoria Nuguer is a Research Economist in the Inter-American Development Bank’s Research Department. She holds a Ph.D. from École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne in Switzerland and a bachelor’s degree from the Universidad de Buenos Aires in Argentina. Prior to joining the Bank in May 2017, she spent nearly three years as a Research Economist in the Bank of Mexico. Victoria’s main research agenda focuses on building dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models to explain key financial transmission mechanisms in closed and open economies. For closed economies, she has focused on the propagation of financial shocks from the housing sector to the rest of the economy. Regarding open economies, Victoria has studied the international transmission of financial shocks from advanced to emerging economies through the bank lending channel. Recently, she has been working on understanding the strategic interaction between monetary and macroprudential policies and on the role of trade credit when firms set prices in emerging economies.

Andrew Powell

Andrew Powell is the Principal Advisor in the Research Department (RES). He holds a Ba, MPhil. and DPhil. (PhD) from the University of Oxford. Through 1994 he dedicated himself to academia in the United Kingdom as Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and Associate Professor (Lecturer) at London University and the University of Warwick. In 1995, he joined the Central Bank of Argentina and was named Chief Economist in 1996. He represented Argentina as a G20/G22 deputy and as member of three G22 working groups (on crisis resolution, financial system strengthening and transparency) in the late 1990’s. In 2001, he returned to academia, joining the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires as Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in Finance. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the World Bank, IMF and Harvard University. He joined the IDB’s Research Department in 2005 as Lead Research Economist in 2008 and served as Regional Economic Advisor for the Caribbean Region until returning to the Research Department as the Principal Advisor. He has published numerous academic papers in leading economic journals in areas including commodity markets, risk management, the role of multilaterals, regulation, banking and international finance. Current projects include new papers on capital flows and corporate balance sheets, on sovereign debt restructuring and on the preferred creditor status of multilateral development banks.

Carlos Scartascini

Carlos Scartascini is Leader of the IDB Behavioral Economics Group and Principal Technical Leader at the Research Department of the Inter-American Development Bank. He is currently focused on expanding the use of behavioral economics in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to Behavioral Economics, his areas of expertise include Political Economy, and Public Finance. He has published eight books and more than 45 articles in edited volumes and specialized journals. He is Associate Editor of the academic journal Economía, and Head and founding member of LACEA's BRAIN (Behavioral Insights Network). A native of Argentina, Dr. Scartascini holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Economics from George Mason University.

Juan M. Hernández

Juan M. Hernández is a Research Economist in the Research Department at the Inter-American Development Bank. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017, just before joining the IDB. He holds a B.Sc. in Economics, a B.Sc. in Mathematics and a M.Sc. in economics from the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia. Prior to starting his Ph.D. studies in 2011 he spent 4 years as an Economist in Colombia’s Central Bank (Banco de la República). His research interests are in the fields of international finance, macroeconomics and financial frictions. Juan has been working on Sudden Stops and balance of payments crises, analyzing the role of international reserves and macroprudential policies in preventing such events. He also works on understanding the incidence of taxes and access to credit on the decision to become an entrepreneur, taking into account information asymmetries; designing optimal financial regulation and taxation policies that maximize productivity. Another topic Juan is currently studying is optimal progressive taxation in environments where informality and tax evasion diminish the revenue redistribution the tax authority can achieve.

John Dunn Smith

Dunn Smith es editor asistente del Departamento de Investigación del BID

Ernesto Stein

Ernesto Stein is Principal Economist at the IDB’s Research Department. He has previously been the IDB’s Regional Economic Advisor in the Country Department of Belize, Central America, Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic, and a Growth Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for International Development. He has published extensively on issues of international trade and integration, foreign direct investment, productive development policies, institutional economics and political economy. A native of Argentina, he holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley

Razvan Vlaicu

Razvan Vlaicu is a senior research economist at the Inter-American Development Bank's Research Department. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University in 2006. He previously taught economics at the University of Maryland, and held short-term positions at the Kellogg School of Management and the World Bank. His research interests are applied microeconomics, political economics, and public economics. His research has been published in academic journals including Review of Economic Studies, American Political Science Review, and Journal of Public Economics.

Ana María Rojas

Ana María Rojas Méndez is a senior research fellow in Behavioral Economics in the Research Department. She received a Master in Public Administration in 2018 from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She holds a Master and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. At the IDB, Ana María supports governments across the region in designing, implementing, and evaluating public policies through behavioral economics.

Bridget Hoffmann

Bridget Hoffmann is an economist in the Research Department of the Inter-American Development Bank. Her research interests are applied microeconomics, development economics, and environmental economics. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University in 2015. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Financial Economics and Mathematics from the University of Rochester.

Nina Rapoport

Nina Rapoport is a research fellow in Behavioral Economics in the Research Department of the IDB. She holds a master's in Behavioral Economics from University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and a dual bachelor’s degree in Economics and Psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is passionate about applying behavioral insights to public policy. Her research interests include participative pricing and charitable giving.

Patricio Domínguez

Patricio Domínguez is a Research Economist in the Research Department of the Inter-American Development Bank. He obtained his Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, where he also obtained a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy. Previously he worked for five years at Techo-Chile, where he served as National Director 2009-2011. He has been a Lecturer at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where he previously obtained the title of Civil Engineer in Transportation and a Master's Degree in Sociology. His research agenda focuses on the use of applied econometric techniques and the use of large administrative data to understand social policies. His areas of interest include problems associated with the evaluation of social programs, and more recently, topics related to economics of crime and criminal justice.

Eric Parrado

Eric Parrado Herrera is Chief Economist and General Manager of the IDB’s Research Department since March 2019. Before joining the IDB, he was a professor of economics and finance at the ESE Business School of the Universidad de los Andes in Santiago, Chile. Mr. Parrado is a visiting professor at Oxford University and the Central European University, and a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Financial and Monetary Systems.

Throughout his professional career, Mr. Parrado has focused on monetary, fiscal and financial policy, advising central banks on managing inflation targeting regimes and implementing sovereign wealth funds in several countries. He has also written several academic articles on monetary policy, fiscal policy and sovereign wealth funds.

Rodrigo Heresi Gajardo

Rodrigo Heresi Gajardo es economista en el Departamente de Investigación del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo.