Carlos Medina

Medellín Branch
Banco de la República
Calle 50 # 50-21
Piso 2 Medellín
Tel: (574) 576 7464
Fax: (574) 251 5488

Institutional Affiliation: Banco de la Republica de Colombia

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2019Job Loss, Credit and Crime in Colombia
with Gaurav Khanna, Anant Nyshadham, Christian Posso, Jorge A. Tamayo: w26313
We investigate the effects of job displacement, as a result of mass-layoffs, on criminal arrests using a novel matched employer-employee-crime dataset in Medellín, Colombia. Job displacement leads to immediate earnings losses, and an increased likelihood of being arrested for both the displaced worker and for other youth in the family. We leverage variation in opportunities for legitimate reemployment and access to consumption credit to investigate the mechanisms underlying this job loss-crime relationship. Workers in booming sectors with more opportunities for legitimate reemployment exhibit smaller increases in arrests after job losses. Greater exposure to expansions in consumption credit also lowers the job loss-crime elasticity.
August 2019Formal Employment and Organized Crime: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Colombia
with Gaurav Khanna, Anant Nyshadham, Jorge A. Tamayo: w26203
Canonical models of crime emphasize economic incentives. Yet, causal evidence of sorting into criminal occupations in response to individual-level variation in incentives is limited. We link administrative socioeconomic microdata with the universe of arrests in Medellín over a decade. We exploit exogenous variation in formal-sector employment around a socioeconomic-score cutoff, below which individuals receive benefits if not formally employed, to test whether a higher cost to formal-sector employment induces crime. Regression discontinuity estimates show this policy generated reductions in formal-sector employment and a corresponding spike in organized crime, but no effects on crimes of impulse or opportunity.
July 2015Long Term Impacts of Vouchers for Vocational Training: Experimental Evidence for Colombia
with Orazio Attanasio, Arlen Guarín, Costas Meghir: w21390
We use experimental data of a training program in 2005 in Colombia. We find that even up to ten years ahead, the JeA program had a positive and significant effect on the probability to work in the formal sector. Applicants in the treatment group also contributed more months to social security during the analyzed period, and to work for a large firm. Earnings of treated applicants were 11.8% higher in the whole sample, and they made larger contributions to social security. In addition, we also present non parametric bounds that for some percentiles of the sample of women, there are positive and nearly significant effects of the program. Thus, the effects of the program would have been capitalized both in increases in the likelihood of being formal, and increases in productivity. We also pre...
July 2010The Cost of Avoiding Crime: The Case of Bogotá
with Alejandro Gaviria, Leonardo Morales, Jairo Núñez
in The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, Rafael Di Tella, Sebastian Edwards, and Ernesto Schargrodsky, editors
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us