Ricardo Estrada

Ricardo Estrada

Ph. D. student

Post-Doc Paris School of Economics / Ehess

Campus Jourdan – 48 Boulevard Jourdan 75014 Paris

  • Development Economics
  • Education
  • Work, employment and social policies

Thesis Supervisor: GURGAND Marc

Co-supervisor: GIGNOUX Jérémie

Academic year of registration: 2010/2011


I am a job market candidate in the Paris School of Economics. I finished my PhD in Economics in this institution in December 2014 and I am currently a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute (2014-2016).


I will be available for interviews at the SEA meetings in Girona (Dec 10-12, 2015), the ASSA meetings in San Francisco (Jan 3-5, 2016) and the RES meetings in London (Jan 8-9, 2016).

I am an applied microeconomist working on personnel, education, labor and development economics.


In my job market paper, I take advantage of a unique setting that allows me to compare the quality (value-added to student achievement) of the teachers hired in a discretionary process led by the teachers' union in Mexico with those hired on the basis of a screening rule. Because of data limitations, there is little empirical research on how firms conduct hiring and the potential trade-off between recruiting using rules that are second-best predictors of quality but hard to manipulate, or relying on the choices of an agent that can potentially abuse discretion.


My results show that the teachers' union selects applicants of a considerably lower quality than those selected using a standardized test, despite the fact that the test has no power to predict teacher quality. I find evidence that the results are not explained by the self-selection of high-quality teachers to follow the test-based process. The combination of these results indicates that the teachers selected through the discretionary process are from the bottom of the distribution of applicant quality. My analysis also reveals that joint committees of state officials and union representatives allocate teachers hired in this way to schools in more "desirable" localities, but with similar pre-treatment trends in outcomes. Findings are consistent with the concerns about rent extraction that motivated the reform I evaluate.


You can learn more about me on my personal website.