Exploring 200 years of U.S. commodity market integration: A structural time series model approach (Forthcoming Explorations in Economic History)
This paper uses a structural time series model to explore U.S. commodity market convergence, efficiency, and intertemporal smoothing from 1750-1949. I find near-continuous convergence that is largely concentrated in the frontier, broad antebellum efficiency gains, and intertemporal smoothing from the 1880s onward among the most perishable goods. The results reveal new periods of integration across all three metrics and underscore the rapid rate of integration on the frontier.
Putting the News in New York and New Orleans: The Impact of Information Frictions on Trade (Under Review)
This paper exploits the telegraphic connection between New Orleans and New York to estimate the impact of information frictions on the cotton trade. My regression specifications are based on Steinwender’s (2018) model of arbitrage with information frictions. I find the telegraph increased export volatility by 51.2 percent, increased the average level of exports by 29.4 percent, reduced the volatility of price differentials by 32.4 percent, and had no impact on price differentials.
Sugar Highs and Sugar Lows: U.S. Interwar Tariff Policy and Cuba’s Great Depression with Mario Crucini
Work in Progress
Much of the literature on the macroeconomic effects of the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act has focused on its impact on the US and, to a lesser extent, major industrial trading partners. However, with the US trade share fluctuating near 4-5%, even the large increases in protectionism are predicted to cause at most a garden-variety post-war recession (Crucini and Kahn (1996)), not a Great Depression. Instead, this work focuses on a small commodity-export dependent country, Cuba, which depended upon sugar for almost half of its GDP, with 76% of its product exported to the US. Unlike the US, it seems quite plausible that Cuba’s Great Depression was significantly due to US commercial policy. The paper focuses on a detailed historical narrative on the multi-country production and trade patterns of sugar and the time-varying nature of commercial policy due to specific (nominally rigid duties) in propagating the Cuban business cycle. A multi-region business cycle model is proposed that combines a macroeconomic model of the US business cycle with a micro-founded model of Cuban and insular US production and trade of sugar, in exchange for US manufactures.
Righting the Vote: How the Voting Rights Act of 1975 Changed Hispanic Representation among Local Elected Officials with Aaron Gamiño
Work in Progress
The Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1975 extended voting protections to millions of Hispanics; however, its impact has often been overlooked in the literature. We estimate the causal impact of the 1975 VRA on the share of Hispanic officeholders at the county and municipal level from 1973-1989. We employ a triple-difference design to leverage variation in the geographic coverage of the VRA along with the Hispanic population share in each covered county. We find increases in county and municipal officeholding in executive, legislative, administrative, and judicial positions. We then find this improved Hispanic representation led to changes in spending patterns at the county and municipal levels.