Seminar by Luis Alejandro Sarmiento – 21 February 2020

Friday 21 February at 12.00 PM at BASE, Milan.

Luis Alejandro Sarmiento Abogado is a Phd student at the graduate center of the German Institute of Economic Research. He obtained his master degree in economics and management science at the Humboldt University of Berlin where, in his dissertation thesis he made a general assessment of the electric sector in Mexico through the use of multivariate time series techniques. His current research topics are mostly focused in applied econometrics, policy evaluation, energy networks and local pollution externalities.

He is a Research Associate in the Energy, Transportation, Environment Department.

Title: Waiting for my Sentence: Air Pollution and the Productivity of Court Rulings

Abstract
I assert that air pollution in the form of nitrogen oxides affects the cognitive productivity of lawyers, judges, and prosecutors participating in Mexican court hearings. This is the first article to document an effect of nitrogen oxides on labor productivity, and the first to study the effect of pollution on judicial employees. I analyze the connection between both variables by merging hourly pollution measures with granular hearing data under the assumption that the length of the hearing approximates the productivity of partaking workers. The study uses panel and instrumental variable techniques to identify the causal relationship between both variables. In the preferred specification, one standard deviation increase of nitrogen oxides increases the length of judicial hearings by 3.68 percent.

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