Working Paper and Work in Progress


Published Articles


Income Insecurity and Mental Health in Pandemic Times

This paper provides novel evidence of the mental health effects of the Covid-19 outbreak. Between April 2020 and April 2022, we run four waves of a large representative survey in Spain, which we benchmark against a decade of pre-pandemic data. We document a large and sudden deterioration of mental health at the beginning of the pandemic, as the share of people reporting being depressed increased from 16\% before the pandemic to 46% in April 2020. This effect is persistent over time, which translates into important and irreversible consequences, such as a surge in suicides. The effect is more pronounced for women, younger individuals and those with unstable incomes. Finally, using mediation analysis, event studies and machine learning techniques, we document the role of the labor market as an important driver of these effects, as women and the young are more exposed to unstable income sources.

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Wealth Tax Mobility and Tax Coordination

This paper studies the effects of decentralized wealth taxation on mobility and the effectiveness of tax coordination at mitigating potential inefficiencies and inequalities from wealth tax competition. Using linked administrative wealth and income tax records, we exploit the decentralization of the Spanish wealth tax, after which all regions except Madrid levied positive tax rates. We find that the mobility responses to wealth taxes are within the range of previous mobility estimates for income taxes. These mobility responses generate negative direct and cross-base fiscal externalities, with the losses to personal income tax revenues being six times larger than the direct losses to wealth tax revenues. Mobility also doubles the rate of growth of reported wealth among top wealth holders in the zero-tax jurisdiction. Finally, we show how the number of regions benefiting from tax harmonization depends critically on the cross-base effects of income taxes, but that a minimum tax rate is likely to receive the support of more regions than harmonization. 


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Relocation of the Rich: Migration in Response to Top Tax Rate Changes from Spanish Reforms
(joint with David R. Agrawal)
Review of Economics and Statistics (2019) Volume 101 (May), Issue 2

Overlapping Political Budget Cycles
(joint with Rony Freier, Mustafa Yeter, and Marc-Daniel Moessinger)
Public Choice (2018) Volume 177, Issue 1-2

'Ghost Citizens': Using notches to identify manipulation of population-based grants
(joint with Albert Sole and Jordi Jofre)
Journal of Public Economics (2017) Volume 154 (October)

Decentralization and the duration of fiscal consolidation: Shifting the burden across layers of government
(with Agnese Sacchi and Simone Salotti)
Public Choice (2017) Volume 171 (June), Issue 3 

Business Taxes and the Electoral Cycle
(with Nadine Riedel)
Journal of Public Economics (2014) Volume 115 (July)

Sub-national deficits in European countries: The impact of fiscal rules and tax autonomy
European Journal of Political Economy (2014) Volume 34 (June)

Strategic Fiscal Interaction across Borders: Evidence from French and German Local Governments along the Rhine-Valley
(with Aurelie Cassette and Edoardo di Porto)
Journal of Urban Economics (2012) Volume 72 (1)