Iacovone, Leonardo

Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness, The World Bank
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Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness, The World Bank
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Citations 182 Scopus

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Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
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    Bayesian Impact Evaluation with Informative Priors: An Application to a Colombian Management and Export Improvement Program
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-01) Iacovone, Leonardo ; McKenzie, David ; Meager, Rachael
    Policymakers often test expensive new programs on relatively small samples. Formally incorporating informative Bayesian priors into impact evaluation offers the promise to learn more from these experiments. A Colombian government program which aimed to increase exporting was trialed experimentally on 200 firms with this goal in mind. Priors were elicited from academics, policymakers, and firms. Contrary to these priors, frequentist estimation can not reject 0 effects in 2019, and finds some negative impacts in 2020. For binary outcomes like whether firms export, frequentist estimates are relatively precise, and Bayesian credible posterior intervals update to overlap almost completely with standard confidence intervals. For outcomes like increasing export variety, where the priors align with the data, the value of these priors is seen in posterior intervals that are considerably narrower than frequentist confidence intervals. Finally, for noisy outcomes like export value, posterior intervals show almost no updating from the priors, highlighting how uninformative the data are about such outcomes.
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    Cartels, Antitrust Enforcement, and Industry Performance: Evidence from Mexico
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-12) Reed, Tristan ; Pereira López, Mariana ; Urrutia Arrieta, Ana ; Iacovone, Leonardo
    Forty percent of economic activities in Mexico weighed by sales have been investigated for illegal monopolistic practices since the Federal Competition Commission was established in 1993. By exploiting some unique features of the Mexican investigative system, and using a synthetic control approach, this paper examines the causal impact of antitrust sanctions on industry performance and aggregate outcomes. Sanctions cause sales and wages to increase and profit margins to fall in the sanctioned sectors, thus benefiting consumers and workers. Overall, antitrust enforcement contributes roughly half a percent of per capita gross domestic product growth. Outcomes of investigations that are closed without sanction fail to reject the hypothesis that some harmful conduct is not sanctioned because investigators lack resources to prove it conclusively. An implication is that the Commission could generate greater benefits with additional investigative resources.