Wesley University


Assistant Professor of Economics 
and Latin American Studies
207 Public Affairs Center 
238 Church Street
Middletown, CT 06459-0007 
Tel: 860.685.3958
Fax: 860.685.2301
Commentary on Current Events
"Venezuela's Empty Revolution," International Herald Tribune 2/27/07
"The Emperor Wants New Clothes," Economic and Political Weekly 12/1/07
"Economic Policies of the New Radical Left Will Fail," Americas Quarterly 8/07
Quoted in the Media
The Economist on our research on Venezuelan illiteracy (2/28/08)
The Economist on our research on Infant Mortality in Venezuela (12/6/07)
New York Times on Venezuelan Public Finances (November 30, 2007)
Financial Times on Venezuelan Cooperatives (November 20, 2007)
ESPN on Venezuelan Baseball and Politics (November 18, 2007)
New York Times on Venezuelan Gas Prices (October 30, 2007)
International Herald Tribune on Venezuelan Social Programs (August 21, 2007)
McNeil-Lehrer Newshour on Venezuelan Nationalizations (January 15, 2007)
Recent and Upcoming Talks
New School for Social Research, Economic Policy Workshop (2/4/08)
World Bank Microeconomics of Growth Conference, Rio de Janeiro (12/14/07)
Panel on Venezuelan Social Policies, CSIS, Washington DC (12/12/07)
Conference on Globalization and Rise of the Left, Princeton University (12/8/07)
Conference on Venezuela Under Chávez, Yale Law School (11/30/07)
Seminar at Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (10/29/2007) 

About me

I am a Venezuelan economist with interest in economic growth, political economy and international trade.  Before coming to Wesleyan, I served as Chief Economist of the Venezuelan National Assembly from 2000 to 2004. I have taught at University of Maryland, College Park and the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración. This page has links to published and unpublished papers, press articles, data sets and other research related material.   It also has links to my courses in International Economics, Political Economy of Growth and Latin American Economics.   Feel free to e-mail me with any comments or suggestions.

I am currently on leave at the Human Development Report Office, where I am Head of the Research Team.


Venezuela: Anatomy of a Collapse (Jointly edited with Ricardo Hausmann)

Recent Working Papers

"An empirical test of the poverty traps hypothesis."

 "The Price of Political Opposition: Evidence from Venezuela's Maisanta " (with Chang-Tai Hsieh, Edward Miguel, and Daniel Ortega)


"Are Capital Shares Higher in Poor Countries? Evidence from Industrial Surveys" (with Daniel Ortega)

"How Important is the Credibility Problem in Politics? Evidence from State-Level Abortion Legislation."(with Eduardo Zambrano)

"Cleaning Up the Kitchen Sink: Growth Empirics When the World is Not Simple" (New version)

Recently Published and Forthcoming Papers:

 “What Makes Growth Shared? On the Political Economy of Inclusive Development,” forthcoming, Annual World Bank Conference on Development Economics 2008.

"Venezuela's Revolution in Decline: Beware the Wounded Tiger," World Policy Journal, Spring 2008.

"An Empty Revolution: The Unfulfilled Promises of Hugo Chávez," Foreign Affairs, March/April 2008

"Freed from Illiteracy? A Closer Look at Venezuela's Robinson Literacy Campaign" (with Daniel Ortega), forthcoming, Economic Development and Cultural Change.

"Growth Collapses" (with Ricardo Hausmann and Rodrigo Wagner) forthcoming in Reinhart, Velasco and Vegh, eds. Money, Crises, and Transition: Essays in Honor of Guillermo Calvo.

“Does One Size Fit All In Policy Reform?  Cross-National Evidence and its Implications for Latin America,” forthcoming in Mainwaring and Scully, eds. Democratic Governability in Latin America.

"Anarchy, State, and Dystopia: Venezuelan Economic Institutions before the Advent of Oil." (with Adam J. Gomolin), Bulletin of Latin American Research 28(1), 2009.


Older Stuff

"The Anarchy of Numbers: Understanding the Evidence on Venezuelan Economic Growth," Canadian Journal of Development Studies 27(4), 2006.

"The Political Economy of Investment in Human Capital," (with José Pineda), Economics of Governance,  7(2), 2006.

"Inequality, Redistribution and Rent-Seeking," Economics and Politics, November 2004.

"Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence" (with Dani Rodrik), 2000 NBER Macroeconomics Annual.

"Why Do Resource-Abundant Economies Grow more Slowly?" (with Jeffrey Sachs), Journal of Economic Growth, September 1999.

"Does Distributional Skewness Lead to Redistribution? Evidence from the United States", Economics and Politics, July 1999.

See a full list of my publications here

Data Sets:

Venezuelan Household Surveys 1975-2005

Panel of Venezuelan Manufacturing Firms 1995-2001 and 1989-01.

The Maisanta Database, constructed by the Venezuelan government party to document the political leanings and activities of all Venezuelan registered voters.