Sergio Urzua

Department of Economics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Graduate Program:

Undergraduate Program:


Work in Progress

[1] "Bullying among Adolescents: The Role of Cognitive and Non-cognitive Skills" (with M. Sarsoza), Conditionally Accepted, Quantitative Economics, 2020. Available: NBER Working Paper No. 21631.

[2] "Centralized Admission Systems and School Segregation: Evidence from a National Reform" (with M. Kutscher and S. Nath), submitted, 2020. Web appendix .

[3] "Voting for Democracy: Evidence from Chile's Plebiscito" (with E. Kaplan and F. Saltiel), submitted, 2020. Available: NBER Working Paper No. 26440.

[4] "The children of the missed pill " (with M. Sarzosa and T. Rau), submitted, 2020. Available: NBER Working Paper No. 23911.

[7] "Dynamic Treatment Effects of Job Training" (with F. Saltiel and J. Rodriguez), R & R (Second round), Journal of Applied Econometrics, 2020. Available: NBER Working Paper No. 25408.

[6] "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment in Brazil" (with F. Saltiel). R & R (Second round), Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2020.

[3] "The Transmission of Commodity Price Super-Cycles" (F. Benguria and F. Saffie). Reject & R., The Review of Economic Studies, 2019. Available: NBER Working Paper No. 24560.

[8] "Is Private Education Worth it? Evidence from School-to-Work Transitions" (with D. Contreras and J. Rodriguez), R & R, Economics of Education Review, 2020.

[9] "Soft Skills Training and Productivity: Evidence from an intervention in retail" (with M. Prada and G. Rucci), R & R, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2020. Web appendix. Available: IZA Discussion Working Paper Series, No. 12447.

[10] "Redistribution through Education: Assessing the Long-term Impact of Public Spending", manuscript, 2020. Available: Working Paper 88, June 2019, CEQ Institute, Tulane University.

[11] "The Causal Effect of Skills: An International Study" (with R. Espinoza, K. Miyamoto, M. Sarzosa) (Paper available upon request).

Published Papers

[1] Birth Order, Education, and Family Size (with J. Bagger, J. Birchenall, H. Mansour), forthcoming, The Economic Journal, 2020. Available: NBER working paper N 19971.

[2] Should I Stay or Should I Go? Career Choices for Young Workers in Latin America (with F. Saltiel and G. Rucci). Economic Inquiry , January 2020.

[3] One Size Does Not Fit All: Multiple Dimensions of Ability, College Attendance and Earnings (with Maria Prada). Journal of Labor Economics, Volume 35, Number 4 | October 2017. Web appendix .

[4] Heterogeneous Economic Returns to Postsecondary Degrees: Evidence from Chile (with Jorge Rodriguez, and Loreto Reyes, Journal of Human Resources, 51(2), April 2016.

[5] Implementing Factor Models with Unobserved Heterogeneity in Stata: The heterofactor command (with Miguel Sarzosa), Stata Journal, 156(1), January 2016.

[6] Early Exposure to Hazardous Waste and Academic Achievement: Evidence from a Case of Environmental Negligence (with Tomas Rau, and Loreto Reyes), Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, 527-563, December 2015.

[7] Cost benefit analysis of an integrated ECD program in a low-income country. (with F. Lopez Boo, and G. Palloni), Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 1308, 129-138, June 2014.

[8] Economic Perspectives on Integrating Early Child Stimulation with Nutritional Interventions (with H. Alderman, J. Behrman, S. Grantham-McGregor, and F. Lopez Boo), Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 1308, 139-148

[9] The Labor Market Return to an Attractive Face: Evidence from a Field Experiment (with F. Lopez Boo and M. Rossi). Economic Letters. Volume 118, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 170-172. (Top 10 downloads from March 2012, IZA)

[10] The Demand and Supply of Early Education in Chile (with L. Reyes). Estudios Publicos, Vol. 126, 2012.

[11] The Economic Returns to Higher Education in Chile: Revising the Foundations of 30 Years of Public Policies. Estudios Publicos, Vol. 125, 2012. (cited by The Economist

[12] The Effects of Participation in Public Child Care Centers: Evidence from Chile (with G. Noboa-Hidalgo). Journal of Human Capital, 2012, vol. 6, issue 1, pages 1 - 34

[13] The Education Health-Gradient (with G. Conti and J. Heckman). American Economic Review (Papers and Proceedings). May 2010.

[14] Testing the Correlated Random Coefficient Model (with J. Heckman and D. Schmierer). Journal of Econometrics, vol. 157, 2010.

[15] Comparing IV With Structural Models: What Simple IV Can and Cannot Identify (with J. Heckman). Journal of Econometrics, Vol. 156(1), 2010. (Featured by The Economist

[16] Measuring the Impact of Financial Intermediation: Linking Contract Theory to Econometric Policy Evaluation (With R. Townsend). Macroeconomic Dynamics, 13 (2), 2009-268-316, 2009.

[17] Racial Labor Market Gaps: The Role of Abilities and Schooling Choices. Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 43(4): pp. 919-971, 2008.

[18] Instrumental Variables in Models with Multiple Outcomes: The General Unordered Case (with J. Heckman and E. Vytlacil). Les Annales de Economie et de Statistique, 91-92, 2008.

[19] The use of instrumental variables in the presence of heterogeneity and self-selection: an application in breast cancer patients (2007) (With A. Basu, J. Heckman and S. Navarro). Health Economics 16(11):1133-1157, 2007.

[20] Understanding instrumental Variables in Models with Essential Heterogeneity (with J. Heckman and E. Vytlacil). Review of Economics and Statistics, v88, n3, 2006.

[21] The effect of cognitive and Non-cognitive factors in behavioral and labor outcomes (With J. Heckman and J. Stixrud). Journal of Labor Economics, v24, n3, 2006.

Other Publications and Working Papers

[1] "Between- versus Within-Firm Inequality in Latin America", (with G. Rucci, F. Saltiel and E. Munoz), manuscript, 2019. Available: IADB Working Paper Series No. 1004.

[2] The (Un)expected Economic Consequences of the Recent Expansion of Higher Education in Latin America (with R. Espinoza). Latin American Policy Journal, Vol. 7 spring 2018.

[3] Cognitive and socio-emotional abilities (with M. Sarzosa and F. Saltiel) in Handbook of Contemporary Education Economics , Geraint Johnes, Jill Johnes, Tommaso Agasisti and Laura L\'opez-Torres (Editors), Edward Elgar Publishing, Dec. 2017.

[4] "The Effect of Mandated Child Care on Female Wages in Chile" (with G. Rucci, M. Prada), NBER working paper N 21080, April 2015.

[5] "Returns to Higher Education in Chile and Colombia" (with C. Gonzalez-Velosa, G. Rucci, M. Sarzosa), IDB Working Paper Series, N. IDB-WP-587, March, 2015.

[6] "Education, Health, and Wages" (with J. Heckman, John Humphries and G. Veramendi), NBER working paper N 19138, March 2014.

[7] Economic Perspectives on Some Important Dimensions of Early Childhood Development in Developing Countries (with J. Behrman) in Handbook of Early Childhood Development Research and Its Impact on Global Policy , Britto, P., Engle, P., and Super, C. (Editors), Oxford University Press, USA, Jan. 2013.

[8] "Loans for Higher Education: Does the dream come true?" (with E. Rojas and T. Rau), NBER working paper N 19138, June 2013.

[9] Identifying Labor Market Discrimination using an Experimental Design (with D. Bravo and C. Sanhueza) in Discrimination in Latin America: An Economic Perspective, Nopo, H., Chong, A., Moro, A. (Eds), Inter-american Development Bank, 2009.

[10] Ability, Schooling Choices and Gender Labor Market Discrimination: Evidence for Chile (with D. Bravo and C. Sanhueza) in Discrimination in Latin America: An Economic Perspective, Nopo, H., Chong, A., Moro, A. (Eds), Inter-american Development Bank, 2009.


Education on the Fast Track (Educación con Patines) (Arturo Fontaine and Sergio Urzua). Editorial el Mercurio, February 2018. Website

At a Crossroad: Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean ( M. Ferreyra, C. Avitabile, J. Botero, F. Haimoivh, and S. Urzua). The World Bank, 2017.

Disconnected: Skills, Education and Employment in Latin America
Marina Bassi, Matias Busso, Sergio Urzua, Jaime Vargas.
Spanish Version Available here: Desconectados: Habilidades, educación y empleo en America Latina