Inés Berniell


Inés Berniell es investigadora del Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP) y profesora adjunta en la misma universidad. Es Licenciada en Economía por la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Magíster y Doctora en Economía por el Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros (CEMFI, España). Fue investigadora postdoctoral en el Instituto Universitario Europeo (Italia), trabajó en el Banco Mundial en Washington, como  miembro del equipo principal del Informe Sobre el Desarrollo Mundial 2012, y fue consultora del BID y el Banco Mundial en varios proyectos vinculados a la formación de capital humano en países en desarrollo. Su investigación se centra en temas de economía de la educación, economía laboral y evaluación de impacto de políticas sociales.

  • Mercados laborales
  • Educación
  • Evaluación de impacto de políticas sociales
  • Género
  • Postdoc en Economía, Programa Max Weber del Instituto Universitario Europeo, 2015-2017
  • Doctora en Economía, CEMFI, 2011-2015
  • Magíster en Economía, CEMFI, 2008-2010
  • Licenciada en Economía, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, 2002-2007
  • Investigadora del CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP), desde 2017
  • Profesora Adjunta de Economía Espacial, UNLP, desde 2018
  • Profesora Adjunta de Estadística II, UNLP, desde 2017
  • Profesora de Economía de Género, Maestría en Economía, UNLP, desde 2019
  • Profesora de Evaluación de Impacto de Políticas Públicas, Maestría en Economía, UNLP, desde 2019
  • Co-editora de Económica (UNLP), desde 2017


The Impact of a Permanent Income Shock on the Situation of Women in the Household: the Case of a Pension Reform in Argentina
PDF (con Dolores de la Mata y Matilde Machado). 

Economic Development and Cultural Change (en prensa)

Entradas de blog sobre este artículo en Vox Lacea (Inglés) y en Bastión Digital (Español)

Income transfers from social programs are often not gender neutral and should, according to the vast literature on intra-household decision making and allocation, affect the distribution of bargaining power within the household. This result, however, was by and large established under the assumption of marriage stability. If this assumption does not hold, then the positive response of bargaining power to income found in the empirical research may be the artefact of sample selection. One may postulate, however, that when restricted to certain groups in the population, such as seniors, the assumption may hold since their probability of divorce is close to zero. In this paper we prove that the assumption is wrong, even when applied to seniors. We use a non-contributory pension reform in Argentina, that resulted in an unexpected and substantial increase in permanent income for around 1.8  million women, to study its effects on outcomes related to both marital stability and women’s bargaining power within the household. We find that the reform increased the probability of divorce/separation among senior highly educated women but had no impact on the low-educated. Instead, the latter gained considerable bargaining power within the household by decreasing the probability of being the only one in charge of household chores in tandem with an increase in their husbands’ participation in these chores.

Working Papers

Poor Little Children: The Socioeconomic Gap in Parental Responses to School Disadvantages  (PDF)
(with Ricardo Estrada).  R&R en Labour Economics

A blog post about this article in Blog del CEDLAS (Spanish)

In this paper, we study how parents react to a widely-used school policy that puts some children at a learning disadvantage. Specifically, we first document that, in line with findings in other countries, younger children in Spain perform significantly worse at school than their older peers and – key to causal interpretation – that for children born in winter this effect is not due to birth seasonality. Furthermore, the age of school entry effect is significantly greater among children from disadvantaged families. To understand why, we analyze detailed data on parental investment and find that college-educated parents increase their time investment and choose schools with better inputs when their children are the youngest at school entry, while non-college-educated parents do not.   

Gender Gaps in Labor Informality: The Motherhood Effect. (PDF) (with Lucila Berniell, Dolores de la Mata, Mariana Marchionni & María Edo).  R&R en Journal of Development Economics   
A blog post about this article in Blog del CEDLAS (Spanish) and Foco Económico (Spanish)

Through an event-study approach we estimate short and long-run labor market impacts of parenthood in Chile, a country with a relatively large informal sector. We find that the first child has strong and long lasting effects on labor market outcomes of mothers, while fathers remain unaffected. Having a child implies a sharp decline in mothers’ labor supply and hourly wages. Moreover, only for women, it also produces a remarkable increase in the share of jobs in the informal sector, thus widening the gender gap in labor informality. We build a model economy to quantify the motherhood effect in the absence of an informal labor market and we show that in that case the drop in LFP would have been 35% higher. This suggests that mothers find in the informal sector the flexibility to balance family and work, although at the cost of deteriorating their labor market prospects.

The Effect of Working Hours on Health (PDF)
(with Jan Bietenbeck). R&R en Economics and Human Biology

Does working time causally affect workers’ health? We study this question in the context of a French reform which reduced the standard workweek from 39 to 35 hours, at constant earnings. Our empirical analysis exploits variation in the adoption of this shorter workweek across employers which is mainly driven by institutional features of the reform and thus exogenous to workers’ health. Difference-in-differences and lagged dependent variable regressions reveal a negative effect of working hours on self-reported health and positive effects on smoking and body mass index, though the latter is imprecisely estimated. Results are robust to accounting for endogenous job mobility and differ by workers’ occupations.

Pay Cycles: Individual and Aggregate Effects of Paycheck Frequency (PDF)
A blog post about this article in Nada es Gratis (Spanish). 

This paper shows that the frequency at which workers are paid affects the within-month patterns of both household expenditure and aggregate economic activity. To identify causal effects, I exploit two novel sources of exogenous variation in pay frequency in the US. First, using an as-good-as-random variation in the pay frequency of retired couples, I show that those who are paid more frequently have smoother expenditure paths. Second, I take advantage of cross-state variation in labor laws to compare patterns of economic activity in states in which the frequency with which wages are paid differs. I document that low pay frequencies lead to within-month business cycles when many workers are paid on the same dates, which in turn generates costly congestion in sectors with capacity constraints. These findings have important policy implications for contexts where firms and workers do not internalize such congestion externalities as this situation leads to market equilibria with suboptimally low pay frequencies and few paydays. 

Work in Progress

  • – First Impressions are Lasting Impressions: Campaign Advertising and Voting
  • – Promising Minds: What Do They Do and Where Do They Go?
  • – The Production Function of College Education: Evidence from a Natural Experiment (with Manuel Bagues and Antonio Cabrales)

Policy Work

  • – Time Use and Skills Development in Latin American Households  (with Lian Allub), Prepared for the Inter-American Development Bank Research Network 2015: Private Spending on Skills Development in Latin America  (PDF)
  • – Overview of Time Use Data Used for the Analysis of Gender Differences in Time Use Patterns (with Carolina Sánchez-Páramo), Background paper for the World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development, The World Bank
  • Mención especial de la Academia Nacional de Ciencias Económicas (Premio ANCE Julio H.G. Olivera), 2019
  • Mención especial de la Academia Nacional de Ciencias Económicas (Premio ANCE Julio H.G. Olivera), 2017
  • Beca de doctorado, CEMFI 2011-2015
  • Beca Fundación Carolina, Maestría en Economía y Finanzas CEMFI 2008-2010
  • Premio Facultad, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, 2007

Antecedentes Docentes

Profesora nivel universitario de grado

  • Profesora adjunta de Estadística II (Licenciatura en Economía), Universidad Nacional de La Plata, desde 2017
  • Profesora adjunta de Economía Espacial (Licenciatura en Economía), Universidad Nacional de La Plata, desde 2018
  • Profesora invitada de Microeconomía I, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Departamento de Economía, 2018
  • Profesora de Economía I y Microeconomía, Universidad Empresarial Siglo XXI, 2007-2008
  • Auxiliar docente de Introducción a la Economía, Economía I y Matemática II, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, 2006-2008

Profesora nivel universitario de posgrado

  • Profesora de Economía de Género, Maestría en Economía, UNLP, desde 2019
  • Profesora de Evaluación de Impacto de Políticas Públicas, Maestría en Economía, UNLP, desde 2019
  • Profesora de Economía Laboral, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Curso del Doctorado en Economía, 2019
  • Profesora de Economía Laboral, European University Institute (Italia), Curso del Doctorado en Economía, 2017

Formación docente

  • Max Weber Programme Teaching Certificate. Práctica docente en la Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, 2016

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