• About ME

    I am a Postdoctoral Associate at the Social Science division at New York University--Abu Dhabi. I received my Ph.D. in Economics from Los Andes University. I have been a Visiting Student Researcher at Stanford University and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Bordeaux. My work focuses on the intersection between social networks and economic history.


    My geographical areas of specialty are Latin America and the Middle East.

    My CV is available HERE. See details in my public profiles:

  • ResearchGate


    Google Scholar

    Ideas RePEc


  • Academic Employment

    New York University--Abu Dhabi


    Postdoctoral Associate

  • Education

    Los Andes University

    2013 - 2018

    Ph.D. in Economics (with honors)

    Committee: Andrés Álvarez, Tomás Rodríguez, Fabio Sanchez, and Matthew O. Jackson

    Stanford University


    Visiting Student Researcher

    Los Andes University


    M.A. in Economics

    University of Antioquia


    B.A. in Economics (with honors)

  • Research

    Research Positions

    New York University--Abu Dhabi


    Postdoctoral Associate

    University of Bordeaux


    Visiting Research Fellow

    Los Andes University


    Research assistant

  • Research Interests

    Economic history, social networks, economic growth, and political economy.

  • Research in Progress

    • Social Mobility in an Industrializing Economy - joint with Camilo Garcia-Jimeno (University of Pennsylvania) and James Robinson (University of Chicago).
    • Committing not to Build a State - joint with Leopoldo Fergusson (Los Andes University) and James Robinson (University of Chicago).
    • Unite or Perish. Networks and Religion in Bagdhad during the Fall of the Abbasid Caliphate  - joint with Jeremy Farrell (Emory University).
    • Information Transmission in Traditional Societies. Evidence from Sufism in Early Islam  - joint with Jeremy Farrell (Emory University).
  • Drafts

    This paper offers a theoretical framework to understand the coevolution of social interactions and long-term economic growth. It begins by considering that most traditional societies did not have educational markets. Thus, access to the required knowledge for transiting to a modern economy had to be transmitted through social interactions, in particular, through the interaction between heterogeneous groups of people–i.e. distant interactions. Once immersed in a modern economy, the productive system should have increased the demand for knowledge, promoting more distant interactions. Simultaneously, the emergence of distant interactions should have affected the connectivity of society, reducing its heterogeneity, making cheaper posterior interactions but reducing their profitability. Moreover, social interactions competed and benefited from other non-market activities, child rearing specifically. The model arrives at four basic predictions. First, modern economic growth brings a more cohesive society. Second, modern economic growth brings long-term reductions in fertility with potential short-term increases. Third, initial barriers to social interactions could explain the timing of modern economic growth arrival. Fourth, the timing of modern economic growth arrival could explain current output levels. I exploit different data sources to offer evidence in support of these predictions.

    (Under review)

    This paper explores the relationship between social networks and entrepreneurship by constructing a dynamic social network from archival records. The network corresponds to the elite of a society in transition to modernity, characterized by difficult geographical conditions, market failures, and weak state capacity, as in late 19th- and early 20th-century Antioquia (Colombia). With these data, I estimate how the decision to found industrial firms was affected by the position of individuals in the social network. I find that individuals more important bridging the network (i.e. with higher betweenness centrality) were more involved in industrial entrepreneurship. However, I do not find individuals with a denser network to be more involved in this type of activity. The rationale of these results is that industrial entrepreneurship was a highly-complex activity that required a wide variety of complementary resources. Networks operated as substitutes of markets in the acquisition of these resources. Thus, individuals with network positions that favored the combination of a broad set of resources had a comparative advantage in industrial entrepreneurship. I run several tests to prove this rationale.

    This paper proposes a network formation model for explaining the stability of tribal societies. The model is supported by the idea that every two members of a tribe should have benefited from being connected to each other in order for the whole tribe to be stable. It also considers the constraints that the ecosystem brought to social interaction in pre-modern contexts. The model has three predictions. First, both homogeneous and heterogeneous tribes could have been stable regardless of technological development. Second, the social complexity of tribes was a function of technological development (having access to agriculture should have enabled the emergence of larger and more complex societies), interaction costs (if they were too low or too high, no complex society should have emerged), and environmental conditions (poor ecosystems should not have allowed the formation of complex societies). Finally, the model predicts that collapses of agricultural societies could not come from environmental pressures, but from high interaction costs. The predictions are consistent with some of the most relevant human history patterns.

    Finding a Job through Networks: How does Tie Strength Solve Information Problems during the Job Search Process

    joint with Thibaud Deguilhem (University of Paris), Eric Quintane (Los Andes University), & Santiago Gómez (University of Heidelberg)

    (Under review)

    This paper explores the relationship between tie strength and the outcomes of the job search process. We argue that two dimensions of tie strength: frequency and closeness, solve two distinct information problems: Incomplete information and information asymmetry, that may occur during the job search process. Furthermore, we argue that the alignment between the dimension of tie strength that connects the job seeker to her alters and the information problem that dominates the search process drives job search outcomes, such as salary increase and search duration. We test our theory in a unique dataset, representative of the working population in Bogota (Colombia), of 1,601 participants who recently found a new job through their social network. We distinguish between individuals who change occupation and/or sector of activity with their new job, thus facing an information asymmetry problem, and individuals who stayed in the same occupation and sector, facing an incomplete information problem. Our results support our theory. The alignment between the dimension of tie strength and the information problem to be solved affects an individual’s change in salary and the time that it took them to find a new job. We discuss the implications of our results for the literature on networks and job search.

    Social Interactions and Contract Enforcement in the Postcolonial Arab World. Evidence from the Industrial Elite of Morocco, 1956-1982

    joint with Romain Ferrali (New York University--Abu Dhabi)

    This paper studies the role of social interactions in contract enforcement in the independent Arab world. We use mixed methods to exploit an exceptional set of interviews with members of the industrial elite of Morocco during the import-substituting-industrialization (ISI). We find that the high risk of contractual breach characterized the business environment. In this context, business people were aware of the value of social ties. They did not use these ties to promote collective-punishment. Instead, they used ties to solve disputes through bilateral methods that did not threaten their existing connections. In addition, they used their network to screen the quality of potential business partners. This was strongly supported by the small size of the business community. Other enforcement mechanisms, such as legal methods, were seldom used because they threaten valuable personal ties. We find that business and social connections were more effective than connections with the State, kin-based, and ethno-geographic groups.

  • Publications

    Chapters in Books

    • “Latin American Economic History”. In Kerry Pannel (Ed.) Global Economic History: An Encyclopedia of People, Ideas, and Institutions That Created the Modern World Economy. Santa Barbara, United States: ABC Clio, forthcoming.
    • “Estabilidad financiera durante la banca libre en Antioquia. Medición del riesgo sistémico a través de las redes de propiedad”. In Carlos Dávila (Ed.) Empresas y empresarios en la historia de Colombia. Bogotá, Colombia: Universidad de los Andes, forthcoming.
    • “Café y ciudad: El despegue urbano de Pereira”. (Joint with Sebastián Martínez). Sebastián Martínez & Adriana María Suárez Mayorga (Ed.) Repensando la Historia Urbana: Reflexiones Históricas en Torno a la Ciudad Colombiana. Pereira, Colombia: Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, 2019.
    • “Participación política de colombianos en Colombia, Estados Unidos, España y Reino Unido”. (Joint with William Mejía). In Cristina Escobar & Milena Gómez Kopp (Ed.) El voto en el exterior: estudio comparativo de las elecciones colombianas legislativas y presidenciales. Bogotá: Universidad Externado. 2015

    Journal Articles (General)

    Journal Articles (Latin-American Studies)

    Book Reviews

    Working Papers

    • "Perfil económico del Eje Cafetero. Un análisis con miras a la competitividad territorial", 2013.
    • "Freedom and economic performance", 2012.
    • "Ethics and justice. Reflections on The Idea of Justice by Amartya Sen", 2012.

    Seminars and Conferences

    • 2020:  CMES Lunch Seminar at UC Berkeley (Berkeley, US). Economic History Breakfast Seminar at UC Davis (Davis, US).  Economic History Seminar at Lund University (Lund, Sweden).
    • 2019: Entrepreneurship Seminar at INSEAD Singapore (Singapore). Applied Microeconomics Seminar at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). Australian Cliometrics Workshop at UNSW (Sydney, Australia). RSE Seminar at The Australian National University (Canberra, Australia). Historical Political Economy Conference at NYUAD (Abu Dhabi, UAE). ADRES Conference (Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France). LEAP Seminar at Stellenbosch University (Stellenbosch, South Africa).  Workshop on the Frontiers of Network Science at NYUAD (Abu Dhabi, UAE). Growth Lab Lunch Seminar at Brown University (Providence, US). CEDE Seminar at Los Andes University (Bogotá, Colombia). Faculty Seminar at CESA (Bogotá, Colombia).  CID Seminar at Universidad Nacional (Bogotá, Colombia). GHE-ACHEE Seminar at Los Andes University (Bogotá, Colombia). Networks Group Meeting at NYUAD (Abu Dhabi, UAE). The Tasaamuh Film Festival at Manarat Al Saadiyat (Abu Dhabi, UAE). Workshop on African Economic History at Stellenbosch University (Stellenbosch, South Africa).
    • 2018: XVIIIth World Economic History Congress at MIT (Boston, US). LSE-Stanford Conference on Long-run Development in Latin America (London, UK). NYUAD Research Conference (Abu Dhabi, UAE). Market Institutions and Economic History Colloquium at UNAM (Mexico D.F., Mexico). Workshop on the Frontiers of Network Science at NYUAD (Abu Dhabi, UAE). CEDE Seminar at Los Andes University (Bogotá, Colombia). GHE-ACHEE Seminar at Los Andes University (Bogotá, Colombia). Faculty Seminar U. ICESI (Cali, Colombia). Faculty Seminar at CESA (Bogotá, Colombia). Methods on Historical Research at UTP (Pereira, Colombia). Regional History Seminar at Banco de la República (Pereira, Colombia).  Seminar at Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga (Bucaramanga, Colombia) Lunch Seminar at Econometria Consultores (Bogotá, Colombia). Lunch Seminar at Universidad Nacional (Bogotá, Colombia). 
    • 2017: Applied Seminar at Autonomous University of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain). Lunch Seminar at Stockholm School of Economics (Stockholm, Sweden). Innovation Seminar at Bordeaux University (Bordeaux, France). Lunch Seminar at Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History-Luxemburg University (Luxemburg city, Luxemburg). Theory Discussion Group at Bordeaux University (Bordeaux, France). Economic History Seminar at Vienna University of Economics and Business-University of Vienna (Vienna, Austria). Economic History Graduate Seminar at Barcelona University (Barcelona, Spain). Historical Network Research Congress (Turku, Finland). Graduate Students Seminar at Bordeaux University (Bordeaux, France). Economic and Social History Graduate Workshop (Oxford, UK). IV Workshop: New Economic Historians of Latin America (Madrid, Spain). Economic History and Cliometrics Lab Conference (Santiago de Chile, Chile). Faculty Seminar (Universidad del Rosario).
    • 2016: Stanford Network Forum (Stanford, US), Social Networks Discussion Group (Stanford, US), Digital History Workshop (Stanford, US), 1st LACEA Economic History Network Meeting (Medellín, Colombia). Banco de la República Seminar (Medellín, Colombia). SER Seminar at Universidad de Antioquia (Medellín, Colombia). Social Science Seminar at Universidad Nacional (Medellín, Colombia).
    • 2015: XVIIth World Economic History Congress (Kyoto, Japan). 1st History of Economics Summer School in Latin America (Bogotá, Colombia). CEDE Seminar at Los Andes University (Bogotá, Colombia).
    • 2014: Colombian Economic History Association Seminar (Bogotá, Colombia). 4th Congress of Colombian Economy at Los Andes University (Bogotá, Colombia). 4th Latin American Congress of Economic History (Bogotá, Colombia).
    • 2013: 4th Southern Hemisphere Economic History Summer School (Montevideo, Uruguay). IV Simposio Colombiano de Historia Regional y Local (Manizales, Colombia). 1st Meeting of Regional GDP Reconstruction in Latin America, 1890-2010 (Montevideo, Uruguay).
    • 2012: 1st Colombian Meeting of Economic History (Bogotá, Colombia). Banco de la República Seminar (Medellín, Colombia). 3rd Congress of Colombian Economy at Los Andes University (Bogotá, Colombia).
    • 2010: 2nd Congress of Colombian Economy at  Los Andes University (Bogotá, Colombia). 2nd Latin American Congress of Economic History (México D.F., México)
    • 2009: VI Economics Student Forum at Universidad del Rosario (Bogotá, Colombia).
    • 2008: XXIII National Congress of Economics students (Barranquilla, Colombia).
  • Referee for

    • Multidisciplinary: PLOS One; Editorial Universidad del Rosario.
    • Economics: Journal of the History of Economic Thought; Economic History Research; Latin America in Economic History; Revista de Historia Industrial; Lecturas de Economía; Sociedad y Economía; Documentos y Aportes en Administración Pública y Gestión Estatal; Economía & Región; Ensayos de Economía; Tiempo & Economía.
    • History: HiSTOReLo; Historia y Sociedad; Memorias; Anuario Historia Regional y de las Fronteras; Ciencia Nueva.
    • Sociology: Socio-Economic Review; Civilizar Ciencias Sociales y Humanas.
  • Administrative and Editorial Positions

    Colombian Economic History Association (ACHE)



    RePEc Biblio--Economic History



    Economic History Society


    Student Ambassador

    Peso Magazine


    Co-founder and Editor




  • Jury for

    COLCIENCIAS Special Grant Programme: Funding instrument which supports projects that strengthen state capacity by Colombian scholars (Administrative Department of Science, Technology, and Innovation of Colombia)

    Juan Luis Londoño Prize: Award that recognizes the best master thesis on economics (Los Andes University)

    De la Banca Escolar a la Banca Central Competition: Contests that recognizes the best essay on economics from Colombian high school students (Central Bank of Colombia)

    Tenure referee for Universidad Militar: Group of peers that evaluates faculty's production to consider promotion (Universidad Militar Nueva Granada)

    CSUR Grant Programme: Funding instrument which supports scientific production made by South African scholars (National Research Foundation of South Africa)

  • Teaching

    Teaching Experience

    Los Andes University


    • Adjunct Professor: Principles of Mathematics (2016). Graduate level.
    • Instructor: Advanced Macroeconomics (Economic Growth) (2015, 2016). Graduate level.
    • Teaching assistant: Economic History of Colombia (2014, 2015). Undergraduate level.​​

    Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia


    • Adjunct Professor: Principles of Economics (2012, 2013). Undergraduate level.

    Fundación Universitaria del Área Andina


    • Adjunct Professor: Principles of Economic Theory (2012, 2013), Principles of Economic Policy (2012, 2013). Undergraduate level.​
  • Languages

    Spanish: Native language

    English: Advanced reader, writer, listener, and speaker

    French: Intermediate reader, writer, listener, and speaker

    Italian: Intermediate reader, writer, listener, and speaker

    Arabic: Beginner reader, writer, listener, and speaker

  • Honors and Awards

    • Distinguished Alumni Award (Colegio Nacional Académico) 2019
      • It recognizes distinguished alumni from Colegio Académico.
    • Doctoral Scholarship (COLCIENCIAS) 2017
      • The Colombian department of Science and Technology offers this scholarship to support Colombians in their doctoral studies.
    • Travel Grant (International Economic History Association) 2015
      • It supports young scholars to participate in the World Economic History Congress.
    • Manuel Ramírez Gómez (Econometría Consultores) 2014
      • It recognizes the best Ph.D. student in Economics in Colombia.
    • First-year doctoral scholarship (Los Andes University) 2013
      • It recognizes the best-admitted students to the Ph.D. program in Economics.
    • Honor at Premios Portafolio (El Tiempo--newspaper) 2012
      • It recognizes the best five graduates in economics, business, and industrial engineering of the year in Colombia.
    • Honor at Concurso Caminos de la Libertad para Jóvenes (Grupo Salinas) 2012
      • It awards essays on freedom issues with the highest quality made by young people of Latin America.
    • Highest GPA of the cohort (University of Antioquia) 2012
      • This honor is conferred to the student with the highest grades during the academic program (B.A. in Economics).
    • Best thesis in Economics (University of Antioquia) 2012
      • This honor is conferred to the best thesis on economics, management, and accounting of the year at Universidad de Antioquia.
    • Research Award 2011 (Alcaldía de Medellín) 2011
      • An award from the Medellín local government that recognizes the most important research contribution of an undergraduate student during the year.
    • Matrícula de Honor (University of Antioquia) 2009-2010
      • A prize for the student with the highest grade in his academic program.
    • First place at VII Foro de Estudiantes de Economía, Finanzas y Comercio Internacional (Del Rosario University) 2009
      • It distinguishes the best student paper of the year in economics, finance and international trade in Colombia.
    • Jesús Antonio Bejarano Award (Colombian Central Bank) 2008
      • It recognizes one of the best four student papers on economics of the year in Colombia.
    • Julián Andrés Hurtado Scholarship (Gobernación del Valle) 2007-2012
      • The regional government of Valle del Cauca provides this scholarship to the top-students graduated from public high school. It intends to cover their undergraduate studies.
    • Ruta Quetzal Scholarship (BBVA Bank) 2007
      • It distinguishes young leaders of the whole world with an academic journey. The Royal Spanish Family supports it and the UNESCO has declared it of universal interest.
    • Academic Excellence (Colegio Nacional Académico) 2007
      • This is the greatest honor conceded by Colegio Nacional Académico to one of its students. It has only been awarded a couple of times since its foundation in 1839.
  • My Library

    I enjoy collecting books. My library currently holds more than 1,400 volumes, with editions ranging from 1700 to the present. It specializes in the history of economic thought, Middle-Eastern studies, Latin-American studies, and East-Asian literature. Here some of my treasures:

  • My Library

    A first edition of Le Traité d'Économie Pure by Maurice Allais (1943)

    Several things make this volume a treasure:

    • It seems to be the only copy left in the world. It is a mimeographic edition, quite delicate and in perfect conditions. It was published during World War II, when the printing press was severely restricted, in particular, the mimeographic methods (this were the methods used by rebels).
    • It was the first work written by Maurice Allais and it can be considered one of the three pillars of modern economic theory.
    • It was the property of Kenneth Arrow (maybe the greatest social scientist of the second half of the twentieth century).
    • Allais was ahead of his time. Paul Samuelson (Nobel Prize in Economics in 1970) always thought that Allais deserved the Nobel Prize much earlier. When Allais received the Award in 1980, Samuelson said: "Had Allais earliest writings been in English, a generation of economic theory would have taken a different course"

    A first edition of Expected utility hypotheses and the Allais Paradox by Maurice Allais and Ole Hagen (1979)

    It was a gift from M. Allais to Jan Tinbergen. In the book dedication, Allais declares his admiration to Tinbergen, symbolizing a period in which the different branches of economics had a stronger connection.


    Tinbergen was awarded the first Nobel Prize in Economics ten years before this dedication. He is considered one of the founding fathers of econometrics and was tremendously influential in Europe—in macroeconomics, mostly. Meanwhile, Allais—who will be awarded the Nobel Prize about ten years after this dedication—was a theoretician, also very influential in Europe, but mostly in microeconomics.

    The complete works of Yasunari Kawabata (1899–1972)

    Kawabata was the first Japanese author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature (1968). His novels and short stories are characterized by a spare, lyrical, subtly-shaded prose. Kawabata can be considered the father of a tradition that survives nowadays with authors such as Kenzaburo Oe and Yoko Ogawa.


    My collection of Kawabata's works include a first English edition of The Lake (1974) and the compiled correspondence between Kawabata and Yukio Mishima.

    A first edition of Ricardo's Economics by Michio Morishima (1989).

    It was a gift from Morishima to Kenneth Arrow.
    In my opinion, it is an emblem of the end of an era: the end of general-theory research in mainstream economics. Kenneth Arrow was the most influential economist of his generation and a symbol of the Walrasian general theory heritage. Morishima was a very important dude too (he was a professor at LSE, President of the Econometric Society...). “Ricardo's Economics”, together with "Marx's Economics" and "Walras' Economics", completed a sequence of works in which Morishima reinterpreted the main general-theory traditions.

    A first edition of Almanaque La Ilustración (1880)

    This was Wikipedia before Wikipedia.


    Before the invention of the radio, it was quite difficult to know what was happening outside of one's village. This type of publications was the usual way to inform people on international reality. It had stories about geography, politics, culture, etc. It was beautifully illustrated by pieces based on travelers' narratives. An ideal example of how social sciences were deeply tied to literature and a recent past.


  • Social Me

    Check out my latest updates!