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Hugo Jales

Hugo Jales

Contact Information:


426 Eggers Hall

Office Hours:

By Appointment

Staff Support:

Alyssa Kirk


Hugo Jales

Associate Professor, Economics Department

Senior Research Associate, Center for Policy Research


Fall 2023

Not teaching

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., University of British Columbia, 2015


Hugo Jales is an assistant professor of economics at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a senior research associate in the Center for Policy Research. Before beginning his Ph.D., Hugo studied economics in Brazil at Fundacao Getulio Vargas and Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.

His main research interests are labor economics and applied econometrics. He is currently investigating the relationship between the minimum wage and unemployment, wage inequality, labor tax revenues and the size of the informal sector. Hugo has published papers in journals such as the Journal of Applied Econometrics, World Economy, Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, and others. 

Jales earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of British Colombia's Vancouver School of Economics in 2015.

Areas of Expertise

Labor economics, econometrics


"Childbearing and the Distribution of the Reservation Price of Fertility: The Case of the Korean Baby Bonus Program" (with Dahae Choo). forthcoming at the Journal of Asian Economics.

"Minimum Contrast Empirical Likelihood Inference of Discontinuity in Density" (with Jun Ma and Zhengfei Yu). Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, 2020.

"Balancing tests in stratified randomized controlled trials: A cautionary note" (with Sergio Firpo and Miguel Foguel). Economics Letters, 2020.

"The Differential Incidence and Severity of Food Insecurity by Racial, Ethnic, and Immigrant Groups over the Great Recession in the United States" (with Alfonso Flores-Lagunes, Judith Liu, and Norbert L. Wilson), AEA Papers and Proceedings, 2018.

"Estimating the Effects of Minimum Wage in a Developing Country: A Density Discontinuity Design Approach", Journal of Applied Econometrics, 2018.

(2014 International Association for Applied Econometrics graduate student paper award, 2015 Bank of Canada graduate student paper award.)

"Identification and Estimation Using a Density Discontinuity Approach" with Zhengfei Yu, In Cattaneo M. D. and Escanciano J. C (Eds) Advances in Econometrics, volume 38, Regression Discontinuity Designs: Theory and Applications, 29-72, 2017.

(2018 Emerald Literati Awards. - Outstanding Author Contribution)

"Optimal Bandwidth Selection for Local Linear Estimation of Discontinuity in Density" (with Jun Ma and Zhengfei Yu), Economics Letters, 153, 23-27, 2017.

"Measuring the Role of the 1959 Revolution on Cuba's Economic Performance" (with Felipe Ribeiro, Guilherme Stein and Thomas H. Kang), The World Economy, 2018.

"Measuring Peer Effects in the Brazilian School System" (with Sergio Firpo and Cristine Pinto), Applied Economics, 2015.

Working Papers:

"Minimum wage and Informality in a Roy Bargaining Economy: Evidence from a Bunching Estimator" (with Zhengfei Yu). R&R at the Journal of Labor Economics.

"Separating Selection From Spillover Effects: Using the Mode to Estimate the Return to City Size" (with Stuart Rosenthal and Boqian Jiang). R&R at the Journal of Urban Economics.

"Unintended yet desirable effects of centralized college admission: Mobility costs and college enrollment for students with disabilities." (with Aline Dalcin and Guilherme Stein).

Inequality in Food Security and the Role of Mitigating Policies(with Alfonso Flores- Lagunes, Norbert Wilson, and Judith Liu). Under review.

"Paying by waiting in line: Public sector queuing and the public sector wage gap'' (with Felipe Araujo).