Gangs, Labor Mobility, and Development

Event Sponsor
Berkeley-Stanford Latin American Politics Workshop, UC Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies
Gangs, Labor Mobility, and Development

The Berkeley-Stanford Latin American Politics Workshop and Stanford CLAS present: "Gangs, Labor Mobility, and Development" by Dr. Carlos Schmidt-Padilla Dr. Padilla studies how two of the world's largest gangs — MS-13 and 18th Street — affect economic development in El Salvador. The emergence of these gangs was the consequence of an exogenous shift in American immigration policy that led to the deportation of gang leaders from the United States to El Salvador. Using a spatial regression discontinuity design, he found that individuals in gang-controlled neighborhoods have less material wellbeing, income, and education than individuals living only 50 meters away, but outside of gang territory. None of these discontinuities existed before the emergence of the gangs. A key mechanism behind the results is that gangs restrict individuals' freedom of movement, affecting their labor market options. Residents of gang territory are also more likely to drop out of school. The results are not determined by selective migration, differential exposure to extortion, or differences in public goods provision.

Speaker: Carlos Schmidt-Padilla is a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford Impact Labs, and is affiliated with the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. He received his doctorate in Political Science from UC Berkeley.

Cosponsors: Organized by the Berkeley-Stanford Latin American Politics Workshop. Cosponsored by UC Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies and Stanford University Center for Latin American Studies.

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