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Sebastián Otero

Sebastián Otero

Spring 2016 Graduate Fellowship Recipient
Stanford Center on Global Poverty and Development


Sebastián Otero is a PhD student in economics at Stanford University. His research interests include econometrics and public economics in developing countries. Before entering the PhD program, Otero worked as a research associate for J-PAL LAC, developing projects in Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Originally from Chile, Otero holds a BA and MA in economics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Fellowship research abstract

Spatial Inequality and Migration: Evidence from College Admissions in Brazil

In this proposal, we exploit the introduction of a centralized university admission system in order to study how migration can attenuate spatial inequalities in Brazil. Recent studies have highlighted the role of geographical location on economic outcomes, specifically within intergeneration mobility and poverty persistence. On the other hand, there is evidence suggesting that college application processes present several asymmetries that prevent high-achieving, low-income students from attending more selective colleges. Our project builds on both kinds of literature: to what extent is wage inequality reduced by moving talented low-income students from their local colleges to selective universities in lower-poverty regions?