Insper Institute of Education and Research

Rua Quatá 300, Office 720

São Paulo– SP, Brazil, 04546-042


Research interests: Corporate Finance, Banking, Household Finance, Development Economics


Working Papers

Speed of payment in procurement contracts: the role of political connections

Abstract: I provide evidence of a new channel through which politicians can exchange favors with campaign donors: earlier payment in procurement contracts. I explore an electoral reform that bans corporate contributions and partially breaks down the relationship between donors and politicians. Using a within-firm difference-in-differences identification strategy, I find that the payment period to firms that donate to the coalition government increases after the reform. The effect is larger in municipalities with low liquidity and for contracts allocated through competitive procurement methods. My results point to the importance of designing rules that curb discretion over payment dates.

The economic victims of violence: local exports during the Mexican drug war

(with Jesús Gorrín and  José Morales-Arilla)

Abstract: This paper documents how violence resulting from the Mexican Drug War hindered local export growth. Focusing on exports allows us to abstract from demand factors and measure effects on the local capacity to supply foreign markets. We compare exports of the same product to the same country, but facing differential exposure to violence after a close electoral outcome. Firms exogenously exposed to the Drug War experienced lower export growth. Violence eroded the local capacity to attract capital investment, disproportionately hampering large exporters and capital-intensive activities.

The role of restructuring in bank M&As: evidence from branch-level data

(with Lucas Mariani)

Abstract: We study how banks restructure their operations after M&As and the implications for bank outcomes and credit provision. We leverage rich data at the branch level of private Brazilian banks, including labor force characteristics and financial information such as assets, liabilities, revenues, and costs. The consolidated conglomerates engage in substantial resources reallocation compared to their private counterparts. Acquirer and target branches are restructured on different margins. Labor is reallocated towards acquirer branches, which experience an increase in the quality of their loan officers. Restructuring increases profitability in both acquirer and target branches, in markets where the event leads to a meaningful increase in market power and in markets where it does not. Improvements in lending provision and deposits collection at acquirer branches, and cost reduction in target branches are behind this increase in profitability. Our results point out that restructuring is an essential value-creation mechanism of M&As above and beyond concentration gains, and that it reshapes the provision of financial services across the branch network of the new conglomerate. 

Bank branches and financial technology adoption: evidence from Brazil

(with Lucas Mariani and José Renato Ornelas, draft available upon request)

We study how the temporary interruption of in-person bank branch services spurs the use of digital payment technologies.  Our identification strategy uses services suspensions caused by criminal groups that perform hit-and-run raids exploding branch facilities and rendering them inoperable for a couple of months.  We show that the shock depletes the cash inventory of branches, but the stock of credit and deposits is unaffected.  We then document that customers increase their usage of non-cash payments.  We also investigate a new instant payment technology called Pix that was a remarkable success in terms of adoption.  After robbery events,  the number and volume of Pix transactions and the number of users increase.  While the number of households using Pix increases both as payers and payees, the number of firms only increases for payees, suggesting that consumers were the ones driving the increase in the use of technology. Moreover, we show that there are important local spillovers to non-branch based institutions that can have important competition effects.  Our results shed light on the determinants of technology adoption and the consequences of the recent transition in the banking industry from a brick-and-mortar branch-based model to an increasingly reliance on digital services.


The impact of household debt on labor supply 

(with Nelson Camanho, Toni dos Santos and Jesús Gorrín)

The labor market effects of a credit crunch

(with Marco Bonomo, Cecilia Machado and Bruno Martins)

Publication in Refereed Brazilian Journal

Idiosyncratic Moments and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns in Brazil, Brazilian Review of Econometrics, Vol. 36, 2, 255-286, 2016. (with Caio Almeida and Cristina Tessari)





Bernardo Ricca