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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. 

Banks' physical footprint and financial technology adoption

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

We investigate how financial technology diffusion is moderated by the presence of brick-and-mortar bank branches. 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 remain unaffected.  We then document that customers increase their usage of non-cash payments after the events.  We 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 intra-municipality transactions increase, as well as the number of users.  We also find Pix usage spillover effects that go beyond cash substitution. First, the number of Pix transactions and users also increase when either the payer or the payee is in another municipality.  Second, we show that there are important local spillovers, especially to digital institutions, indicating that cash dependence can be an impediment to the expansion of fintechs. Our results shed light on the determinants of technology adoption and the consequences of the recent transition in the banking industry from a physical branch-based model to an increasing 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



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