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calls for proposals
  • noticia - Cities – the cornerstone of development in Latin America
  • noticia - For a Safer Latin America: a New Perspective to Prevent and Control Crime
  • Cities – the cornerstone of development i...

    Informal employment, housing, and public transport in Latin American cities are restricting growth and curtailing aspirations of achieving a higher level of socioeconomic development, according to the 20...


    For a Safer Latin America: a New Perspect...

    CAF's 2014 Economy and Development Report proposes a new approach to understand insecurity and violence from the analysis of the elements that make up a criminal event (individual in special circums...

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Since 2002, CAF carries out its Annual Research Competition in the framework of the Research Support Program, an initiative aimed at promoting research in areas of interest for CAF, in order to establish a close relationship between young researchers and more experienced researchers, and to be a place for the generation of projects that contribute to the development of the region.

The competition is mainly aimed, although not exclusively, at researchers associated with universities, research institutes, public and private institutions in Latin America, and to assistant professors, researchers, or post graduate students from CAF's shareholder countries that work at institutions in the United States or Europe, focused on subjects related with Latin America.

CAF provides economic support to the selected proposals, and the finalists may be presented in local seminars or at the annual meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA), and/or may be published in thePerspectivasJournal edited by CAF.

The proposals are evaluated on the basis of the following premises:

  • Relevance of the subject within CAF's agenda for the promotion of development
  • Academic quality of the proposals
  • Relevance from the point of view of the policies

Select each year to see the corresponding winners. 

2002 - 2003

Research Program on Corruption and Prevention Policies

Corruption is considered by Latin Americans one of the most pressing problems their countries currently face. For this reason, CAF launched a call for research proposals on Corruption and Prevention Policies in order to study the consequences of corruption on resource allocation, growth, inequality and state capacity, among other variables, as well as to assess the effectiveness of anticorruption practices and policies. In this opportunity, the jury decided to award three proposals out of 227 received from several countries.

The selection committee included CAF’s researchers (Pablo Brassiolo, Gustavo Fajardo and Juan Vargas), Rafael Di Tella (Harvard Business School), Claudio Ferraz (PUC-Rio), Mónica Martínez-Bravo (CEMFI), and Federico Weinschelbaum (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella).

The winning proposals were:

  • Government Transparency and Political Clientelism: Evidence from Randomized Anti-Corruption Audits in Brazil" by Gustavo Bobonis (University of Toronto), Paul Gertler (University of California-Berkeley), Marco Gonzalez-Navarro (University of California-Berkeley) and Simeon Nichter (University of California-San Diego).
  • Aggregate Effects of Corruption: Evidence from Ecuadorian firm-level data by Felipe Brugués (Brown University), Javier Brugués (University College London) and Samuele Giambra (Brown University).
  • Community Policing and Public Trust: evidence from Colombia by Eric Arias (Princeton University), Rebecca Hanson (University of Florida) and Dorothy Kronick (University of Pennsylvania).

Each winning proposal will receive USD 15 thousand for its development.

In order to analyze the role of energy as a factor for sustainable development in Latin America, CAF launched a call for research proposals on Energy, Environment and Development. In this opportunity, the jury decided to award four proposals out of 240 received from several countries.

The selection committee included Fernando Navajas (FIEL, UNLP y UBA), Francisco Monaldi (IESA), Fernando Tudela (CCGSS y CCAP), Osmel Manzano (BID), Ligia Castro (CAF), Mauricio Garrón (CAF), Pablo Sanguinetti (CAF) y Hamilton Moss (CAF).

Selection criteria for the proposals were policy relevance for Latin America, the novelty of the work and its methodological rigorousness.

The winning proposals were:

  • "Political foundations of electricity losses and theft: evidence from survey experiments and time-series cross-section data in Latin America", by Santiago Lopez-Cariboni. This project aims to analyze political economy aspects of electricity theft. In particular, it looks at whether distributive conflicts and government performance may induce higher tolerance toward illegal energy consumption in several Latin-American countries.
  • "Political-Economy Constraints to Clean-Energy Access for Low-Income Households", by Enrique Kawamura. This research proposal presents a dynamic model analyzing the political constraints that may prevent poverty energy alleviation through access to clean energy technologies.
  • "Dynamic Incentives to Investment in Green Energy:  A Structural Model for Competition in Wholesale Electricity Markets in Developing Countries", by Rodrigo Garcia Ayala. The proposal introduces two structural empirical dynamic models to analyze  the  decisions  of  entry,  exit  and  investment  in electricity-generation industries taking  into  account  the  regulatory framework in place in the country, the expected evolution of market determinants, and competition among firms in  the market.
  • "Studying fuel choices for residential heating and cooking in urban areas of central-southern Chile: the role of preferences, income, prices, and the availability of energy sources and technology",by Walter Gómez Bofill, Mónica Marcela Jaime Torres and Carlos Alberto Chávez Rebolledo. This proposal aims at analyzing the determinants of the choice of fuel and the intensity of fuel use for residential heating and cooking in Central and Southern Chile.

Each winning proposal will receive USD 15 thousand for its development.

Habitat and Urban Development

The jury of the 13th edition of the annual CAF Research Program decided to award five proposals out of 252 received.

 The selection committee included Paul Romer (New York University), Esteban Rossi-Hansberg (Princeton University), Diego Puga (CEMFI), Daniel Rodriguez (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Juan F. Vargas (CAF and Universidad del Rosario) and Pablo Brassiolo, and  Pablo Sanguinetti (CAF).and.

The winning proposals are:

  • "Social Housing Policy and Labor Market Outcomes: Experimental Evidence from Argentina", by Guillermo Cruces, María Laura Alzúa and Julián Amendolaggine. The aim of this proposal is to study the impact of a social housing policy program implemented in Rosario (Argentina) exploiting a random assignment to identify the policy's causal effect on outcomes related to labor market and socioeconomic conditions of benefited households.
  •  "Efecto de los subsidios cruzados en servicios públicos domiciliaros sobre el mercado de vivienda en Bogotá", by Juan Miguel Gallego, Carlos Eduardo Sepúlveda and  Sergio Montoya. This research proposes to examines whether the cross subsidies on utilities, targeted based on dwelling external conditions and habitat surroundings, distort the housing market in Bogota. In order to do so, the authors exploit the discontinuities in the stratification of households and the allocation of subsidies.
  •  "Do you really want your own house?: The impact of home ownership on the labor market: a regression discontinuity design", by Pablo Navarrete and Nicolás Navarrete.

The proposal aims to estimate the causal effect of homeownership on employment using a regression discontinuity design that exploits an arbitrary threshold arising from a voucher-based homeownership program in Chile.

  •  "Slum Growth in a System of Developing World Cities", by Guillermo Alves. The proposal estimates a spatial general equilibrium model for Brazil in order to study quantitatively the factors that affect urbanization, and the incidence and growth ofslums.
  •  "Estimating the costs of traffic congestion in Bogota", by Gilles Duranton. The aim of this proposal is to develop a new methodology based on satellite images to measure urban congestion, and implements it to Bogota (Colombia).

Each winning proposal will receive USD 15 thousands and will be presented in an academic seminar in July.

In this edition four proposals were favored, with a total of 125 that were received from 19 countries. Each will receive USD 15,000 for its realization.

In the 12th edition of the annual CAF Research Program, the jury decided to award four proposals out of 125 received from 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, United States, Guatemala, Honduras, England, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

  • "Early Impacts of College Aid",by Julio Cáceres-Delpiano (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain) and Eugenio P. Giolito (ILADES / Universidad Alberto Hurtado and IZA, Chile). They propose to measure the impact of a loan granted by the Chilean government for higher education, Crédito con Aval del Estado, on outcomes for students in secondary school and on teen pregnancy.
  • "Signalling Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills: Education and Mismatch in Latin America",​​by Leandro Arozamena, Hernán Ruffo and Martín Santamaría (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Argentina). This research project plans to study both theoretically and empirically the implications of education as a signaling technology on job quality and to quantify the mismatch generated if education fails to convey accurate information about the cognitive and non-cognitive skills of an employee.
  • "Skills for the First Job",by Emilia Abusada, Pablo Lavado and Gustavo Yamada (Universidad del Pacífico, Peru). This document targets to identify the cognitive and non-cognitive abilities that increase the probability of being hired at a quality level first job.
  • "The effect of the Kangaroo Mother Care program (KMC) on wages: A structural model", by Orazio Attanasio (UCL and IFS, London, England), Darwin Cortés (Universidad del Rosario, Colombia), Juan Gallego (Universidad del Rosario, Colombia) and Dario Maldonado (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia). The aim is to investigate, through a structural model, the possible mechanisms behind the differences in hourly wages among children who were part of Kangaroo Mother Program in Colombia and those who were not assigned to it.

Innovation and a rigorous methodology in public policies were some of the aspects considered by the selection committee, which included Felipe Barrera-Osorio (Harvard University), Raquel Bernal (Universidad de los Andes) and Sergio Urzúa (University of Maryland).

Each winning proposal will receive USD 15 thousand for its development and will be presented in an academic seminar in July.


In the eleventh edition of CAF's annual Research Contest, the jury decided to choose two winning proposals out of 42 received from eleven countries: Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, United States, China, Uruguay, Spain, Sweden, Peru and Venezuela.

  • "Political Constraints and State Capacity: Evidence from a Land Allocation Program in Mexico", by Leopoldo Fergusson (Universidad de los Andes, Department of Economics. Colombia), Horacio Larreguy (Harvard University, Department of Government. USA)  and Juan Felipe Riaño (Universidad de los Andes, Department of Economics. Colombia). This is a proposal to understand the political constraints in the development of State capacity through the analysis of the regulation regarding land allocation in Mexico.
  • "Endogenous emergence of tax institutions and tax performance in the context of ongoing internal conflict: The case of Colombia" by Jacob Shapiro (Princeton University. USA), Abbey Steele  (Syracuse University. USA)  and Juan F. Vargas (Universidad del Rosario. Colombia). The proposal is to analyze the development of State capacities through the strengthening of tax institutions in a context of internal conflict.

Innovation and a rigorous methodology in public policies were some of the aspects considered by the evaluating committee, which included James Robinson and Lant Pritchett, from Harvard, Mariano Tommasi (Udesa), and CAF's research team.

Each winning proposal will receive USD 15 thousand for its development and will be presented in a seminar in July.

The 2013 invitation read:

The 2012 winning papers about "Citizen Security" were:

  • Crime Protection Investment Spillovers: Theory and Evidence  (F. Amodio)
  • Mi Parque: Experimental Evidence on the Impact of Public Park Upgrading on Citizen Security and Social Capital (F. Gallego, R. Soares y M. Braun)
  • Agricultural Shocks, Crime and the Drug Trade in Mexico (O. Dube, O. García-Ponte, y K. Thom)
  • The Origins of Citizen Support for Narcos: An Empirical Investigation (F. Machado, K. Imai, G. Blair y C. Velasco)

Call of proposals: CAF - AL CAPONE on Citizen Security in Latin America

The 2011 winning papers about "Producitivity and Business Abilities" were:

  • "Distortions, Resource Misallocation and Productivity in Latin America" de N. Guner (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona) y G. Ventura (Arizona State University)
  • "Impacto de las políticas de fomento al emprendedorismo: el caso de Buenos Aires Emprende" de H. Ruffo (IERAL de Fundación mediterránea), I. Butler (IERAL de Fundación mediterránea), G. Galassi (IERAL de Fundación mediterránea) y G. Gonzalez (IERAL de Fundación mediterránea)
  • "Young businesses, entrepreneurship, and the dynamics of output and employment in Colombia's manufacturing industry"  de M. Eslava (Universidad de Los Andes) y J. Haltiwanger (University of Maryland)
  • "Financial Frictions, Occupational Choice and Economic Inequality" de L. Allub (Universidad Carlos III) y A. Erosa (Universidad Carlos III)

The 2010 winning paper about "Fiscal policy and development" was: 

The 2009 winning papers about "Development and Natural Resources. How to break the course?" were: 

  • "State Formation, Tax Structures and Mineral Abundance: Chile and Peru, 1850-1930s", from Maritza Paredes

The 2004 winning papers about "Increasing the commercial presence of Latin America in the global economy" were: 







The 2002 winning papers about "Research Support Program Launch" were: 

 The 2003 winning papers about "How to take up growing in Latin America again?" were: 



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