Unfair Trade: Market Power in Agricultural Value Chains

Job Market Paper

I show that market power among exporters is a key driver of low farmer income in agricultural value chains. Using novel microdata from Ecuador, I document low farmer income and high exporter concentration across a wide range of crops. I propose a model of farmer crop choice and exporter strategic interaction that links farmer income to exporter concentration via two elasticities, which govern heterogeneity in farmer costs of switching crops and switching exporters. The estimated model implies that farmer income would be 77% higher if exporters behaved competitively. Counterfactual Fair Trade policies achieve up to half of the benefits from perfect competition, suggesting a practical method for counteracting market power.


More than a Technicality: Technical Barriers to Trade and International Market Structure

Work in Progress, with Ana Fernandes and Daniel Reyes

We examine how technical barriers to trade shape the structure of international markets. We construct the first dataset combining firm-level data on the universe of importers and exporters across seven Latin American countries and market-level data on all technical barriers affecting those markets over 20 years. At the market-level, we show that following the introduction of a new restriction, the export side of the market becomes more concentrated relative to the import side, and import prices rise. Using the firm-level data, we decompose the price change into a quality channel and a competition channel. Although higher quality explains most of the price increase, lower competition still plays an important role.

Research Funding & Grants

James Tobin Grant for Graduate Research

Funding for an undergrad research assistant (2020)

Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund Grant

Funded an undergraduate research assistant (2021)

MacMillan Center International Dissertation Fellowship

Funding for travel to Quito to collaborate with the Ecuador Tax Authority (2019)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship


Nathan Hale Associates Scholarship


Cowles Foundation Fellowship