(Listed by descending publication date; but my favorites are marked with stars ***)

Bahar, D., S Rosenow, E Stein, and R Wagner. "Export take-offs and acceleration: Unpacking cross-sector linkages in the evolution of comparative advantage". World Development. Volume 117, May 2019, pp. 48-60

The elevator pitch: Using global exports data, we find that (i) countries tend to diversify towards technologically related products, and (ii) developing countries also tend to diversify upstream of current exports, not through downstream processing (e.g., a country is more likely to become exporters of textiles, if it already has a large garment sector). This is consistent with Albert Hirschman’s 60-year-old view that the forces behind upstream linkages fueled the growth of new competitive industries in the developing world.[Brookings blog post]

*** Bahar, D., and H Rapoport. "Migration, Knowledge Diffusion and the Comparative Advantage of Nations".The Economic Journal. Volume 128, Issue 612, July 2018, pp. F273-F305

The elevator pitch: We find that countries are more likely to become exporters in sectors new to them when they host a larger host of immigrants from other nations that are competitive exporters of those same sectors. A 10% increase in immigration from exporters of a given product is associated with a 2% increase in the likelihood that the host country starts exporting that good ‘from scratch’ in the next decades.[VoxDev blog post] [LSE blog post]

Bahar, D., CA Molina, and MA Santos. "Fool's Gold: The Impact of Venezuelan Currency Devaluations on Multinational Stock Prices". Economía (Journal of LACEA). Volume 19, Issue 1, Fall 2018, pp. 93-128.

The elevator pitch: We find that multinational firms active in Venezuela experienced abnormal negative shocks in their stock prices following arguably predictable devaluations in Venezuela. We use synthetic control methods to confirm our findings. We interpret the results as a suggestive indication of market inefficiencies in the process of asset pricing.[VoxLACEA blog post]

*** Bahar D. "The middle productivity trap: dynamics of productivity dispersion". Economic Letters. Volume 167, June 2018, pp. 60-66

The elevator pitch: I find productivity divergence for firms within a country and (narrowly defined) industries, with both low and very high productivity firms growing at significant faster paces. This pattern can explain the rising productivity dispersion and increasing market share of hi-productivity firms. I find that this divergence is particularly prevalent among knowledge intensive industries, suggesting that it responds to the difficulties in the diffusion of knowledge. [ Brookings blog post] [Media mentions: New York Times]

*** Bahar, D. and MA Santos. "One more resource curse: Dutch disease and export concentration." Journal of Development Economics, Volume 132, May 2018, pp. 102-114

The elevator pitch: We find that Dutch disease episodes result in lower export diversification of the non-resource tradable sector. We use data on discovery of oil and gas fields and of commodity prices as sources of exogenous variation, and find that countries with larger shares of natural resources in exports have more concentrated non-resource export baskets. We also find capital-intensive exports tend to dominate the export basket of countries prone to Dutch disease episodes.

*** Bahar, D., R. Hausmann, and C.A. Hidalgo. "Neighbors and the Evolution of the Comparative Advantage of Nations: Evidence of International Knowledge Diffusion?" Journal of International Economics, Volume 92, Issue 1, January 2014, pp. 111-123.

The elevator pitch: We study export similarity among neighbors in both static and dynamic settings. We find that a country is 65% more likely to start exporting goods currently being exported by a neighboring country. These results are what would be expected from the localized character of knowledge diffusion.

Working on...

Bahar, D. "The hardships of long distance relationships: time zone proximity and the location of MNC’s knowledge-intensive activities". Revision requested by the Journal of International Economics

Elevator pitch: The transmission of knowledge within multinational firms is difficult, even more so when affiliates are geographically far from their headquarters. But I find that time zone matters: using a regression discontinuity I compare the knowledge intensity of the activities of affiliates that are equidistant to the headquarters, but just accross a time zone line. Those affiliates that are in a closer time zone to the headquarters are active in more knowledge intensive industries.[CID Working paper (latest version)]

Bahar, D., R Choudhury and H Rapoport. "Migrant inventors and the technological advantage of nations". Revision requested by Research Policy

Elevator pitch: We find that countries are more likely to start patenting in a technology when it hosts immigrant inventors from countries that specialize in those same techs. We also find, usnig patent-level data, that migrant inventors are more prevalent in the first bulk of patents of a country in a given technology, as compared to patents filed at later stages. We interpret these results as tangible evidence of migrants facilitating the technology-specific diffusion of knowledge across nations.[HBS working paper (latest version)]

Bahar, D., H Rapoport and R Turatti. "Does Birthplace Diversity affect Economic Complexity Cross-country Evidence". Revision requested by Research Policy

Elevator pitch: We find that countries with higher birthplace diversity (due to migration) results in higher economic complexity.

Bahar, D. "Diasporas and economic development: A review of the evidence and policy". Revision requested by Comparative Economic Studies (Special Issue 25th Dubrovnik Economic Conference).

Elevator pitch: I provide a review of the literature on gains from diaspora for home countries through a number of economic channels.

Bahar, D., A Hauptman, C Ozguzel and H Rapoport. "Migration and post-conflict reconstruction: The effect of returning refugees on export performance in the former Yugoslavia"

Elevator pitch: During the early 1990s over 500 thousand refugees from Yugoslavia settled in Germany. A few years later, after the 1995 peace treaties were signed, most of them were repatriated back. We find that the industries that perform best in the Yugoslavian countries post-1995 were the ones for which returning refugees worked in while in Germany. The effect is driven by refugees in occupations with managerial characteristics.[IZA working paper (latest version)] [VoxDev Column]

Kim, DY, Bahar, D and Choudhury R. "The expansion in the spread of ideas and in global collaborations through flight connectedness"

Elevator pitch: Using a regression discontinuity, we study how the existence of non-stop flights between inventors affects the likelihood of global collaborations in patenting.

Bahar, D., R Choudhury and J Sappenfield. "Migration Policy Reform and Global Collaborative Patenting within Multinational Firms: Causal Multi-country Evidence"

Elevator pitch: We study changes in patterns of global innovation following hundreds of migration reforms across 15 countries. We find that reforms that ease the inflow of foreigners or of returning citizens results in higher cross-border patenting activity for multinational corporations.

Bahar, D., AM Ibañez and S Rozo. "Large-Scale Regularization of Forced Migrants: Impacts on Labor Markets and Crime"

Elevator pitch: We study effects on labor markets and on crime of a massive regularization process that provided temporary protected status to nearly 500,000 undocumented Venezuelans in Colombia in 2018.

Bahar, D. and M Fiszbein. "Stages of Development, revisited"

Elevator pitch: We revisit the evidence behind the relationship between diversification of exports and income levels.

Book chapters & reviews

Bahar, D. and M. Dooley, (2019) "No Refugees and Migrants Left Behind". In H. Kharas, J. McArthur and Ohno, I. (Eds.), Leave No One Behind: Time for Specifics on the Sustainable Development Goals" (79-104). Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

Bahar, D., (2019) “The Economy Is about Firms: Productive Slowdown and Divergence”. In Productive Equity: The Twin Challenges of Reviving Productivity and Reducing Inequality (81-99). Washington, DC: Brookings Institution and Chumir Foundation.

Bahar, D. and K. Foda, (2019) “The Technology-Productivity Paradox: Why Has Productivity Growth Slowed?” In Productive Equity: The Twin Challenges of Reviving Productivity and Reducing Inequality (101-140). Washington, DC: Brookings Institution and Chumir Foundation.

Bahar, D. "Review of Israel’s Technology Economy: Origins and Impact (by David Rosenberg)", Israel Studies Review, 2018, 33(3), 173-174.


Bahar, D. 2009. "Aid and Fertility." Harvard CID Working Papers Series, no. 38.

Elevator pitch: I find that foreign aid increases fertility rates among countries, using as an instrumental variable natural disasters occuring in neighboring countries.[HKS working paper]