About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Author archive for Desiree Desierto

What determines trust?

(with John V.C. Nye (1), Gregory Androuschak (2),Garett Jones (4), Maria Yudkevich (5)) Human capital positively affects the propensity to trust, and its contribution appears larger than the combined effect of other omitted variables including, plausibly, social and environmental factors.

Reforming institutions and building trust to achieve sustained economic development

Focusing solely on anti-corruption may undermine lasting institutional reform if property rights, credibility and stability are weakened in the course of enforcing against anomalous transactions. An optimal strategy may be to treat anti-corruption as part of a larger overall framework of building trust in society

Imitation dynamics with spatial Poisson-distributed review and mutation rates

  Using spatial Poisson processes, we re-interpret the Imitation Dynamics and show how the spatial clustering of players affects both the selection of strategies and the speed by which they replicate. We …find that the more clustered are the players, (a) the faster the evolution of strategies and (b) if some players have inherent preferences...

2D:4D asymmetry and gender differences in academic performance: evidence from Moscow and Manila

(with John V.C. Nye, Grigory Androuschak, Garett Jones, and Maria Yudkevich) Exposure to prenatal androgens affects both future behavior and life choices. However, there is still relatively limited evidence on its effects on academic performance. Moreover, the predicted effect of exposure to prenatal testosterone (T) – which is inversely correlated with the relative length of the...

Stimulating investment and growth in the Philippines: the need for first-order market reforms

We show that the most important barriers to investment and growth in the Philippines are structural and institutional problems that are characteristic of limited access societies, which can be more effectively and efficiently overcome by prioritizing ‘first-order’ market reforms that increase competition and openness, rather than by government regulations that enforce against the distortions.

Contagious migration: evidence from the Philippines

Outward migration data from the Philippines exhibit spatial clustering. This is likely due to information spillover effects-­‐fellow migrants share information with other neighboring migrants, thereby lowering the costs of migration.
The demand for unfair gambles: Why illegal lotteries persist

The demand for unfair gambles: Why illegal lotteries persist

We show how cheating in illegal gambling can be sustained in equilibrium, even when gamblers are aware of it. Not only is cheating pro…fit-maximizing for operators, but it can also be utility-maximizing if it provides gamblers the opportunity to engage in other related activities that generate non-monetary rewards, such as practicing superstitions.