PhD Candidate, Department of Economics

Contact Information

Department of Economics
Northwestern University
2211 Campus Dr
Evanston, IL 60208

Phone: 224-304-3896

alexey.makarin@u.northwestern.edu

 

 

Curriculum Vitae

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Education

Ph.D., Economics, Northwestern University, 2019 (expected)
MA, Economics, Northwestern University, 2014
BA, Economics, National Research University – Higher School of Economics, 2012

Fields of Specialization

Development Economics, Political Economy, Applied Microeconomics

Job Market Paper

“Trading with the Enemy: The Impact of Conflict on Trade Transactions in Non-Conflict Areas” with Vasily Korovkin
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This study presents novel evidence on the effects of conflict on trade in non-conflict areas. We examine the context of the ongoing Russian military intervention in Ukraine. In a difference-in-differences framework, we leverage a newly compiled firm-level panel with the universe of Ukrainian trade transactions from 2013 through 2016 and exploit substantial spatial variation in the ethnolinguistic composition of Ukrainian counties. The estimates suggest that Ukrainian firms from counties with fewer ethnic Russians experienced a deeper decline in trade with Russia. We argue that this result stems from increased inter-ethnic tensions and a differential rise in negative attitudes and beliefs about Russia. Evidence indicates that possible mechanisms include consumer boycotts of Russian products, reputational concerns of Ukrainian firms, and a breakdown of trust in contract enforcement. In contrast, we find no evidence for individual-level animosity between firms’ key decision makers or discrimination at the border. We also rule out that the differential decline in trade only arises from economic spillovers, such as refugee flows and destruction of supply chains with conflict areas.

Publications

“Can Online Off-The-Shelf Lessons Improve Student Outcomes? Evidence from A Field Experiment” with Kirabo Jackson, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, August 2018, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 226-254 [Link to a Journal Article]
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“Reducing Bureaucratic Corruption: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on What Works” with Jordan Gans-Morse, Mariana Borges, Theresa Mannah-Blankson, Andre Nickow, and Dong Zhang, World Development, May 2018, vol. 105, pp. 171-188 [Link to a Journal Article]
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Working Papers

“Social Media and Protest Participation: Evidence from Russia” with Ruben Enikolopov and Maria Petrova, Revised and Resubmitted to Econometrica
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Abstract: Do new communication technologies, such as social media, reduce collective action problem? This paper provides evidence that penetration of VK, the dominant Russian online social network, affected protest activity during a wave of protests in Russia in 2011. As a source of exogenous variation in network penetration, we use information on the city of origin of the students who studied together with the founder of VK, controlling for the city of origin of the students who studied at the same university several years earlier or later. We find that a 10% increase in VK penetration increased the probability of a protest by 4.6%, and the number of protesters by 19%. At the same time, VK penetration increased pro-governmental support, with no evidence of increased polarization. Additional results suggest that social media has affected protest activity by reducing the costs of coordination, rather than by spreading information critical of the government. We find that cities with higher fractionalization of network users between VK and Facebook experienced fewer protests, and there is a critical mass of VK users necessary to jumpstart the protests. Finally, we provide suggestive evidence that municipalities with higher VK penetration received smaller transfers from the central government after the occurrence of protests.

“Social Networks, Peer Pressure, and Protest Participation” with Ruben Enikolopov, Maria Petrova, and Leonid Polishchuk
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Abstract: Social motivation plays an important role in electoral participation, political contributions, and charitable donations. We examine the role of social image concerns in the decision to participate in political protests. We develop a dynamic model of protest participation, where socially-minded individuals use protest participation to signal their type to the peers. We test predictions of the model using individual and city-level data from 2011-2012 political protests in Russia. We report several findings. First, list experiment results imply that social signaling motives indeed were important for the decision to participate in protests. Second, consistent with the model, protest participation was declining over time. Third, participation in online protest groups increased offline protest participation. Fourth, participation in protests was higher in cities with higher social capital. Finally, the importance of both online social networks and offline social capital for protest participation diminished over time, consistent with predictions of the model.

“National or Sub-National Parties: Does Party Geographic Scope Matter?” with Ricardo Pique and Fernando Aragon, submitted
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Abstract: In many developing countries, sub-national parties have emerged as dominant forces in local elections. This denationalization of local politics has raised concerns of increasing regional populism, weaker accountability, and worsening political selection. This paper examines whether the geographic scope of a party (national, regional or local) affects policy outcomes, such as budget size and expenditure allocation. Using a regression discontinuity design and rich data from Peruvian municipalities, we find negligible differences in policy outcomes between national and sub-national parties. We also document small differences in politician’s education and perceived corruption. This lack of effect of party type seems to reflect policy convergence driven by political competition. Overall, our results challenge the view that sub-national parties are detrimental to local governance.

Work in Progress

“Conflict and Propagation of Economic Shocks” with Vasily Korovkin
“Unintended Long-Term Consequences of Industrial Nuclear Explosions in the USSR” with Natalya Naumenko
“What to Run on? Candidate Electoral Platforms in Peru” with Ricardo Pique
“Evaluating the Effectiveness of Small Businesses Tax Support” with Vasily Korovkin
“Location Response to Tax Incentives: Evidence from Russia” with Youssef Benzarti and Vasily Korovkin
“Conditional Quantile Regression in Value-Added Models” with Kirabo Jackson

Teaching Experience

Political Economics for Prof. Bruno Strulovici, Spring 2015
Intermediate Microeconomics for Prof. Eric Schulz, Fall 2014 and 2017
Intermediate Microeconomics for Prof. Yingni Guo, Winter 2018
Download Teaching Evaluations (PDF)

References

Prof. Nancy Qian (Committee Chair)
Prof. Lori Beaman
Prof. Georgy Egorov
Prof. Nicola Persico
Prof. Christopher Udry