CofC Logo

Jessica Madariaga, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Economics

Address: Beatty, Room 333
Office Hours: By appointment
Phone: 843-953-1992
Curriculum Vitae: Download


North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC August 2012                                
Ph.D., Economics

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA May 2004                                    
M.S., Economics

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA December 2001                      
B.S., Economics
B.S., Industrial and Systems Engineering

Research Interests

Research Assistant to Aslı Leblebicio ˘ glu, NC State Fall 2007, Fall 2008
Collected data from Ward’s Automotive Yearbook and built a Herfindahl index to measure
market concentration
Collected and organized data on state level sectoral employment from the BLS

Research Assistant to Patrick McCarthy, GaTech Fall 2002–May 2004
Developed questions for surveying paper industry’s best practices in trucking logistics
Jointly interviewed a senior manager in the paper industry regarding their trucking logistics
Created a set of performance-evaluation criteria and developed a survey for analyzing best
practices in the paper industry

Research Assistant to Usha Nair-Reichert, GaTech Fall 2001
Collected and cleaned firm level data from East Asia during the financial crisis period

Courses Taught

Econ 201  Principles of Macroeconomics

Honors and Awards

Graduate Teaching Scholarship, NC State                        Summer 2006–Fall 2010
Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, NC State             Spring 2008
Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics honor society)           Spring 2003
Research Assistantship Scholarship, GaTech                  Fall 2002–Spring 2004



Investment Specific Productivity and the Role of Imported Equipment in Latin America
(Job market paper)
Over the last two decades, Latin America has transitioned from relatively high levels of
trade protection to more open trade regimes. This paper measures the contribution of imported
equipment to growth in output per worker for fourteen Latin American countries
between 1966 and 2005. I find that there exists significant variation in the contribution of
imported equipment to growth across Latin America. For example, 31.6 percent of growth
in Mexico’s output per worker since the mid-1960s can be attributed to equipment imports
compared to the 1.4 percent contribution from domestically produced equipment. In contrast,
equipment imports to Venezuela contributed just 3.1 percent to growth in output
per worker compared to the 29.7 percent contribution from domestically produced equipment.
I show that the variation across countries is fundamentally related to differences
in complementarities (such as human capital) and factors that have prohibited the efficient
allocation of imported equipment. After controlling for country-specific policies and
fundamentals, I find that increases in outward foreign direct investment facilitate the
acquisition of technical knowledge and bolster the contribution of imported equipment,
while banking crises impede the efficient allocation of capital and reduce the contribution
of imported equipment.

Financial Flows, Composition of Capital, and Growth
(with Aslı Leblebicio˘glu, under review at the European Economic Review)
This paper investigates the extent to which financial integration promotes growth by
improving the quality of a country’s capital stock. To that end, we derive a capital composition
index, where the share of a particular type of capital in the total capital stock
is determined by its embodied efficiency. We construct its empirical counterpart using
capital imports data. We estimate the direct and indirect effects of financial openness
on growth using a simultaneous equations system. We find that while financial flows do
not directly affect growth, they raise growth indirectly by improving the composition of
a country’s capital stock. All else constant, the composition channel yields a growth difference
of 1.52 percentage points between countries with total liabilities equal to the first
quartile and the third quartile. Among the components of financial flows, FDI and equity
liabilities matter more. We also find that the effect of financial flows on the composition
of capital and growth is small and insignificant for countries with less developed financial


Trade Barriers, Domestic Distortions, and the Relative Price of Equipment
This paper constructs a time series for the relative price of equipment for thirteen Latin
American countries from 1960 to 2000. I first find significant differences across countries
in the relative price of equipment. Second, the relative price of equipment fell for
a number of countries in the latter part of the sample, a finding in accordance with the
view that the trade reforms undertaken by the region in the late 1980s and early 1990s
helped lower the cost of equipment. Next, I find that differences in relative prices across
countries arise because of barriers to trade, domestic policy distortions, and differences in
the level of development.