Assistant Professor Public Budgeting and Finance
School of Public and International Affairs - University of Georgia
My research interests lie in the intersection between public finance and social policy. I focus on taxation and behavior and on revenue-generating social-policies that provide different levels of governments with fiscal independence while at the same time attaining social goals. My specific interests include consumption taxation effects on local government finances, taxation of sugar-sweetened beverage, sales tax holidays, higher education financial aid and more recently policy responses to the opioid epidemic and to the COVID-19 epidemic.
As examples, in one of my most recent articles published in Health Affairs regarding state funding for substance-use disorder (SUD) treatment, together with Prof. Cristina Andrews and Prof. Amanda Abraham, we find that the Medicaid expansion was associated with lower levels of state funding for SUD treatments, while still increasing the general level of funding. In a different article recently published in the Municipal Finance Journal regarding sales tax collections during COVID, together with Prof. Michelle Lofton, we study patterns of fiscal resiliency, finding what seems to be permanent changes where localities with traditional tax bases (brick-and-mortar) were negatively affected (less sales tax collections), and where, in contrast, suburban residential localities with disproportionate broadband access, received a windfall of resources which we attribute to additional online sales.
My research has been published in journals such as Health Affairs, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Demography, the Municipal Finance Journal and Health Economics, and my work has been portrayed by media outlets such as US News & World Report, the Wall Street Journal, Tax Foundation, and NPR. You can find more about my research here.
I joined the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs, as Assistant Professor of Public Budgeting and Finance in the Fall of 2020. I received my PhD in Public Affairs from Indiana University's O'Neill School in the Spring of 2020, holding concentrations in Public Finance and Policy Analysis and a minor in Data Science from the School of Informatics. Previously, I served as a Consultant for the World Bank, in matters related to student financial aid, and I was the Chief Planning Officer (2014) for ICETEX, the student loan agency in my home country, Colombia.