Paula Bustos

Paula Bustos

Institute for Political Economy and Governance

Social & Behavioural Sciences

Paula Bustos is ICREA research professor at IPEG, a Research Fellow at the European Economic Association and the CEPR and Co-Editor at the Journal of International Economics. She obtained her PhD in Economics at Harvard University and her Bachelor Degree at Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Argentina. She studies the economic effects of climate change, new agricultural technologies and international market integration. Her work has been published in leading journals such as the American Economic Review and the Quarterly Journal of Economics and is widely cited. Her research on agricultural productivity and structural tranformation has been funded by a Starting Grant from the European Research Council in 2017. Her new research line on adjustment to climate change in developing countries has been funded by a Consolidator Grant in 2023.  

Research interests

My research can be described as empirical investigations in economic development closely guided by international trade theory.

My first line of research studied the effects of a regional free trade agreement between Argentina and Brazil. I showed that it induced firms to export and innovate but reduced the demand for unskilled labor in the manufacturing sector.

A second line of research analyzes the effect of new agricultural technologies, such as GM crops, on economic development in Brazil. Unskilled workers lost their jobs in agriculture but reallocated to the local manufacturing sector. This inflow if unskilled workers reduced local innovation and manufacturing productivity growth. However, high agricultural profits also led to savings and capital flows towards urban regions where they financed the expansion of the manufacturing and service sectors.

A recent line of research studies the effects of climate change on labor and capital allocation across sectors and regions in Brazil.

Selected research activities


PI of ERC Starting Grant “Economic Development and Structral Transformation.”

Professional Activities:

Co-Editor, Journal of International Economics

Member of the Council of the European Economic Association

Co-leader of Theme 4: Trade and spatial frictions. Structural Transformation and Economic Growth, UK DFID-CEPR Research Program.

Conference organization:

CEPR STEG Themes 3&4 Workshop: Agricultural productivity and sectoral gaps & Trade and spatial frictions, Online.

Conference Presentations and Invited Seminars:

CEPR Paris Symposium, Trade & Development EOS conference Belgium (KU Leuven,U. Catholique de Louvain, U. Namur, and U. Antwerp), Environmental Economics Seminar Toulouse School of Economics, King’s College Workshop on Trade and Development (London), IX Workshop on Structural Transformation and Macroeconomic Dynamics (Cagliari),  CEPR Labour Economics Symposium* (London),  Joint OECD and European Commission Global Forum on Productivity (Brussels), Armenian Economic Association (keynote), UEA North American Meeting, CEBRA, VDEV/CEPR/BREAD Virtual Seminar, Virtual Workshop  on Trade, Spatial Economics and the Environment (Purdue University), LSE Capabilities Seminar.