Paula Bustos

Paula Bustos

Institute for Political Economy and Governance

Social & Behavioural Sciences

Paula Bustos is an ICREA research professor at Pompeu Fabra University, a Research Fellow at the European Economic Association, Chair of the EEA Women in Economics Committee, CEPR Research Fellow and co-leader of Trade and Spatial Frictions Theme of the STEG-CEPR program. 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. Her research on agricultural productivity and structural transformation 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 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 studies the effect of the adoption 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 growth. However, agricultural productivity growth also led to savings and capital flows towards urban regions where it 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 publications

Selected research activities

PI of ERC Starting Grant “Economic Development and Structural Transformation” (2017-2024).
2023: Awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for the project “Adaptation to Climate Change in Developing Countries”.
Professional activities
Co-Editor, Journal of International Economics
Yale Economic Growth Center, Kuznets Visitors Programme
Chair of the Women in Economics Committee of the EEA
Co-leader of Trade and Spatial Frictions Theme of the STEG-CEPR programme
PhD thesis Co-Advisor, Daniela Solá, CEMFI, July 2023. Placement: Universidad Carlos III
de Madrid
PhD thesis Co-Advisor, Giorgio Pietrabissa, CEMFI, expected graduation July 2024. Placement: LSE, Department of Geography and Environment 
PhD thesis Co-Advisor, Sophie Nottmeyer, CEMFI, expected graduation July 2025.
Mentor at the Women in Economics Mentoring and Networking Retreat (held in connection with EEA-ESEM 2023), Barcelona, August 2023
Member of the Student Prize Committee for the 12th European Meeting of the Urban Economics Association, Milan, May 2023
Programme committee member, 20th International Economic Association World Congress, Medellín, December 2023
Evaluation Panel Member for the STEG Fourth Larger Research Grants Call Panel Meeting, December 2023
Conference presentations and invited seminars
CEPR Paris Symposium (policy panel), LVIII Reunión Anual de la Asociación Argentina de Economía Política (keynote), Collegio Carlo Alberto Seminar, Bocconi U. Seminar, Workshop on Economics and the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for the Future (U.Bologna), Columbia Business School Money Macro Workshop, Yale Economic Growth Center Development Workshop, STEG-IGC Conference on Structural Transformation, Growth and Economic Development.