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    Climate adaptation policies and infant health: evidence from a water policy in Brazil
    (Journal of Public Economics, 2023-03-02) Mata, Daniel da; Emanuel, Lucas; Vitor, Pereira; Sampaio, Breno
    This paper studies how in utero exposure to a large-scale climate adaptation program affects birth outcomes. The program built around one million cisterns in Brazil’s poorest and driest region to promote small-scale decentralized rainfall harvesting. Access to cisterns during early pregnancy increased birth weight, particularly for more educated mothers. Data suggest that more educated women complied more with the program’s water disinfection training, highlighting that even simple, low-cost technologies require final users’ compliance (“the last mile”) to be effective. In the context of growing water scarcity, adaptation policies can foster neonatal health and thus have positive long-run implications.
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    The benefits of cognitive style versatility for collaborative work
    (Journal of Applied Psychology, 2022-06-11) Aggarwal, Ishani; Schilpzand, Marieke C.; Martins, Luis L.; Woolley, Anita Williams; Molinaro, Marco
    A growing body of the literature shows the influence of cognitive styles, which capture the ways individuals share, encode, and process information, and their implications for collaboration. We build on this literature to investigate the special contributions of individuals with cognitive style versatility, or facility in more than one cognitive style, for improving teams’ collaborative performance. In two studies, including a total of 452 participants in 132 teams, we observe that the presence of cognitively versatile individuals has direct (Study 1) and indirect (Study 2) effects on team performance. In an exploratory analysis, we observe that the presence of cognitively versatile individuals facilitates the task and social processes necessary for effective team information processing, specifically reducing team process conflict and task conflict and enhancing team social integration, with social integration mediating the relationship between cognitive style versatility and team performance. Importantly, these effects remain even when accounting for team cognitive ability and other measures of team surface- and deep-level diversity. Our findings contribute to the emerging literature on team composition and its implications for collaboration and team work.
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    Machine learning and network medicine approaches for drug repositioning for COVID-19
    (Patterns, 2021-01-14) Santos, Suzana de Siqueira; Torres, Mateo; Diego, Galeano; Sanchez, Maria del Mar; Cernuzzi, Luca; Paccanaro, Alberto
    We present two machine learning approaches for drug repurposing. While we have developed them for COVID-19, they are disease-agnostic. The two methodologies are complementary, targeting SARS-CoV-2 and host factors, respectively. Our first approach consists of a matrix factorization algorithm to rank broad-spectrum antivirals. Our second approach, based on network medicine, uses graph kernels to rank drugs according to the perturbation they induce on a subnetwork of the human interactome that is crucial for SARS-CoV-2 infection/replication. Our experiments show that our top predicted broad-spectrum antivirals include drugs indicated for compassionate use in COVID-19 patients; and that the ranking obtained by our kernel-based approach aligns with experimental data. Finally, we present the COVID-19 repositioning explorer (CoREx), an interactive online tool to explore the interplay between drugs and SARS-CoV-2 host proteins in the context of biological networks, protein function, drug clinical use, and Connectivity Map. CoREx is freely available at: https://paccanarolab.org/corex/.
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    Machine learning prediction of side effects for drugs in clinical trials
    (Cell Reports Methods, 2022-12-19) Galeano, Diego; Paccanaro, Alberto
    Early and accurate detection of side effects is critical for the clinical success of drugs under development. Here, we aim to predict unknown side effects for drugs with a small number of side effects identified in randomized controlled clinical trials. Our machine learning framework, the geometric self-expressive model (GSEM), learns globally optimal self-representations for drugs and side effects from pharmacological graph networks. We show the usefulness of the GSEM on 505 therapeutically diverse drugs and 904 side effects from multiple human physiological systems. Here, we also show a data integration strategy that could be adopted to improve the ability of side effect prediction models to identify unknown side effects that might only appear after the drug enters the market.
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    Effects of distances on newborn outcomes in Brazil
    (FGV CEEE - Centro de Estudos Empíricos em Economia, 2023-07-26) Pinho Neto, Valdemar Rodrigues de; Machado, Cecilia; Roman, Soraya; Lima, Felipe
    Travel distances can affect the delivery outcomes of pregnant women. Using detailed national data from the public health system (SUS), this paper identifies the effect of the distance to the place of delivery on infant mortality between 2006 and 2017 in Brazil. We focus on SUS cases to reduce demand bias because preferences and constraints to join the private system might differ. The paper follows a two-part empirical strategy. First, we focus on a sample of low-risk pregnancies, among which traveling for childbirth would most likely reflect differences in geographic accessibility. Using a linear regression model, we find that moving to another municipality for childbirth increases the infant mortality rate by 17%, and each additional ten kilometers of journey raises the infant mortality rate by 0.1 points per 1000 live births. Results are robust to introducing multiple fixed effects, socioeconomic and risk factors. Second, we use a sample of highrisk pregnancies and a self-made complexity-of-care classification to identify the effect of the distance to specialized medical care on infant mortality. For this sample, the distance to any facility is less relevant than that to facilities with specialized medical technology: living one standard deviation farther away from municipalities with level- II and level-III technologies increases the infant mortality rate by 0.94 and 0.4 points, respectively. Furthermore, the geographic availability of neonatal intermediate and critical care beds is relevant for explaining the effect of the distance to specialized medical care on infant mortality.
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    Discrimination in the formation of academic networks: a field experiment on #EconTwitter
    (Social Science Research Network, 2023-01-13) Ajzenman, Nicolas; Ferman, Bruno; Sant'Anna, Pedro C.
    This paper assesses the results of an experiment designed to identify discrimination in users’ following behavior on Twitter. Specifically, we created fictitious bot accounts that resembled humans and claimed to be PhD students in economics. The accounts differed in three characteristics: gender (male or female), race (Black or White), and university affiliation (top- or lower-ranked). The bot accounts randomly followed Twitter users who form part of the #EconTwitter academic community. We measured how many follow-backs each account obtained after a given period. Twitter users from this community were 12% more likely to follow accounts of White students compared to those of Black students; 21% more likely to follow accounts of students from top-ranked, prestigious universities compared to accounts of lower-ranked institutions; and 25% more likely to follow female compared to male students. The racial gap persisted even among students from top-ranked institutions, suggesting that Twitter users racially discriminate even in the presence of a signal that could be interpreted as indicative of high academic potential. Notably, we find that Black male students from top-ranked universities receive no more follow-backs than White male students from relatively lower-ranked institutions.
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    Public Support for Nuclear Proliferation: Experimental Evidence from Brazil
    (2022) Spektor, Matias; Fasolin, Guilherme N.; Camargo, Juliana
    How do mass publics in nonnuclear weapon states form their preferences over the acquisition of nu- clear weapons? We field a survey experiment in Brazil, a possessor of uranium-enrichment capabilities with a long history of nuclear ambitions. Three sets of results support the view that members of the public approach nuclear proliferation strategically, that is, by taking into account how their home state interacts with enemies and allies alike. First, the external security environment is a major driver for individual-level preferences: when security is plentiful, only a small minority of the public in Brazil supports proliferation, but a deterioration of external conditions engenders a high minority in sup- port for nuclear-weapon acquisition. Second, the mere extension by the United States of conventional security assurances suffices to dampen public support for an indigenous nuclear deterrent, restoring a majority view opposing proliferation. Third, conventional security assurances shape public senti- ment on nuclear acquisition irrespective of whether they are credible or not. These results contribute to the effort currently unfolding in the scholarly community to make sense of how citizens outside the United States think about international security in a nuclear world.
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    Mining Pareto-Optimal Counterfactual Antecedents With A Branch-And-Bound Model-Agnostic Algorithm
    (2021) Raimundo, Marcos M.; Nonato, Luis Gustavo; Poco, Jorge
    Mining counterfactual antecedents became a valuable tool to discover knowledge and explain machine learning models. It consists of generating synthetic samples from an original sample to achieve the desired outcome in a machine learning model thus helping to understand the prediction. An insightful methodology would explore a broader set of counterfactual antecedents to reveal multiple possibilities while operating on any classifier. Thus, we create a treebased search that requires monotonicity from the objective functions (a.k.a. cost functions); it allows pruning branches that will not improve the objective functions. Since monotonicity is only required for the objective function, this method can be used for any family of classifiers (e.g., linear models, neural networks, decision trees). However, additional classifier properties speed up the tree-search when it foresees branches that will not result in feasible actions. Moreover, the proposed optimization generates a diverse set of Pareto-optimal counterfactual antecedents by relying on multi-objective concepts. The results show an algorithm with working guarantees that enumerates a wide range of counterfactual antecedents. It helps the decision-maker understand the machine learning decision and finds alternatives to achieve the desired outcome. The user can inspect these multiple counterfactual antecedents to find the most suitable one and have a broader understanding of the prediction.
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    Expected Socioeconomic-Status-Based Discrimination Reduces Price Sensitivity Among the Poor
    (Journal of Marketing Research, 2022) Jacob, Jorge; Vieites, Yan; Goldszmidt, Rafael; Andrade, Eduardo Bittencourt
    Low socioeconomic status (SES) consumers tend to be more price sensitive than their high-SES counterparts. Nonetheless, various economic-related burdens, such as mobility costs and lack of information, often hinder their ability to attend to scarcity—a phenomenon called “ghetto tax.” The current research moves a step further to show that even when very poor consumers can exert price sensitivity and are fully informed, a “psychological ghetto tax” often discourages them from doing so. Across five studies, we demonstrate that, relative to (a) high-SES consumers or (b) contexts of intragroup interaction, low-SES consumers are willing to pay higher prices and to accept lower value rewards to avoid commercial settings that require intergroup interaction (e.g., poor consumers in a high-end shopping mall). This effect is driven by the poor consumers’ heightened expectations of discrimination in upscale commercial settings, a concern virtually nonexistent among wealthy consumers. Companies’ inclusion statements emphasizing customer equality and/or customer diversity can serve as safety cues against stigmatized identities and increase low-SES consumers’price sensitivity.
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    Joint effects of shared and transformational leadership on performance in street-level bureaucracies: Evidence from the educational sector
    (2022) Lagowska, Urszula Gabriela; Sobral, Filipe; Tavares, Gustavo Moreira
    Recent theories of public administration emphasize the importance of leadership as shared property. This research focuses on the role of the interaction between vertical and shared leadership in promoting agency performance. Specifically, it examines the joint effects of shared leadership and transformational leadership on team empowerment and performance in public settings. Based on field study data collected from 74 street-level bureaucracies and 423 public servants in Brazil, we find evidence that vertical transformational leadership strengthens the direct relationship between shared leadership and team empowerment as well as the indirect relationship between shared leadership and school performance through team empowerment (a moderated-mediation model). The findings of this study suggest that greater attention should be paid to the dynamics of shared and vertical leadership structures to better understand their consequences for team processes and outcomes in public settings.
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    Comportamento estratégico no sistema de justiça: Como juízes e promotores reagem a ameaças de outras instituições políticas?
    (2019) Pereira, Carlos
    Em que condições organizações de controle independentes se comportam de modo a promover accountability de atores políticos? No mesmo país ao longo do tempo, e às vezes inclusive dentro do mesmo desenho institucional, é possível observar variação na intensidade com a qual promotores e juízes utilizam os poderes de que dispõem de forma a processar e eventualmente punir atores políticos. No caso brasileiro, variações desse tipo foram observadas ao longo das últimas décadas: de posturas mais passivas nos anos 90, aos episódios de alinhamento e de maior coordenação entre grupos de juízes e promotores no âmbito da “Operação Lava Jato” e, mais recentemente, a reinterpretações e reversões de decisões judiciais anteriores seguida de arrefecimento de imposições de perdas judiciais a comportamentos políticos desviantes. E, ainda no cenário atual, há significativa variação, dentre a mesma geração de integrantes dessas instituições, na sua maior ou menor disposição para atuar contra atores políticos. Muitos fatores podem explicar essas variações. De maneira geral, a literatura existente enfatiza o desenho institucional formal – isto é, variações nos poderes, competências e funcionamento interno dessas instituições. Complementando esse tipo de abordagem, este projeto procura investigar se fatores individuais relacionados (i) à percepção e às crenças de juízes e promotores a respeito de sua posição e papel institucional, bem como (ii) à sua ideologia, contribuem para explicar variações em sua atuação na promoção de accountability. Por meio de um survey experimental, procuramos também compreender como crenças e ideologias são moduladas por variáveis relativas ao contexto político na formação do comportamento desses atores. Aplicamos um survey experimental, como um pré-teste, para investigar a influência de crenças profissionais, percepção de vulnerabilidade (a retaliações por parte dos outros poderes, incluindo possíveis perdas políticas e financeiras) e da leitura que fazem do contexto político no comportamento de juízes e de promotores. Os resultados deste pré-teste – descritos ao longo do presente projeto – sugerem um possível impacto de algumas das variáveis acima. Este projeto de pesquisa contribuirá para o desenvolvimento desta agenda de ao menos de duas maneiras diferentes. Primeiro, na ampliação da literatura com a qual dialogamos para desenhar novos tratamentos e manipulações experimentais mais realistas. Segundo, na construção e aplicação de um novo survey de abrangência nacional, com uma amostra representativa de juízes e promotores. Juntos, esses dois caminhos de desenvolvimento permitirão lançar luz sobre os mecanismos específicos pelos quais influenciam a tomada de decisão no judiciário e no MP.
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    Denser and greener cities: green interventions to achieve both urban density and nature
    (2022) McDonald, Robert I.; Aronson, Myla F. J.; Beatley, Timothy; Beller, Erin; Bazo, Micaela; Grossinger, Robin; Jessup, Kelsey; Mansur, Andressa V.; Oliveira, José Antônio Puppim de; Panlasigui, Stephanie; Burg, Joe; Pevzner, Nicholas; Shanahan, Danielle; Stoneburner, Lauren; Rudd, Andrew; Spotswood, Erica
    Green spaces in urban areas—like remnant habitat, parks, constructed wetlands, and street trees—supply multiple benefits. Many studies show green spaces in and near urban areas play important roles harbouring biodiversity and promoting human well-being. On the other hand, evidence suggests that greater human population density enables compact, low carbon cities that spare habitat conversion at the fringes of expanding urban areas, while also allowing more walkable and livable cities. How then can urban areas have abundant green spaces as well as density? In this paper, we review the empirical evidence for the relationships between urban density, nature, and sustainability. We also present a quantitative analysis of data on urban tree canopy cover and open space for United States large urbanized areas, as well as an analysis of non-US Functional Urban Areas in OECD countries. We found that there is a negative correlation between population density and these green spaces. For Functional Urban Areas in the OECD, a doubling of den sity is associated with a 2.9% decline in tree cover. We argue that there are competing trade-offs between the benefits of density for sustainability and the benefits of nature for human well-being. Planners must decide an appropriate density by choosing where to be on this trade-off curve, taking into account city-specific urban planning goals and context . However, while the negative correlation between population density and tree cover is modest at the level of US urbanized areas (R2 = 0.22), it is weak at the US Census block level (R2 = 0.05), showing that there are significant brightspots, neighbourhoods that manage to have more tree canopy than would be expected based upon their level of density. We then describe techniques for how urban planners and designers can create more brightspots, identifying a typology of urban forms and listing green interventions appropriate for each form. We also analyse policies that enable these green interventions illustrating them with the case studies of Curitiba and Singapore. We conclude that while there are tensions between density and urban green spaces, an urban world that is both green and dense is possible, if society chooses to take advantage of the available green interventions and create it.
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    Produtividade e bem-estar no Brasil e nos Estados Unidos: uma perspectiva setorial
    (2020-11-25) Araújo, Aloísio Pessoa de; Martinez, Thiago Sevilhano
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    Better Neighborhoods or Better Houses? The Effects of Housing Policies on Poor Households in Brazil
    (2020) Machado, Cecilia; Rachter, Laísa
    This paper evaluates the effects of a housing program that built houses for low-income families from the city of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). We explore the lotteries used to select the program’s beneficiaries to provide evidence of its effects on location, housing quality, housing costs, and household choices. The program induced households to move to less populated, more impoverished, and more distant neighborhoods. However, it increased the houses’ quality in which these households lived and decreased their housing costs. Increases in other expenditures did not compensate for the decline in housing costs. Furthermore, we find the program did not influence labor force participation and income and weakly increased teenagers’ enrollment. Overall, our evidence contributes to understanding the mechanisms through which housing programs affect well-being.
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    The effects of better houses on infant health
    (2020-12) Machado, Cecilia; Rachter, Laísa
    This paper examines the effects of better houses on infant health in the context of Brazil’s Minha Casa Minha Vida program, which built roughly 900,000 houses to poor households in Brazil during the period 2010-2017. We use a regression discontinuity design and administrative data to estimate the program’s effects on health at birth and infant health. We find the program reduced the share of households living in inadequate houses by 18 percentage points. We find this improvement in housing conditions led to increases in birth weight and decreases in infant (before 1 year) mortality caused by conditions originating in children’s perinatal period. We find no effect of the program in children with more than one year. Our results point out the importance of better houses in improving health at birth.
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    Inflation targeting under fiscal fragility
    (2020-07) Araújo, Aloísio Pessoa de; Santos, Rafael; Lins, Paulo de Carvalho; Valk, Serge de
    Indebted policymakers have a limited budget and are subject to inflationary shocks forcing them to either (i) increase interest rate to have inflation on the pre-announced target or (ii) accept higher inflation. We model the inter-temporal trade-off between fiscal and monetary policy when forward-looking, rational, and fully informed agents finance public deficits. We show that a high public-debt level opens the doors to adverse expectations, pressuring nominal interest rates and leading to target-coordination failure. Our parsimonious model with a single confidence shock supports the policy actions observed in the aftermath of the 2002 Brazilian crisis characterised by inflation expectations overshooting the target. First, a higher target level to restore coordination. Second, both a gradual reduction of debt-to-GDP, to improve fiscal strength, and an increase of the share of the public debt with pre-fixed interest rates as opposed to indexed debt. Finally, we find empirical evidence of higher debt levels and lower inflation targets increasing both the probability to overshoot the inflation target and increasing the size of the deviation from the target.
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    Asymptotic behaviour of cooperative systems: an application to malaria control
    (2020-10) Antunes, Felipe José Pinto; Soledad Aronna, Maria; Codeço, Claudia Torres
    In this work we propose a model that represents the relation between fish ponds, the mosquito population and the transmission of malaria. It has been observed that in the Amazonic region of Acre, in the North of Brazil, fish farming is correlated to the transmission of malaria when carried out in artificial ponds that become breeding sites. Evidence has been found indicating that cleaning the vegetation from the edges of the crop tanks helps to control the size of the mosquito population. We use our model to determine the effective contribution of the fish tanks to the epidemic. The model consists of a nonlinear system of ordinary differential equations with jumps at the cleaning time, which act as {\em impulsive controls}. We study the asymptotic behaviour of the system in function of the intensity and periodicity of the cleaning, and the value of the parameters. In particular, we state sufficient conditions under which the mosquito population is exterminated or prevails, and under which the malaria is eradicated or becomes endemic.
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    Money, elections, and candidates
    (2018) Avelino Filho, George; Fisch, Arthur Thury Vieira
    This chapter uses candidates’ reports to the Brazilian electoral court to examine the evolution of campaign spending during four elections between 2002 to 2014. Focusing on campaigns for federal representative, we show that campaign spending rose significantly in this period, albeit with significant variation across and within states. Our results suggest that both district magnitude and regional characteristics have limited influence on spending. Similarly, the aggregation of candidates by parties also reveals a complex picture that cannot be explained by the traditional dichotomy of government and opposition. Most importantly, campaign spending has remained concentrated on a few candidates, suggesting that electoral competition in Brazil is less intense than would be expected by observing the raw number of candidates per seat.
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    Avaliação de impacto do sistema público de escrituração digital (sped)/nota fiscal eletrônica
    (2019)
    Este documento apresenta os resultados da avaliação de impacto do Sistema Público de Escrituração Digital (SPED) – com ênfase nos efeitos da introdução da Nota Fiscal Eletrônica (NF-e) – sobre as dimensões de valor adicionado formal, arrecadação fiscal e mercado de trabalho formal. Utilizando um banco de dados exclusivo em painel ao nível de setores de atividade econômica por estado, disponibilizado pelas autoridades fiscais locais, e dados da RAIS, aplicamos estratégias empíricas de diferenças-em-diferenças e de estudo de evento explorando o fato de que setores econômicos em diferentes estados implementaram o programa em diferentes períodos no tempo. Os resultados apontam para efeitos positivos significativos da introdução da NF-e sobre todas as dimensões fiscais de interesse consideradas. Os resultados devem ser interpretados com cautela pois há evidência em alguns deles de que as tendências pré-implementação da NF-e não eram paralelas. De todo modo, podemos afirmar que existe associação positiva entre entrada na NF-e e a performance fiscal dos estados. Adicionalmente, notamos um resultado positivo não antecipado pelo programa que indica de maneira robusta que o programa teve impacto positivo sobre a formalização da economia como um todo. O número de trabalhadores formal se expandiu em magnitude semelhante à massa de salários, não havendo variações positivas associadas à entrada com respeito ao salário real médio indicando que o programa não deve ter tido efeito sobre a produtividade média do trabalho como seria de se esperar. Os ganhos eventuais ficariam restritos às atividades administrativas que não aparecem em uma análise tão global. A inspeção dos efeitos dinâmicos nos anos seguintes à entrada sugere que os ganhos de formalização se realizam no período de 1 a 2 anos após a entrada na NF-e, e deixam de ser relevantes a partir do 3º ano.
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    The regulation of public utilities of the future in Latin America and Caribbean: water resource regulation in Brazil
    (2019-04-30) Fundação Getulio Vargas. Centro de Estudo em Regulação de Infraestrutura
    While 12% of the world’s freshwater is located in Brazil, it is unevenly distributed across the country. As a result, water scarcity is a real and present challenge in many areas across Brazil. Scarcity, in turn, creates conflicts among water multiple users. These conflicts are expected to increase due to climate change and the consequent increase in water shortage. Existing mechanisms for water resource management does not seem sufficient for addressing water scarcity as they do not provide for the reallocation of water. The objective of this paper is, therefore, to examine the desirability and feasibility of creating water markets as a mechanism to promote the efficient reallocation of water. We conduct a first-principles analysis to show that water markets may dominate other instruments, including water pricing (i.e., a price above and beyond the cost of storing and transporting water to reflect water scarcity). There are two key reasons for favoring water markets over water pricing. First, calculating the correct water pricing is not a trivial exercise. In contrast, a well-designed water market will lead to price discovery and efficient outcomes. The second reason is of a political economy nature. By assigning tradable water rights, users can benefit financially from selling water to a higher value user, whereas a water price is essentially a tax that may not send the correct signal to users. To assess the feasibility of water markets, we conduct a readiness assessment to identify the main barriers to the creation of water markets in Brazil. Policy recommendations are then provided to overcome the barriers identified in our analysis. For illustration purposes, we simulate the gains from a water market in the São Marcos River Basin. In this river basin agriculture and hydroelectricity generation activities compete for the existing water resources. In a scenario of water scarcity, we suppose that the regulator restricts the use of water that generates an excess demand of 30%. If a proportional rationing system is applied, the total loss of welfare would be 30%. However, if a market for water exists and works competitively, we estimate that the total loss of welfare would only be 2.5%.