Joao Garcia


I am a PhD candidate from Brown University, working in labor and gender in developing countries and environmental policy. I will be in the Job Market in the 2023/2024 season.

You can contact me at, and you can find my CV here.

Job Market Paper

Free Childcare and the Motherhood Penalty: Evidence from São Paulo

with Marcela Mello and Rafael Latham-Proença

Latin America consistently has some of the world`s largest child penalties (or motherhood penalties) for women, and while subsidized childcare is often advanced as a remedy, the literature on its effectiveness is scarce outside developed countries. This paper estimates the impact of a rapid expansion of public childcare on mothers’ careers in the city of São Paulo. We leverage the precise location and timing of the expansion of childcare facilities, coupled with detailed data on the labor market and household characteristics to identify effects on mothers’ labor market participation and earnings. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we compare the child penalty in districts that experienced a large and rapid expansion of childcare with districts with no significant expansion. Our results show that an additional seat per child leads to an increase of 6.4 p.p. (20%) in the mothers’ formal employment after the first child’s birth. We do not detect any effect of this expansion on two comparison groups: mothers-to-be and fathers.

Working Papers

Optimizing Incentives for Rooftop Solar: Accounting for Regional Differences in Marginal Emissions

Although federal incentives for residential rooftop solar do not discriminate between US states, there is substantial variation in the marginal emission reductions associated with solar across states. This variation indicates potentially large efficiency gains from having flexible state-by-state incentives. In this paper I estimate the supply and demand elasticities for new rooftop solar installations, using state-level incentives as an instrument. I find a demand elasticity of 11% and supply elasticity consistent with the perfectly elastic case. I then use these parameters to show that the state-by-state subsidy scheme that minimizes yearly emissions is 61% more efficient than the uniform incentive. These results can be useful as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2021 includes unprecedented funding allocation for climate policy, including incentives for residential rooftop solar generators.

Congenital Disability Effects on Parents’ Labor Supply and Family Composition: Evidence from the Zika Virus Outbreak

with Marcela Mello and Rafael Latham-Proença

Severe child disability is among the most consequential events to parent’s labor market outcomes, but there is still a small literature studying its effects. We study this question in the context of the Zika Virus epidemic in Brazil, which caused thousands of children to be born with microcephaly. We argue that several characteristics of the epidemic make it suitable as a natural experiment. Infection was sudden and the link between Zika and microcephaly was unknown at the time. Using data on the universe of births and formal employment links in the country, we show that affected mothers had similar labor market trajectories to other mothers before childbirth. However, starting 9 months after childbirth, they are 20% (10 p.p.) less likely to have a formal job. These effects persist over time. We do not observe any effects for fathers’ labor market outcomes.