Tatiana Zárate Barrera

Food & Resource Economics Group
University of British Columbia


I'm an Applied Microeconomist and Ph.D. Candidate at the LFS, Food and Resource Economics Group at the University of British Columbia. I work at the intersection of Environmental and Development Economics.

My current research agenda focuses on

  1. Understanding the effects of air and lead pollution on non-health-related outcomes and the behavioral and adaptation responses of individuals to these threats.
  2. Studying the causes and consequences of female empowerment in developing countries.

I'm a member of the Centre for Food, Resource, and Environmental Economics and the Wildlife and Conservation Economics Lab at UBC.

Before starting my Ph.D., I worked for the Development Impact Evaluation unit (DIME) at the World Bank, the Education Division and the Caribbean Country Department at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the Center for Studies on Economic Development (CEDE) at Universidad de los Andes and at Fedesarrollo.

You can find my curriculum vitae, here and my LinkedIn profile, here.

Contact Information

Email: tatianazarateb@gmail.com | Phone: +1 (650) 889-6247
Office Address: 2357 Main Mall, Office 318, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4
Scholar | IDEAS | |


Professor Siwan Anderson (Co-Chair), Professor Carol McAusland (Co-Chair), and Professor Thorsten Rogall.

Working Papers

• "Too Polluted to Sin? Dirty Skies, Crime, and Adaptation Responses in Mexico City" Job Market Paper, October 2022
      Abstract | Paper

Awards: Lasserre-Renzetti Prize for best student paper at the Canadian Resource and Environmental Economics Association (CREEA) conference October 2021

This paper estimates the non-monotonic effects of air pollution on criminal activity in a highly polluted mega-city. The identification strategy relies on highly dimensional fixed-effect models, non-parametric estimations of dose-response functions, and an instrumental variable approach that employs wind speed and wind direction as instruments for air pollution. My results uncover a causal, inverted U-shaped relationship between air pollution and crime. Specifically, there is an inflection point after which marginal increases in air pollution negatively affect criminal activity. By examining the emotional tone of social media posts, I further explore how air pollution may influence individuals' emotional states and mobility decisions, ultimately contributing to the observed inverted U-shape. Overall, my findings shed light on how environmental regulation tailored to reduce air pollution must consider the presence of behavioral responses in their design.

• "Yes They Can: Empowering Women"
with Thorsten Rogall, August, 2022
      Abstract | Paper

Work in Progress

• "The Impact of Lead Exposure on Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Mexico"
with Erin Litzow and Bianca Cecato

• "The Unintended Consequences of Illicit Crops on Rural Women"


• "Valuing Blue Carbon: Carbon Sequestration Benefits Provided by the Marine Protected Areas in Colombia"
with Jorge H Maldonado
Plos One, May 2015, 10(5)
      Abstract | Paper | Journal

Policy Reports

• "Matching Educational and Criminal Records at the Individual Level in Trinidad and Tobago: Methodology and Implementation" Inter-American Development Bank, Dec 2016 | Report

• "Economic Efficiency and Licensing of Mobile Wireless Services in Colombia" Fedesarrollo, Jul 2015 | Report

• "Agriculture Technical Assistance Programs in Colombia" Fedesarrollo, Dic 2014 | Report

• "Mining and the Environment in Colombia" Fedesarrollo, Nov 2014 | Report

• "Economic Valuation of Marine Protected Areas in Colombia: Analysis for Policy Makers" Documentos CEDE, Nov 2013 | Report


At the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Curriculum Design

GPP 501 - Economics for Public Policy, Graduate
FRE 601 - Advanced Microeconomics for Food and Resource Economics,Graduate
FRE 603 - Advanced Food and Resource Economics, Graduate

Teaching Assistant

ECON 544 - Economics of Poverty, Graduate
GPP 501 - Economics for Public Policy, Graduate
FRE 460 - Economics of Food Consumption, Undergraduate
FRE 420 - International Trade and the Environment, Undergraduate
FRE 374 - Land and Resource Economics, Undergraduate
FRE 474 - Economics of Global Resource Use and Conservation, Undergraduate
FRE 521E - Topics in Food and Resource Economics, Graduate
ECON 234 Wealth and Poverty of Nations, Undergraduate

At Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá DC, Colombia)

EECO 5213 - Macroeconomics and Markets, Graduate
ECON 2101 - Intermediate Microeconomics, Undergraduate
IIND 3400 - Finance, Undergraduate

© Tatiana Zárate Barrera, 2022