Jorge Luis García

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I am an applied microeconomist at the John E. Walker Department of Economics at Clemson University. I am also a visiting research fellow at Duke University’s Social Science Research Institute, a Quintiles Fellow at the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics of the University of Southern California, and a member of the Early Childhood Interventions Network of the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity (HCEO) working group. Earlier this year, I was a senior visiting fellow at the Institute on Behavior and Inequality (briq).

Click here to download my CV, which includes my complete professional information, links to my published and working papers, and my teaching details.


My research aims to understand the institutions and economic behaviors that contribute to socioeconomic inequality. I do not work on a single topic. I aim for my research to have one commonality: careful data analysis, whether employing reduced-form or structural methods. By careful data analysis, I mean: understanding each feature of the data-generating process, producing summary statistics that motivate the economic question at hand, employing appropriate microeconomic tools for data analysis, understanding the economic fundamentals to which the data speak, and interpreting the results in terms of social policy evaluation and design. A list of links to my published and working papers is below.


I am working to understand how religion shapes human capital, fertility, beliefs about race, and voting behavior in the United States. The first stage of this project was a data collection of the stock and openings of churches in the United States during the period 1900 to 2010. One of the outcomes of the data collection process is a map displaying the number of church openings (on the right). I will post updates on this project soon.

China’s One-Child Policy

This is a link to a paper condensing the material of a project that studies China's One-Child Policy. I provide a characterization of China’s One-Child Policy as a woman-level, age-specific pricing system. The system priced the permits allowing every woman and her partner to have more than one child. I construct a nationally representative sample of women containing fertility and abortion histories and match it to the policy’s pricing system. Using a difference-in-difference framework, I exploit within-woman variation to document that the number of daughters born per household was inelastic with respect to the price associated with the policy, while the number of sons was perfectly inelastic. The availability of ultrasound technology allowed sex-selective abortions and mediated the sex-specific response to the policy. Despite the inelastic response, the One-Child Policy still impacted aggregate fertility through large permit prices, as the figure to the right illustrates.

Contact me if you want to use the pricing system that I documented in your own project.


In a series of papers, my coauthors and I evaluate an influential early childhood education program known as ABC and CARE. In our main article, we propose a method to use non-experimental data and structural econometric methods to supplement and expand what can be learned from the treatment effects directly generated by a randomized controlled trial of the program. The figure to the right is one of the outcomes of the application of our methods. We forecast the life-cycle benefits of the program when only having data up to early adulthood. Our approach has testable implications and could be applied to the evaluation of any social program. Please see my CV for links to the other papers.


I will post more on other ongoing projects very soon.


Church openings in the United States, 1900-2010

Total Fertility Rate in China, Realized and No-One-Child Policy Counterfactual

Net Present Value of the Costs and Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Education Program (ABC and CARE)


LIST OF publications


  1. Quantifying the Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program (with James J. Heckman, Duncan Ermini Leaf, and María José Prados). Accepted at the Journal of Political Economy.

  2. Early Childhood Education and Crime (with James J. Heckman and Anna L. Ziff) 2019. Infant Mental Health Journal 40:1.

  3. Gender Differences in the Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program (with James J. Heckman and Anna L. Ziff) 2018. European Economic Review 109.

  4. The Price of Fringe Benefits when Formal and Informal Labor Markets Coexist (with David Argente) 2015. IZA Journal of Labor Economics 3:14.

  5. Why Do Formal Credit, Informal Credit, and both Types of Credits Coexist as Consumer Choices? (with Víctor Carreón and Sonia Di Giannatale) 2015. Economics Bulletin 35:1.

Book Chapters

  1. Early Childhood Education (with Sneha Elango, James J. Heckman, and Andrés Hojman) 2016. Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, Volume II. The University of Chicago Press, edited by Robert Moffitt.

list of working PAPERS

  1. Early Childhood Education and Life-cycle Health (with James J. Heckman). Under review.

  2. Fertility and the Daughter-to-Son Ratio During China’s (More-than) One-Child Policy. Under review.


Phone: + 1 773 449 0744
Address: 228 SIRRINE HALL, CLEMSON SC 29630
this is a link to my cv

Please visit my GitHub repository for replication codes of my projects and other useful codes (e.g., a tutorial on structural estimation in Python and julia.)