Ms Antonella Bancalari

Ms Antonella Bancalari

PhD Candidate

Department of Social Policy

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English, Spanish
Key Expertise
Development, Applied Microeconomics, Experiments

About me

Research interests
Development Economics, Health Economics (primary)
Public Economics (secondary)

Job market paper
Can White Elephants Kill? Unintended Consequences of Infrastructure Development in Peru

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Public infrastructure development is prone to inefficiencies that can result in poor implementation quality, but the risks are unclear. This paper studies the effect of a nation-wide expansion of sewerage infrastructure conducted by the Government of Peru between 2005 and 2015 on infant and under-five mortality. I use original administrative panel data at the district level and exploit random geography-driven variation in budget allocation to instrument for sewerage project placement. I document an increase in under-five mortality in districts that experienced greater sewerage diffusion. The result is linked to poor technical rigor ­during the execution of the works and was exacerbated by delays and mid-construction abandonment. The potential health benefits of sewerage fail to manifest even after completion of projects due to lack of household connectivity.

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Publications and additional papers

Additional papers

Community Toilet Use in Slums: Willingness-to-Pay and the Role of Informational and Supply-Side Constraints in India (with A. Armand and B. Augsburg).

Pre-Analysis Plan: American Economic Association’s RCT Registry 3087 

Abstract: The rapid pace of urbanization in most cities of the developing world can create enormous challenges for the quality of life of people living in informal settlements. We focus on understanding the role of supply-side and informational constraints in the quality of urban sanitation. We implement a cluster-randomized experiment in 110 slums in the cities of Lucknow and Kanpur, India. Community Toilets (CTs) and their catchment areas are randomly allocated to either a supply-side intervention on its own or combined with information provision. Data from both slum dwellers and CT caretakers’ behaviour is obtained using a wide range of methods, including surveys, observational data and incentive-compatible behavioural measurements.


Sustainability of Sanitation Behaviour: Evidence from Pakistan (with B. Augsburg)

Abstract: Slippage back to unsafe sanitation behaviour when uptake had been achieved explains why sanitation interventions may not achieve improvements in public health. In this study we report the results of a randomized controlled trial and accompanying qualitative research evaluating the effectiveness of follow-up visits on sustained sanitation and hygiene behaviour in rural Pakistan. These visits consisted on participatory activities to mobilise villages to build toilets and eliminate open defecation after a community-led total sanitation (CLTS) campaign. We find that follow-up activities are effective at reducing open defecation and increasing usage of private latrines in households prone to slippage –those that built toilets of bad quality and in villages with worse public infrastructure (i.e. limited outside option).


Effectiveness of Community Health Teams: Evidence from El Salvador (with P. Bernal, P. Celhay and S. Martinez).

Abstract: Access to high-quality preventive health care can deter mortality. Community health teams have emerged as a supply alternative to deficient formal health care provision in low- and middle-income countries, but the empirical evidence on their effectiveness is inconclusive. We analyze the effects of a nation-wide health reform in El Salvador on access and quality of primary health care as well as health outcomes. Using a difference-in-difference approach and unique administrative data from the national health system, we find that the reform increased preventive health services and decreased ambulatory care sensitive hospitalizations and amenable mortality. The reform increased institutional delivery as well as pre-natal and puerperal visits. Although the reform targeted mainly maternal and child health care, we find that men and the elderly also benefited from the expansion and improvement of health services.


Placement Officer
Professor Mark Schankerman

Dr Berkay Ozcan 
Dr Joan Costa-Font

Professor Oriana Bandiera
Professor Robin Burgess
Professor Stephen Jenkins

Professor Oriana Bandiera
Professor Robin Burgess
Professor Stephen Jenkins
Dr Berkay Ozcan 
Dr Joan Costa-Font
Professor Orazio Attanasio (Yale University)

Contact information


Phone number
+44 (0) 7804613854

Office Address
London School of Economics and Political Science,
Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE