Bernardo Pincheira Sarmiento

Bernardo Pincheira Sarmiento
Key terms
  • Applied Econometrics
  • Quasi-experimental design
  • Natural Experiment
  • Public Economics
  • Labour Economics
  • Economics of Education
  • Inequality
  • Peer Effects
  • Student Achievement

    Bernardo is a PhD candidate in Economics from the University of Nottingham (Nottingham, United Kingdom), where he also did his Masters’ degree in Economics. His PhD thesis explores empirically different factors that impact student achievement, using data from Chile about students in primary and secondary education. The main chapter of the thesis is centred around peer effects: their estimation taking into account the different sources of bias, the nonlinearities of the effects (not all the students are equally affected by their peers), and policy recommendations.

    He has teaching experience in modules of introductory and intermediate Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Industrial Organisation and Econometrics, either as Teaching Assistant, Lecturer (Federico Santa Maria Technical University and University of Talca, Chile) or Graduate Teaching Assistant (University of Nottingham, United Kingdom).


    Bernardo’s research interests are in the field of economics of education. In particular, it focuses on understanding different factors that affect academic achievement of students which are relevant for policy makers, such as peer effects and school year length. His motivation to study these topics and others in the field of economics of education is to find policies that may improve average achievement and reduce inequality in education which do not require additional resources, therefore improving efficiency. His job market paper, about peer effects, follows the methodology of Imberman, Kugler and Sacerdote (2012) to identify them using a natural experiment as an exogenous source of variation in the peer composition, instrumental variables and school fixed effects to deal with the main sources of bias that usually affect the correct estimation of these effects. The second part of the study, inspired by Carrell, Carrell, Sacerdote and West (2013), proposes a within school allocation of students that is potentially better than random to improve average performance and reduces inequality of achievement.

    Working in a multidisciplinary environment is a great alternative to improve Bernardo’s future research. One possible direction of his future research agenda is to investigate the importance of the length of the peer connection, extending the work by  Patacchini, Rainone and Zenou 2017. So far, most of the research in peer effects does not consider this.