Maria Alejandra Amado

Welcome to my site!

I am a PhD candidate in economics at UCLA. My research interests focus on International Economics, Macroeconomic Policy and Finance. I am on the job market in academic year 2020 -2021 and am available for interviews.


Job Market Paper

Macroprudential FX regulation may reduce systemic risk; however, little is known about its unintended costs. I show that policies taxing bank dollar lending may increase financing disparities between small and large firms. I propose a theoretical mechanism in which currency mismatch acts as a means for relaxing small firms’ borrowing constraints. Under this framework, a tax on dollar lending negatively affect the total borrowing of constrained (small) firms, while they only have compositional effects on the total credit to unconstrained (large) firms. To verify this mechanism empirically, I study the implementation of a macroprudential FX tax by the Central Bank of Peru. I construct a novel firm-level dataset that combines confidential data on the universe of loans given by Peruvian banks to nontradable firms. Exploiting the heterogeneity in the strictness of the tax across banks, I provide causal evidence of the heterogeneous effects of this tax on firms of different sizes. I confirm the predictions of my mechanism: 10% increase in bank exposure to the tax significantly increases disparities in the growth of total loans between small and large firms by 1.5 percentage points. When accounting for firms switching to soles financing from different banks, the effect on large firms financing is only compositional. My findings have implications for the understanding of the link between macroeconomic policy and inequality.

With Lisandro Abrego, Tunc Gursoy, Garth P. Nicholls and Hector Perez-Saiz, IMF Working paper No. 19/124

In March 2018, representatives of member countries of the African Union signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. This agreement provides a framework for trade liberalization in goods and services and is expected to eventually cover all African countries. Using a multi-country, multi-sector general equilibrium model based on Costinot and Rodriguez-Clare (2014), we estimate the welfare effects of the AfCFTA for 45 countries in Africa. Three different model specifications—comprising both perfect competition and monopolistic competition—are used. Simulations include full elimination of import tariffs and partial but substantial reduction in non-tariff barriers (NTBs). Results reveal significant potential welfare gains from trade liberalization in Africa. As intra-regional import tariffs in the continent are already low, the bulk of these gains come from lowering NTBs. Overall gains for the continent are broadly similar under the three model specifications used, with considerable variation of potential welfare gains across countries in all model structures.


Currency Mismatches and Production Networks: The role of sectoral linkages in amplifying balance sheets effects (Draft coming soon)

Emerging economies are largely exposed to exchange rate depreciations due to currency mismatches in their balance sheets. Despite this exposure, the literature is not conclusive on its role in the transmission of external shocks to real activity. We argue that sectoral input-output linkages are a relevant amplification mechanism for external shocks given currency mismatches. Using confidential administrative data from Peru on sectoral input-output tables, firm borrowing and revenues by currency, we indeed find that highly mismatched sectors are also strongly interconnected. This implies that exchange rate depreciations that negatively affect mismatched sectors, also generate negative spillovers via their strong connections with the rest of the economy. To rationalize these findings, we build a small open economy model with endogenous currency mismatches and sectoral input-output linkages. We calibrate our model to target moments from the data and quantify how input-output linkages accounted for the decline in real activity in an episode of severe exchange rate depreciation during the Global Financial Crisis.


Central Bank of Peru, Working paper series, 2014-009

With Liliana Rojas-Suarez Center for Global Development, Working paper No. 367


University of California, Los Angeles


  • Math Camp for Economics Graduate Students, Summer 2019, Summer 2020

Graduate Teaching Assistant

  • ECON405-1: Macroeconomic Implications of Globalization (Prof. Ariel Burstein), Spring 2020

  • ECON414-1: Asset Pricing and Portfolio Theory (Prof. Peter Mladina), Spring 2020

  • ECON424: Income inequality (Prof. Jonathan Vogel), Winter 2020

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

  • ECON-123L: Foreign Exchange Market and Exchange Rate Forecasting, Fall 2020

  • ECON106FB: Corporate Finance, Spring 2020

  • ECON102: Macroeconomic Theory, Spring 2018

  • ECON101: Microeconomic Theory, Winter 2017, Spring 2019

  • ECON11: Microeconomic Theory, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Winter 2019

  • ECON1: Principles of Economics, Spring 2017, Fall 2018

Universidad del Pacifico, Lima - Peru

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

  • Macroeconomics II, 2008-2011

  • Macroeconomics I, 2008-2011


Department of Economics

University of California, Los Angeles

8283 Bunche Hall

315 Portola Plaza

Los Angeles, CA 90095