Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner

Dr Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner

Associate Professor

Academic and research departments

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Economics.



Research interests


Postgraduate research supervision



Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner, Livia Menezes (2024) Maternal Dengue and Health Outcomes of Children. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, forthcoming.

We study the effect of maternal dengue infections on birth outcomes using linked administrative records from Brazil estimating maternal fixed-effect specifications. In contrast to previous studies, we find robust evidence for the negative effect of dengue infections on birth weight (BW). The effect is particularly pronounced at lower parts of the BW distribution, with an increase of 15%, 67%, and 133% for low, very low, and extremely low BW, respectively. We also document large increases in children’s hospitalizations and medical expenditures for up to three years after birth.

Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner, Jesse Matheson, Reka Plugor (2024) Public Services Access and Domestic Violence: Lessons from a Randomized Controlled Trial (joint with Jesse Matheson & Reka Plugor). American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol. 16(1), pages 292-324, 2024.

This paper studies the effect of improving access to support services for victims of domestic violence. For this purpose, we conducted a randomized controlled trial of an intervention designed to assist victims in accessing non-police services. We built a unique dataset from a victim survey and administrative records. The intervention led to a 19% decrease in the provision of statements by victims to police, but no significant change in criminal justice outcomes against perpetrators. We argue that the treatment response in statements came from victims for whom a statement was relatively less effective for pursuing criminal sanctions. For example, relative to the control group, statements provided by the treatment group were 84% less likely to be withdrawn. We also find that over a two-year period, reported domestic violence outcomes do not differ significantly between the treatment and control group. We provide suggestive evidence for the interpretation of these results.

Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner, Livia Menezes (2021) Violence and Human Capital Investments, Journal of Labor Economics, 39(3):787–823, 2021.

In this paper, we combine extremely granular information on the location and timing of homicides with a number of large administrative educational datasets from Brazil, to estimate the effect of exposure to homicides around schools, students' residence, and on their way to school. We show that violence has a detrimental effect on school attendance, on standardised test scores and increases dropout rates of students substantially. We use exceptionally rich information from student- and parent-background questionnaires to investigate the effect of violence on the aspirations and attitudes towards education. We find that boys systematically report lower educational aspiration towards education.

Olukorede Abiona, Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner (2022) Financial Inclusion, Shocks and Welfare: Evidence from the Expansion of Mobile Money in Tanzania, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Human Resources, 57(2):435-464.

We estimate the effect of mobile money adoption on consumption smoothing, poverty, and human capital investments in Tanzania. We exploit the rapid expansion of the mobile money agent network between 2010 and 2012 and use this together with idiosyncratic shocks from variation in rainfall over time and across space in a difference-in-difference framework. We find that adopter households are able to smooth consumption during periods of shocks and maintain their investments in human capital. Results on time use of children and labor force participation complement the findings on the important role of mobile money for the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner (2017) Class Assignment and Peer Effects: Evidence from Brazilian Primary Schools, Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 296-325.

Students in Brazil are typically assigned to classes based on their age ranking in their school grade. I exploit this rule to estimate the effects on maths achievement of being in a class with older peers for students in fifth grade of primary school. Because grade repetition is widespread in Brazil, the distribution of age is skewed to the right and hence age heterogeneity is typically higher in older classes. I provide evidence that heterogeneity in age is the driving factor behind the large negative estimated effect of being in an older class. Information on teaching practices and student behaviour sheds light on how class heterogeneity harms learning.

Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner, Marco Manacorda (2016) The Effect of Violence on Birth Outcomes: Evidence from Homicides in Brazil, Journal of Development Economics, 119: 16-33.

This paper uses microdata from Brazilian vital statistics on births and deaths between 2000 and 2010 to estimate the impact of in-utero exposure to local violence – measured by homicide rates – on birth outcomes. The estimates show that exposure to violence during the first trimester of pregnancy leads to a small but precisely estimated increase in the risk of low birthweight and prematurity. Effects are found both in small municipalities, where homicides are rare, and in large municipalities, where violence is endemic, and are particularly pronounced among children of poorly educated mothers, implying that violence compounds the disadvantage that these children already suffer as a result of their households' lower socioeconomic status.

Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner (2014) Automatic Grade Promotion and Student Performance: Evidence from Brazil, Journal of Development Economics, 107: 277-290.

his paper examines the effect of automatic grade promotion on academic achievement in 1993 public primary schools in Brazil. A difference-in-differences approach that exploits variation over time and across schools in the grade promotion regime allows the identification of the treatment effect of automatic promotion. I find a negative and significant effect of about 7% of a standard deviation on math test scores. I provide evidence in support of the interpretation of the estimates as a disincentive effect of automatic promotion. The findings contribute to the understanding of retention policies by focussing on the ex-ante effect of repetition and are important for more complete cost–benefit considerations of grade retention.

Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner; Jesse Matheson (2021) Secondary Schools and Teenage Childbearing: Evidence from the school expansion in Brazilian municipalities. World Bank Economic Review, 35(4):1019–1037, 2021.

This article investigates the effect of increasing secondary education opportunities on teenage fertility in Brazil. We construct a novel dataset to exploit variation from a 57% increase in secondary schools across 4,884 Brazilian municipalities between 1997 and 2009. We find that an increase of one school per 100 females reduces a cohort’s teenage birthrate by between 0.250 and 0.563 births per 100, or a reduction of one birth for roughly every 50 to 100 students who enroll in secondary education.