Hi there!

I am Francisco Del Villar, an economist.

Here is a link to my CV.

If anything in this webpage interests you, please drop me a line!

Auctions of Incentive Contracts for Policy Choice

A principal considers hiring one agent to improve a valuable, observable outcome. Who to hire? How to motivate? This paper studies a decision-making process where the principal designs an incentive contract that pays according to the realized outcome and sells the contract to an agent through an auction. It characterizes the principal's worst-possible payoff of every contract-auction pair, finds the class of maximin optimal contract-auction pairs, and shows that optimal pairs offer the principal a non-negative payoff guarantee. The characterization builds off two assumptions made on a subset of contract-auction pairs: that the contract induces the contracted agent to improve (or at least not worsen) the outcome and that the auction's revenue exceeds a threshold in expectation. The principal can design an auction that attains this revenue guarantee if she knows the expected contract payment of the outcome that would occur absent agent activities or if agents know this quantity. Weak additional assumptions allow the principal to design a contract-auction pair that is maximin optimal and gives her a non-negative payoff guarantee if she has limited liability, if she incurs various additional costs, or if agents cannot be trusted to pay for the incentive contract.

Detection of Irregular Assignments of Cases to Judges

I develop tools to detect irregular assignments of cases to judges and apply them to Ecuador's judicial system. I derive the sharp bounds on the overall, court-specific, and judge-specific probabilities that a case's assignment is inconsistent with existing regulations. The bounds rely on administrative case assignment data and one, or both, of the following assumptions: (i) that certain observed case characteristics do not influence which judge a case should be assigned to, and (ii) that the probability distribution over the judges that each case should be assigned to is known (e.g. uniform, random assignment). I construct a database of all publicly-available case assignments in Ecuador's district courts, with over two million assignments from 2016 to 2020, and I find that 5% of courts and judges account for 43% and 37% of irregular assignments, respectively. Overall, at least 65 thousand assignments, 2.9%, are irregular.