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Tel. +34 93 542 1998
Available for Interviews at :
Simposio de la Asociación Española de Economía (SAEe), December 14-16, Barcelona, Spain
Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA), January 5-7, Philadelphia, US
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Secondary: Economic Geography, Labor Economics
"The Implications of Declining Firm-Level Uncertainty for Consumption Variety and Cities"(Job Market Paper) (with Heiko Stüber)
I provide evidence that the decline in firm-level volatility observed over the past few decades came along with a fall in microeconomic uncertainty that has hampered spatial agglomeration by reducing the consumer gains from a greater variety in large cities. I exploit administrative data for the population of German establishments to document a positive association between microeconomic uncertainty and the number of establishments active in disaggregated non-tradable industries in each local market. The effect is several orders of magnitude larger in big cities. I build a tractable spatial equilibrium model of firm entry to quantify the consequences of a decline in uncertainty on the spatial distribution of economic activity. Reduced entry compensates for the losses associated with the more compressed productivity distribution entailed by lower uncertainty. Firm entry drops more in otherwise more competitive markets, which implies in equilibrium a less concentrated city size distribution. I find that the 2.75 percent point decline in uncertainty observed during 1990-2014 in Germany has led to an average 9% decline in consumer surplus across cities, and a modest compression in the city size distribution.
"Large Firms and the Volatility and Persistence of Local Business Cycles (with Heiko Stüber)
This paper analyzes how large firm dynamics and stronger agglomeration externalities on the productivity of the largest firms jointly determine local business cycle fluctuations. First, it uncovers novel evidence on local business cycle properties across a panel of German Metropolitan Areas: large cities face less aggregate volatility, but also longer recessions. Second, it shows that a theory of large firm dynamics is needed to account for the observed rate of diversification based on city size. Additionally, it highlights how the combination of large firm dynamics and stronger agglomeration externalities on the productivity of the largest firms can account for the fact that aggregate employment takes longer to recover and, thus, features more persistence in big cities. Finally, by matching the predictions of the theory to business cycle properties across cities, it provides a novel source of identification for the stronger productivity advantage granted by big cities to already large firms.
"Specialization and Cities"(with Jan Eeckhout and Theodore Papageorgiou)
Specialization has been long considered a driver of worker productivity. Using occupation-level data we develop a measure of individual specialization that takes into account the tasks performed by the worker and their frequency. We find high-skilled workers to be on average more specialized, workers located in large cities to be more specialized, and among them especially the high-skilled ones. We develop a model that microfounds the choice of specialization and we embed it into a standard spatial equilibrium framework setup. We use the calibrated model to quantify the role of endogenous specialization at shaping the urban wage premium by skill groups.