Available for interviews at
European Job Market for Economists (EEA)
Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA)
Primary: Macroeconomics. Labour Economics. Spatial Economics. Firm Dynamics. Secondary: Political Economy.
Jan Eeckhout (Advisor) [email protected]
Edouard Schaal(Advisor) [email protected]
"Market Power and Political Connections"(with F. Zhou) (Job Market Paper)
We quantify the importance of political connections with congressional committee members on firm market power in the United States. For identification, we exploit a congressional procedure (committee exile) leading to quasi-exogenous variations in a committee member’s political influence, and thus a firm’s political connections. We find that on average 10% more political connections with important committee members increase firm-level markups by 0.58 percentage point among US public firms. The share of values of government procurement contracts over sales is too small to explain the effect. To estimate the effects of a firm’s political influence on its competitors, we develop a general equilibrium model with both competition for political influence that help firms ease bureaucratic and regulatory burden following Grossman and Helpman (1994), and competition for market share following Atkeson and Burstein (2008). The model highlights how political connections influence firm market power and economic aggregate
"The Geography of Matching"
This paper shows the effect of search frictions on spatial sorting. First, I document the reduction of the elasticity of wage to city size in Germany after 2000. Consistent with Dauth et al. (2018), I find that the reduction of firm sorting and the universe increase in matching quality across locations account for almost all the change in city size wage premium. I propose a spatial general equilibrium model with two-sided heterogeneity and frictional labor markets. With random search, workers and firms pool together to achieve better matching quality. Thus, the model generates endogenous productive differentials across cities through strategic complementarity between worker and firm sorting. The model predicts a reduction in spatial sorting in response to a decrease in search cost while a Skill-biased technology change (SBTC) leads to more sorting. With this framework, I quantify and decompose the effect of SBTC, search frictions and amenities on spatial sorting. The reduction in search cost accounts for around half of the increase in matching quality and all the decrease in city size wage premium.
Research in Progress
“Firm Hierarchy and Wage Cylicality" (with J. Huang)
This paper considers the role of firm hierarchy on aggregate unemployment fluctuations. Using matched employer-employee data in Germany for 1975-2010, we document a novel set of facts about the labor market cyclicality: wages are significantly less cyclical at higher hierarchical level of the firms. Moreover, firms with more layers reduce both wages and employment more aggressively during recessions.