Available for interviews at
European Job Market for Economists (EEA)
Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA)
Macroeconomics, Entrepreneurship, Firm Dynamics and Labor Markets
"Student Debt and Entrepreneurship in the US” (Job Market Paper)
There is an active debate among policy makers and researchers over the consequences of student debt for individuals’ choices and aggregate quantities in the US. Using micro-level data and focusing on entrepreneurial outcomes, I document that having a student loan is associated with a lower likelihood of opening a firm and obtaining funding, and is linked to smaller business size and lower revenues. To rationalize my findings, I build a heterogeneous agents model with education and occupational decisions, where student debt slows down the accumulation of wealth and reduces the collateral entrepreneurs can pledge to rent capital on financial markets. Calibrated to US data, my framework matches 30 to 80% of the gaps in entrepreneurial margins across agents with and without college, and with or without loans. I also show that the increase in university prices and student debt from the 1980’s to today can account for a third of the decline in the entrepreneurial rate of college graduates with loans. As a key validation exercise, I exploit the exogenous variation in the amount of individuals’ outstanding debt induced by the 1998 reform to student loans bankruptcy. A regression discontinuity design pins down the elasticity of entrepreneurial choices to student debt that is then replicated in the model. Finally, I use my framework as a laboratory to study the effects of policy reforms such as the adoption of income-driven repayment plans and the expansion of college financial aid.
Research Papers in Progress
"Heterogeneous Markups Cyclicality and Monetary Policy" (with A. Chiavari and D. Smirnov)
Firms’ markups cyclicality is at the heart of monetary policy transmission in the New Keynesian model. Using US Compustat data and employing local projection techniques, we uncover a novel empirical fact: dominant firms have a more countercyclical markup response after a contractionary monetary policy shock. Using a heterogeneous firms New Keynesian model with demand accumulation and endogenous markups that evolve over the life-cycle of producers, we show that this is due to different demand elasticities faced by firms. Dominant firms face a more inelastic demand, which implies a lower pass-through rate from costs to prices. Therefore, after a contractionary monetary policy shock, dominant firms pass less the reduction in marginal costs to prices compared to competitors, and increase their markups by more, as documented empirically. After calibrating the model to US micro-level data, we find that considering these heterogeneous demand elasticities has important implications for monetary policy amplification."
"Labor and Family Dynamics in a Joint-Search Framework" (with D. Smirnov)
We quantitatively study the interplay of job search decisions and family dynamics, and assess its implication for the design of optimal unemployment schemes. Developing a novel heterogeneous agents model that combines joint-search and endogenous household’s formation, we highlight how marital sorting and selection-into-joint-households affect wages and unemployment rates. In the model, both mechanisms determine productivity differences in the sample composition of married and singles, which are crucial to replicate salient US labor market heterogeneities by marital status that were previously not accounted for. Our calibrated framework explains 75% of the wage marital premium, 60% of the unemployment marital gap and the bulk of the marital patterns documented in the US, and it is used as a laboratory to evaluate optimal unemployment insurance schemes and family benefits for single and joint-households.
“Female Entrepreneurship, Financial Frictions and Capital Misallocation in the US”(with A. Sy)
Journal of Monetary Economics, Volume 129, pages 93-118.July, 2022
We document and quantify the effect of gender gaps in access to credit on both entrepreneurship and the misallocation of productive inputs in the US. Female-owned firms are more likely to be rejected when applying for a bank loan and have a higher average product of capital, which is a sign of capital misallocation across producers. We build a heterogeneous agents model of entrepreneurial choice under financial frictions where female entrepreneurs can be subject to a tighter borrowing constraint that limits their entrepreneurial participation and distorts their optimal capital choices. Our quantified framework explains the bulk of the gender heterogeneity in capital allocation across firms and a third of the disparities in entrepreneurial rates. Parallel to that, eliminating the gender difference in financial access has a sizeable positive effect on the allocation of entrepreneurial talent and capital, and leads to a 4% increase in total output. Finally, we explore the differential effect that fiscal policies targeting entrepreneurial activities can have on both male and female-led firms in the presence of gender imbalances in financial markets.