I am a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Economics at the University of Mannheim, funded by the Collaborative Research Center TR 224 "Economic Perspectives on Societal Challenges - Equality of Opportunity, Market Regulation, and Financial Stability" of the German Science Foundation (DFG).
My research focuses broadly on international economics and organizational economics. I am particularly interested in studying how firm behavior shapes economic performance.


Article by Harald Fadinger, Jean-Victor Alipour and myself in the F.A.Z. on the role of home office during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

DER SPIEGEL writes an article about my research on The Costs and Benefits of Home Office during the Covid-19 Pandemic, joint with Harald Fadinger.

I co-organized a workshop on Trade Policy and Firm Performance in the Global Economy on 13-14 June 2019 jointly with Harald Fadinger and Yanping Liu, sponsored by the Collaborative Research Center TR 224. See here for the program.

Working Papers

My Home is My Castle - The Benefits of Working from Home During a Pandemic Crisis: Evidence from Germany
with Jean-Victor Alipour and Harald Fadinger
[Abstract], [Media Coverage]

Abstract: This paper studies the impact of working from home (WFH) on work relations and public health during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. Combining administrative data on SARSCoV-2 infections and short-time work registrations, firm- and worker-level surveys and cell phone tracking data on mobility patterns, we find that working from home e ectively shields workers from short-time work, firms from COVID-19 distress and substantially reduces infection risks. Counties whose occupation structure allows for a larger fraction of work to be done from home experience (i) fewer short-time work registrations and (ii) less SARS-CoV-2 cases. At the firm level, an exogenous increase in the take-up of WFH reduces the probability to file for short-time work by up to 71 p.p. and the probability of being very negatively affected by the crisis by up to 77 p.p. Much of the changes in the organization of work relations are likely to be permanent and to have effects well beyond the crisis. Health benefits of WFH appeared mostly in the early stage of the pandemic and became smaller once tight confinement rules were implemented. Before confinement, mobility levels were lower in counties with more WFH jobs and counties experienced a convergence in traffic levels once confinement was in place.

Human Capitalists, Reallocation and the Global Division of Labor
Awarded the FIW International Economics Conference Best Paper Award 2019, Vienna
and the Walther-Rathenau Best Paper Award

Abstract: The rise of top inequality in the United States and many other countries in recent decades is well documented but its causes remain controversial. Using data on equity ownership and income streams of corporate top earners in the U.S. and the U.K., this paper assesses the role of reallocation towards "superstar firms" for top earners. If economic activity is reallocated toward the largest firms in the economy, this affects equity prices, top earners' marginal product and their incentives. Exploiting the global rise of trade in intermediate inputs as a source for economic reallocation, I assess three predictions of this hypothesis: (i) equity prices increase more for superstar firms, (ii) the value of equity ownership and labor incomes of top earners in superstar firms increase, (iii) equity ownership responds more elastically than labor incomes which changes the compensation structure of top earners. The results suggest that focusing on the income skill premium fundamentally underestimates the returns to globalization for top earners. Furthermore, the reallocation-channel rationalizes the prevalence of capital incomes vis-à-vis labor incomes for top earners.

Capital (Mis)allocation and Incentive Misalignment
with Alexander Schramm and Alexander Schwemmer

Abstract: This paper studies how the allocation of capital within firms is shaped by short-termist incentives. We first present empirical evidence on the existence of within-firm (mis)allocation of capital caused by distortions of managerial incentives using the reform of the FAS 123 accounting statement in the U.S. as a quasi-natural experiment. Based on within-firm variation across investments with different durabilities, we find that firms systematically shifted expenditures towards less durable investments in response to a shift towards more short-term incentives. This reform-induced alteration of the firm-specific capital mix effectively shortened the durability of firms' capital stock. By calibrating a dynamic model of firm investments in which managers determine investment policies, we then seek to quantify the impact of such incentive distortions on output, investment and capital (mis)allocation. Equity-based compensation contracts can induce managers to make investment decisions corresponding to quasi-hyperbolic time preferences and relatively small deviations in incentives induced by the accounting reform caused substantial distortions within and across firms. Overall, this reform-induced shift in capital structures away from the social optimum lowered long-run profits by about 0.54% on average.


The Costs and Benefits of Home Office during the Covid-19 Pandemic - Evidence from Infections and an Input-Output Model for Germany
with Harald Fadinger
[Abstract], [Media Coverage], [Data and Code],
C.E.P.R. COVID Economics: Vetted and Real-Time Papers, Vol. 9, p. 107-134, Apr. 2020

Foreign Competition and the Durability of U.S. Firm Investments
with Philippe Fromenteau and Jan Tscheke
[Abstract], [Media Coverage], [Working Paper Version]
RAND Journal of Economics, Vol. 50(3), p. 532-567, Fall 2019

Trade in Tasks and the Organization of Firms
with Dalia Marin and Alexander Tarasov
[Abstract], [Data and Code], [Media Coverage], [Working Paper Version]
European Economic Review, Vol. 107, p. 99-132, Aug. 2018

Globalization and the Evolution of Corporate Governance
[Abstract], [Data and Code], [Media Coverage], [Working Paper Version]
European Economic Review, Vol. 102, p. 39-61, Feb. 2018.

Democratization, Contracts and Comparative Advantage
with Felix Samy Soliman
[Abstract], [Working Paper Version]
Economics Letters, Vol. 173, p. 73-77, Dec. 2018.

Work in Progress

Trade Policy and the Geography of Global Production
with Harald Fadinger and Lei Li

Trade Adjustment and Competition in the Eurozone
with Harald Fadinger


Firms in the Aggregate Economy
M.Sc. Economics, University of Mannheim

Organizational Economics
Undergraduate Economics, University of Mannheim

Topics in International Trade
M.Sc. Economics, University of Munich