Welcome

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.

News

I co-organize a workshop on Policies to Cope with the COVID-19 Crisis on 27-28 January 2021 jointly with Harald Fadinger, Sebastian Seitz and Sebastian Siegloch, sponsored by the Collaborative Research Center TR 224 and ZEW. See here for the program.

We updated our study on the role of home office during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

Working Papers

My Home is My Castle - The Benefits of Working from Home During a Pandemic Crisis
with Jean-Victor Alipour and Harald Fadinger
conditionally accepted at the Journal of Public Economics
[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 SARS-CoV-2 infections and short-time work registrations, firm- and employee-level surveys and cell phone tracking data on mobility patterns, we find that working from home effectively shields employees from short-time work, firms from COVID-19 distress and substantially reduces infection risks. Counties with a higher share of teleworkable jobs experience fewer short-time work registrations and less SARS-CoV-2 cases. At the firm level, an exogenous increase in the take-up of WFH reduces the probability of filing for short-time work by up to 72 p.p. and the probability of being very negatively affected by the crisis by up to 75 p.p. Health benefits of WFH appeared mostly in the early stage of the pandemic and became smaller once tight confinement rules were implemented. This effect was driven by lower initial mobility levels in counties with more teleworkable jobs and a subsequent convergence in traffic levels once confinement was implemented. Our results imply that confinement and incentivizing WFH are substitutive policies to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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

Abstract: The rise of top inequality in the United States and many other industrialized economies during recent decades is well documented but its causes remain controversial. Using data on corporate top earners' ownership of equity and income streams, this paper assesses how trade-induced economic reallocation affects top earners in the US and the UK. Exploiting the global rise in input trade as a source for economic reallocation, I document that (i) equity prices increase more for the largest firms, (ii) the value of equity ownership and labor incomes of top earners in the largest firms increase and (iii) equity ownership responds more elastically than labor incomes which changes the compensation structure and incentives of top earners. To rationalize these empirical findings, I introduce managerial equity ownership into a model of heterogeneous firms. Calibrating the model confirms that equity ownership responds more elastically than labor incomes to reallocation such 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
[Abstract]
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.

Publications

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

Teaching

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