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Publications

AEA Papers and Proceedings
Abstract

There is a large gender wage gap among college graduates. This gender gap could be partially driven by differences in college major and prior skills. We use Swedish register data to study how much of the gender gap can be explained by differences in majors, skills, and skill prices. College majors explain 60 percent of the gender wage gap, but large gaps remain within majors. We find that within-major wage gaps are driven by neither differences in multidimensional skills nor returns to these skills. In fact, women are positively selected in terms of college preparation and skills in almost every major.

AEA Papers and Proceedings
Abstract

Low- and middle-income nations host 76 percent of the world's refugees. This study uses original data to explore within-country spatial variability in refugee-hosting responsibilities. We find that hosting responsibilities for the displaced Rohingya people in Bangladesh are allocated in similarly unequal fashion when analyzed at the national, regional, and microregional levels. Refugee camps are placed in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities relative to both Bangladesh as a whole and surrounding areas. Our findings underscore the importance of considering host communities in the coordination of humanitarian responses to refugee crises to prevent economic hardship and political backlash.

Quarterly Journal of Economics
Abstract

Firms facing complex objectives often decompose the problems they face, delegating different parts of the decision to distinct subunits. Using comprehensive data and internal models from a large U.S. airline, we establish that airline pricing is not well approximated by a model of the firm as a unitary decision maker. We show that observed prices, however, can be rationalized by accounting for organizational structure and for the decisions by departments that are tasked with supplying inputs to the observed pricing heuristic. Simulating the prices the firm would charge if it were a rational, unitary decision maker results in lower welfare than we estimate under observed practices. Finally, we discuss why counterfactual estimates of welfare and market power may be biased if prices are set through decomposition, but we instead assume that they are set by unitary decision makers.

American Economic Journal: Microeconomics
Abstract

Technological innovations like broadcast television and the internet challenge local newspapers' business model of bundling their local content with third-party content, such as wire national news. We examine how the entry of television affected newspapers and news diets in the United States. We construct a dataset of newspapers' economic performance and content choices from 1944 to 1964 and exploit quasi-random variation in the rollout of television to show its negative impact in the readership and advertising markets. Newspapers responded by reducing content, particularly local news. We tie this change to increased party vote share congruence between congressional and presidential elections.

American Economic Review
Abstract

We quantify the effects of the political development cycle – the fluctuations between the left (Maoist) and the right (pragmatist) development policies – on growth and structural transformation of China in 1953-1978. The left policies prioritized structural transformation towards non-agricultural production and consumption at the cost of agricultural development. The right policies prioritized agricultural consumption through slower structural transformation. The imperfect implementation of these policies led to large welfare costs of the political development cycle in a distorted economy undergoing a structural change.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Abstract

The present study examines the assumptions, modeling structure, and results of DICE-2023, the revised Dynamic Integrated Model of Climate and the Economy (DICE), updated to 2023. The revision contains major changes in the treatment of risk, the carbon and climate modules, the treatment of nonindustrial greenhouse gases, discount rates, as well as updates on all the major components. Noteworthy changes are a significant reduction in the target for the optimal (cost-beneficial) temperature path, a lower cost of reaching the 2 °C target, an analysis of the impact of the Paris Accord, and a major increase in the estimated social cost of carbon.

Review of Economic Studies
Abstract

Reclassification risk is a major concern in health insurance where contracts are typically 1 year in length but health shocks often persist for much longer. While most health systems with private insurers pair short-run contracts with substantial pricing regulations to reduce reclassification risk, long-term contracts with one-sided insurer commitment have significant potential to reduce reclassification risk without the negative side effects of price regulation, such as adverse selection. We theoretically characterize optimal long-term insurance contracts with one-sided commitment, extending the literature in directions necessary for studying health insurance markets. We leverage this characterization to provide a simple algorithm for computing optimal contracts from primitives. We estimate key market fundamentals using data on all under-65 privately insured consumers in Utah. We find that dynamic contracts are very effective at reducing reclassification risk for consumers who arrive at the market in good health, but they are ineffective for consumers who come to the market in bad health, demonstrating that there is a role for the government insurance of pre-market health risks. Individuals with steeply rising income profiles find front-loading costly, and thus relatively prefer ACA-type exchanges. Switching costs enhance, while myopia moderately compromises, the performance of dynamic contracts.

Journal of Econometrics
Abstract

Considerable evidence in past research shows size distortion in standard tests for zero autocorrelation or zero cross-correlation when time series are not independent identically distributed random variables, pointing to the need for more robust procedures. Recent tests for serial correlation and cross-correlation in Dalla, Giraitis, and Phillips (2022) provide a more robust approach, allowing for heteroskedasticity and dependence in uncorrelated data under restrictions that require a smooth, slowly-evolving deterministic heteroskedasticity process. The present work removes those restrictions and validates the robust testing methodology for a wider class of innovations and regression residuals allowing for heteroscedastic uncorrelated and non-stationary data settings. The updated analysis given here enables more extensive use of the methodology in practical applications. Monte Carlo experiments confirm excellent finite sample performance of the robust test procedures even for extremely complex white noise processes. The empirical examples show that use of robust testing methods can materially reduce spurious evidence of correlations found by standard testing procedures.

Journal of Political Economy
Abstract

We document that sales of individual products decline steadily throughout most of the product life cycle. Products quickly become obsolete as they face competition from newer products sold by competing firms and the same firm. We build a dynamic model that highlights an innovation-obsolescence cycle, where firms need to introduce new products to grow; otherwise, their portfolios become obsolete as rivals introduce their own new products. By introducing new products, however, firms accelerate the decline of their own existing products, further depressing their sales. This mechanism has sizable implications for quantifying economic growth and the impact of innovation policies.

Journal of Economic Perspectives
Abstract

The failure of Silicon Valley Bank on March 10, 2023 brought attention to significant weaknesses across the banking system, leading to a panic that spread to other vulnerable banks. With subsequent failures of Signature Bank and First Republic Bank, the United States had three of the four largest bank failures in its history occur over a two-month period. Several features of the Silicon Valley Bank failure make it an ideal teaching case for explaining the underlying economics of banking (in general) and banking crises (specifically). This paper tries to do that.