Welcome to my personal website! I am a PhD student at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

 

My research interests lie at the intersection of finance, economic history, and public economics. I am particularly interested in studying how disruptions in credit markets affect private and public borrowers and in quantifying the effect of these shocks on other agents in the economy. I have conducted research in the context of the largest credit shock in the 20th century - the Great Depression. I also study the historical evolution of financial intermediaries and taxation. 

I enjoy collecting novel data and making it available to the broader research community. All data, documentation, and replication files for my papers will be posted on this site soon. Please reach out to me with any questions or comments.

 

Works in progress

Subject to revision. Not peer reviewed at this time. Do not cite.

(1) Public Goods Under Financial Distress: Evidence from Cities in the Great Depression

Draft forthcoming.

Preliminary Abstract.   There is mounting evidence that economic opportunities in the U.S. are shaped by place. Yet, we know little about why some places are "better" than others or how this heterogeneity formed in the first place. One possible contributing factor is public spending - places differ in how much they invest in education, how progressively they tax local residents, and how much they spend on health and safety that may also impact economic outcomes. In this paper, I study the fiscal response of local U.S. governments during the Great Depression using a novel and most comprehensive (to the best of my knowledge) database of municipal expenditures and bonds in 1920-1940. My identification strategy relies on the plausibly exogenous timing of bond repayment. Consistent with a debt-overhang hypothesis, I find that cities that entered the Depression with larger amounts of debt cut back essential services and investment while maintaining debt payments to their creditors.

 

(2) The 1918 Pandemic Revisited: New Evidence on Mortality and Economic Effects in U.S. Cities

Draft forthcoming.

Preliminary Abstract.   I study the demographic determinants and economic effects of the 1918 influenza pandemic by constructing a novel panel dataset of manufacturing activity and mortality for over 350 U.S. cities during 1909-1939. I find that the usual factors that explain spatial variation in influenza and pneumonia (P&I) do not explain excess mortality in 1918 across U.S. cities, giving some credence to the typical assumption that the spread of the pandemic was "random." Consistent with historical narrative, baseline P&I mortality and share of males correlate positively with mortality while share of children in school correlate negatively. I find no evidence that urban density had an impact on mortality. Furthermore, I do not find any evidence that proximity to a U.S. Navy or Army World War I camp affected mortality in cities. Although the mortality rate in these camps was around three times higher than that in the general population, these outbreaks seemed to have been contained within camps and were not spread to neighboring cities, in contrast with  a popular explanation of how the pandemic spread. Finally, I find strong evidence that high-mortality cities suffered worse in the years and decades after 1918 but the causal link between the pandemic and economic outcomes is tenuous. 

 

(3) Lender of Last Resort: Local Financial Constraints and Federal Reserve Policy in the 1930s

Draft forthcoming.

Preliminary Abstract.   Economic recovery from financial crises is typically slower than from other crises, possibly due to credit rationing by financial intermediaries. I study whether lender-of-last-resort policies of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank during the Great Depression eased financial constraints of firms using a novel database of local economic conditions from 1927-1937. My identification strategy relies on the willingness of the Federal Reserve to extend credit in some regions and not in others and plausibly exogenous placement of Federal Reserve boundaries. Using a contiguous-county and spatial regression discontinuity designs, I find some evidence that Fed intervention muted the negative response to employment and output.

(4) Correlation in State and Local Tax Changes (with Scott Baker and Lorenz Kuenz

Draft forthcoming.

Preliminary Abstract.   We develop a comprehensive dataset of state and local taxes from 2000-2015 that includes personal income taxes, property taxes, corporate income taxes, sales taxes, estate taxes and excise taxes. We illustrate how state and local taxes have changed over time, in response to business cycles, and to what extent different taxes co-move within a state or locality. Across states and local jurisdictions, large differences in the mix of taxes are observed, and these differences have tended to become more pronounced over time. Moreover, we note that different types of taxes tend to co-move within a state or local jurisdiction, highlighting the importance for researches to take into account the entirety of the tax system, rather than just a single tax type, when examining household or firm responses to state and local tax changes. At both a state and local level, increases in tax rates of all types tend to increase tax revenue but worsen business conditions and employment

(5) The Role of Insurance Companies as Financial Intermediaries: Evidence from Booms and Busts over the Twentieth Century (with Carola Frydman, Eric Hilt, and Dimitris Papanikolaou) 

In data collection.

 
 

Education

Ph.D., Finance, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA

M.S., Applied Mathematics, University of Colorado Boulder, CO, USA

B.A., Economics, University of Colorado Boulder, CO, USA

2016 - 2021 (expected)

2011 - 2016

2011 - 2016

Magna Cum Laude, with Distinction

B.S., Applied Mathematics, University of Colorado Boulder, CO, USA

2011 - 2016

Magna Cum Laude

Awards

Economic History Association Dissertation Fellowship

Kellogg School of Management Doctoral Fellowship

Kellogg School of Management Dean's Office Research Grant

Distinguished Graduate, Department of Applied Mathematics at CU Boulder

Christopher S. Randall Scholarship for Excellence in Economics, CU Boulder

Engineering Merit Scholarship, CU Boulder

2020 - 2021

2016 - 2021

2019 - 2021

2016

2015

2011 - 2015

Teaching Assistantships

Entrepreneurial Finance and Venture Capital, MBA, 6 quarters, Kellogg

Corporate Finance, PhD, 2 quarters, Kellogg

Corporate Finance, MBA, 9 quarters, Kellogg

Calculus 1 and Multivariate Calculus, 2 semesters, CU Boulder

2018-2020

2018 - 2019

2017 - 2020

2015 - 2016

 

Personal

Outside of research and teaching, I like to spend my time outdoors either in the mountains or with a frisbee in my hand. I am an avid Ultimate player and play competitively at the semi-pro and club levels. In March 2020, I was one of 24 players selected to men's Team USA which was scheduled to compete at the 2020 World Championships (postponed due to covid-19). You can find my complete playing history here.

2019 Chicago Machne - National Chamionship Runner-Ups

2019 Chicago Machine - Club National Championship Runner-ups.

2014 USAU College Championsip Colorado Mamabird

2014 University of Colorado Mamabird - College National Champions.