Welcome to my personal website! I am a PhD candidate at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. I will be on the job market in the 2021-2022 cycle.
My research interests lie at the intersection of finance, economic history, and urban economics. I am particularly interested in studying how disruptions in credit markets affect private and public borrowers and in quantifying the impact of these shocks on other agents in the economy. In my dissertation, I investigate the effect of the largest credit shock in the 20th century - the Great Depression - on local public good provision using a comprehensive panel of cities and school districts in the U.S. I also study the historical evolution of financial intermediaries and taxation. All data, documentation, and replication files for my papers are posted on this site. 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 Not peer reviewed at this time. Do not cite.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
Urban Economic Association Student Prize, Runner-up
Summary. How do economic crises affect the level or composition of local public goods? Do financial constraints hinder the provision of public services and capital investment during recessions? I study the evolution of local public good provision in a large panel of U.S. cities before, during, and after the Great Depression using a novel database of city revenue, expenditure, and debt. I find large heterogeneous impacts of the Depression on cities based on financial leverage. To study whether financing constraints are causal, I use quasi-exogenous variation from individual bonds becoming due. I find that financially levered cities curtailed public good provision more severely than similar non-levered cities. Lastly, I find a significant impact of local economic downturns and public spending on individual-level migration decisions during the Depression.
(2) Recessions and Education Attainment: Lessons from the Great Depression
Summary. This paper studies how rising youth unemployment and deteriorating school quality during the Great Depression affected overall high school graduation rates and average earnings across U.S. cities. Using the building blocks of Becker-type theories of human capital investment, I develop a conceptual model that portrays the trade-off between two competing forces: the "local-unemployment" (LU) and "education-quality" (EQ) channels. To measure LU and EQ at the city level, I collect novel unemployment-by-occupation rates for youth and public school quality measures from two historical sources. My empirical strategy attempts to explain the within-county time variation in high school graduation rates using a difference-in-difference design with across-county variation in these two channels. I find that increases in the youth unemployment rate significantly increased secondary school attendance and graduation rates while education spending cuts decreased them. The LU mechanism is prominent in counties in states with looser youth employment regulations and in counties with below-median federal spending on New Deal programs. Lastly, I show that the EQ shock lowered average teacher wages and increases student-teacher ratios, which further points to how expenditure shocks manifest in reduced school quality.
(3) The 1918 Pandemic Revisited: New Evidence on Mortality and Economic Effects in U.S. Cities
Summary. 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 the share of children in school correlates 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. 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.
(4) Lender of Last Resort: Local Financial Constraints and Federal Reserve Policy in the 1930s
Summary. 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.
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
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 - 2022
2011 - 2016
2011 - 2016
Magna Cum Laude, with Distinction
B.S., Applied Mathematics, University of Colorado Boulder, CO, USA
2011 - 2016
Magna Cum Laude
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
2011 - 2015
Entrepreneurial Finance and Venture Capital, MBA, 7 quarters, Kellogg
Corporate Finance, PhD, 3 quarters, Kellogg
Corporate Finance, MBA, 9 quarters, Kellogg
Calculus 1 and Multivariate Calculus, 2 semesters, CU Boulder
2018 - present
2018 - present
2017 - 2020
2015 - 2016
Here you will find novel datasets I have collected as part of my research. If you plan on using any of them and have questions, please contact me directly. All I ask is that you cite my work once it is published.