Assistant Professor of Economics
University of Amsterdam
Distributional Macroeconomics · Macro-Finance · Household Finance · Computational Economics
Falling Behind: Has Rising Inequality Fueled the American Debt Boom? (August 2023 – major update)
Workshop on Redistributive Trends
on December 2, 2022 in Amsterdam (details and program)
Keynote speakers: Ben Moll and Moritz Schularick
Other speakers: Clara Martinez-Toledano, Rene Stulz, Viral Acharya, Ludwig Straub
Organizers: Enrico Perotti, Fabian Greimel, Yasmine van der Straten
with Moritz Drechsel-Grau [paper] [slides] [poster] [two-minute video] [old version with Huggett-type model]
[Abstract] This paper studies whether the interplay of social comparisons in housing and rising income inequality contributed to the household debt boom in the US between 1980 and 2007. We develop a tractable macroeconomic model with general social comparisons in housing to show that changes in the distribution of income affect aggregate housing demand, aggregate debt and house prices if (and only if) social comparisons are asymmetric. In the empirically relevant case of upward-looking comparisons, rising inequality can rationalize up to a quarter of the observed debt boom.
revise & resubmit at the Review of Financial Studies
2020 WFA PhD Candidate Award for Outstanding Research
2022 Young Economist Award of the Austrian Economic Association
Understanding Housing Wealth Effects: Debt, Homeownership and the Lifecycle (June 2020)
with Frederick Zadow [paper] [slides]
[Abstract] Housing wealth effects---the reaction of consumption to changes in house prices---were at the heart of the Great Recession. Empirical and quantitative macroeconomic studies have found that housing wealth effects are stronger for more indebted households. One important policy implication is that lowering debt limits for borrowers will dampen the consumption slump in a house price bust. Such conclusions might be premature. We build a simple life-cycle model with housing with closed form solutions for housing wealth effects. We show that the strength of housing wealth effects crucially depends on the underlying household characteristics which also determine the debt levels. In this framework imposing one-size-fits-all debt limits does not necessarily mitigate housing wealth effects. To be effective, policies have to be tailored to borrowers' characteristics. Aggregate housing wealth effects can be reduced in three ways: (i) if old homeowners reduce their housing wealth; (ii) if the home ownership rate decreases; (iii) if agents have smaller houses. We provide a simple empirical test of our model predictions. When explaining housing wealth effects, we find that the level of mortgages turns statistically insignificant once relevant household characteristics (age and a proxy for housing preferences) are added.
Firm-borne Financial Contagion: When Rollover Risk Ripples (draft coming soon) [slides]
[Abstract] A financial network becomes more resilient to large shocks when it is split into two weakly connected components. A shock will be contained in the component of the network that it hits. This paper discusses under which conditions shocks can travel across these components when banks of different components lend to the same firm.
Home-Biased Landlords: Rents Too High But Yields Too Low (Work in Progress)
[Abstract] Arbitrage dictates that returns on assets equalize. This is not the case for real estate, where returns are comparatively low in "Superstar Cities". One explanation for this anomaly is home-bias of investors. This paper discusses how home-bias of investors drives up prices and rents in big cities while investors loose out on higher returns they could have made by investing elsewhere.
Do Banks Shape Markets? (Work in Progress)
with Enrico Camarda
[Abstract] Akin to the common ownership problem, a bank that is the dominant lender of a certain market might act anti-competitively to maximize the joint value of its lending relationships. We study if dominant banks do indeed exhibit such behavior: Do dominant banks try to prevent potential competitors of their clients to enter? Do dominant banks drive firms out of a sector to increase mark-ups?
2023: TU Vienna · Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena in Amsterdam · KVS New Paper Sessions in Den Haag (invited session, cancelled) · Austrian Economic Association in Salzburg
2022: T2M Conference in London · Behavioral Macroeconomics Workshop in Bamberg · Austrian Economic Association in Vienna · Tilburg University · Workshop on Redistributive Trends in Amsterdam (Co-Organizer) · 4th Winter Meeting of the Austrian Economic Association in Vienna
2021: University of Vienna
2020: AEA in San Diego (Poster) · AFA in San Diego (Poster) · University of Amsterdam · University of Bologna · virtual meeting of the Western Finance Association
2019: Mannheim-Frankfurt Macro Workshop · Stockholm University · Nordic Macro Symposium in Smögen (Discussant) · Econometric Society European Meeting in Manchester · New Approaches for Understanding Business Cycles (CEPR, Mannheim, Poster) · European Winter Meeting of the Econometric Society in Rotterdam
2018: Financial Markets and Macroeconomic Performance (CEPR, Frankfurt, Poster) · CEPR European Summer Symposium in Financial Markets in Gerzensee (evening sessions) · Econometric Society European Meeting in Cologne · 2nd Winter Meeting of the Austrian Economic Association in Vienna
2015–2020: PhD in Economics – University of Mannheim
2016–2017: Visiting PhD student at Yale University
2013–2015: MSc in Economics – Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), Vienna
2010–2013: BSc in Economics – University of Economics and Business (WU), Vienna
University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Economics
1018 WB Amsterdam