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Current Position

I am a PhD student at University of Cologne and expect to complete my PhD in spring 2020. I am on the academic job market 2019/20 and will be available for interviews at the European Job Market Meeting in Rotterdam and the ASSA Meetings in San Diego.

Curriculum Vitae

I hold a bachelor's and a master's degree in economics from University of Cologne and spent part of my studies at Trinity College Dublin, London School of Economics, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. You find a detailed CV here: CV.

Research Interests

I study the effects of technological change on economic inequality and its implications for the design of redistributive policies. My research crosses the fields of public economics, economic growth, and labor economics.

Working Papers

"Redistributive Income Taxation with Directed Technical Change". 2019. Job Market Paper.

  • Treating the direction of technical change as endogenous makes the optimal non-linear labor income tax more progressive.
  • Awarded the Peggy and Richard Musgrave Prize at IIPF 2019 (more).

"An Elementary Theory of Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality". 2018. Revise and Resubmit, Review of Economic Studies.

  • Central results from the theory of directed technical change hold much more generally than suggested by previous work and have important implications for the endogenous evolution of automation technology.
  • Awarded the best paper award at RGS Doctoral Conference 2019 (more).
  • Early version (2016) with explicit formulation of the LeChatelier Principle for relative demand implied by the paper: "A LeChatelier Principle for Relative Demand and Implications for Directed Technical Change".

Work in Progress

"Interdependence of Automation and Imports: Evidence from US Labor Markets". With Philipp Giesa.

  • Abstract: We study the relationship between automation and labor-intensive imports. An open economy model of automation predicts that automation and imports from low-wage countries are substitutes in the economy’s aggregate factor demand system. We estimate a first-order approximation of this system for US commuting zones, using data on installments of industrial robots and imports from China. Identification is obtained from variation in trade costs and measures of automatability across industries. Preliminary results show that the relationship between robots and imports is indeed negative: an exogenous increase in imports reduces the amount of robots installed in a commuting zone and vice versa. Consequently, the employment effect of imports is mitigated through the endogenous response of robots, and vice versa. In the next step, we aim to analyze implications for the effects of robot taxes and import tariffs.

"Inefficiency and Regulation in Credence Goods Markets with Altruistic Experts". With Razi Farukh.

  • Abstract: We study a credence goods problem – that is, a moral hazard problem with non-contractible outcome – where experts (the agents) care both about their income and the utility of consumers (the principals). Experts’ preferences over income and their consumers’ utility are convex, such that experts care less for consumers when their financial situation is bad. In a market setting with multiple consumers per expert, an externality arises across consumers: one consumer’s payment raises the expert’s income, which makes the non-selfish part of preferences more important and thereby induces the expert to provide higher quality services to all consumers. The externality renders the market outcome inefficient. Price regulation partially overcomes this inefficiency and Pareto-improves upon the market outcome. If market entry of experts is endogenous, price regulation should be accompanied by licensing arrangements that cap the number of experts in the market. Our theory provides a simple and novel rationale for the widespread use of price regulation and licensing in real-world markets for expert services.

Policy Papers

"Foreign Trade of the EU27 - A Regional and Sectoral Analysis". With Sabine Stephan. IMK Report Nr. 83e, 2013.