Research

WORKING PAPERS

1. The Productivity Puzzle and the Decline of Unions [submitted]

Abstract: This paper argues that rapid de-unionization during the 1980s can explain the sudden vanishing of the procyclicality of productivity in the U.S. I use cross-sectional evidence from U.S. states and industries to argue that the lower cost of hiring and firing workers due to the decline in union power prompted firms to rely less on labour hoarding, making productivity less procyclical. Allowing the hiring cost to decrease by the same proportion as the decline in union density can match almost the entire drop in cyclical productivity correlations in a model with endogenous effort and costly employment adjustment. [Version: EUI-MWP]

Presentations: Royal Economic Society Annual Conference (scheduled), Xavier Institute of Management International Conference on Contemporary Issues in Economics (scheduled), Canadian Economic Association Annual Conference, European University Institute, University of Queensland, Shiv Nadar University, Ozyegin University, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Ashoka University, Nazarbayev University, Bucknell University, University of Manchester, Brock University, Delhi School of Economics Winter School, University of British Columbia, Bank of Canada Graduate Student Paper Award Workshop, Western Economic Association International Annual Conference, CIREQ PhD Students’ Symposium

2. Consumption and Income Inequality across Generations (with Giovanni Gallipoli & Hamish Low)

Revise & Resubmit at Journal of Political Economy

Abstract: We characterize the joint evolution of cross-sectional inequality in earnings, other sources of income and consumption across generations in the U.S. To account for cross-sectional dispersion, we estimate a model of intergenerational persistence and separately identify the influences of parental factors and of idiosyncratic life-cycle components. We find evidence of family persistence in earnings, consumption and saving behaviours, and marital sorting patterns. However, the quantitative contribution of idiosyncratic heterogeneity to cross-sectional inequality is significantly larger than parental effects. Our estimates imply that intergenerational persistence is not high enough to induce further large increases in inequality over time and across generations. [Coverage: HCEO,CEPR,NEP-DGE Blog]

Presentations: European Economic Association Annual Congress (Invited Session; scheduled), Shiv Nadar University, College of William and Mary, Dynamic Structural Econometrics Conference, University of Bristol, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, University of Chicago, University of Manchester, Econometric Society Virtual World Congress, University of Naples, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics Summer Workshop, Canadian Economic Association Annual Conference – Bank of Canada session, Deutsche Bundesbank International Conference on Household Finance, University of Cambridge, University of British Columbia, NBER Summer Institute, Society for Economic Dynamics Annual Meeting

Award: Best 2nd Year PhD Research Paper (2016) at the Vancouver School of Economics for a single-authored version

PUBLICATION

1. Inclusive Growth: Economics as if People Mattered (with Debasmita Das)

Global Business Review, 2018

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