I am a 5th year doctoral student in economics at the University of Munich, Germany and junior researcher at the Ifo Institute in Munich. My supervisor is Prof. Gabriel Felbermayr, PhD. My research focuses on issues related to international trade, migration, and international finance.
I will be on the job market in the 2016/2017 season and I will be available for interviews at the AEA Meeting in Chicago, January 6-8, 2017.
I obtained my undergraduate education from Tuebingen University, Germany. In the course of my graduate studies I have visited the University of Missouri at Columbia, Stanford University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Firms facing uncertainty about demand at the time of production expose their shareholders to volatile returns. Risk-averse investors trading multiple assets will favor stocks that tend to yield high returns in bad times, that is, when marginal utility of consumption is high. In this paper, I develop a firm-level gravity model of trade with risk-averse investors to show that firms seeking to maximize their present values will take into account that shareholders discount expected profits depending on the correlation with their expected marginal utility of consumption. The model predicts that, ceteris paribus, firms sell more to markets where profits covary less with the income of their investors. To test this prediction, I use data on stock returns to estimate correlations between demand growth in export markets with expected marginal utility growth of US investors. Then, I show that the covariance pattern explains US exports across destination markets and time within narrowly defined product-level categories. I conclude that by maximizing shareholder value, exporters are actively engaged in global risk-sharing. [First draft coming soon]
Many countries offer state credit guarantee programs to improve access to finance for exporting firms. In the case of Germany, accumulated returns to the scheme deriving from risk-compensating premia have outweighed accumulated losses over the past 60 years. Why do private financial agents not step in? We build a simple model with heterogeneous firms that rationalizes demand for state guarantees with specific cost advantages of the government. We test the model’s predictions with detailed firm-level data and find supportive evidence: State credit guarantees in Germany increase firms’ exports. This effect is stronger for firms that are dependent on external finance, if the value at risk is large, and at times when refinancing conditions are tight. [CESifo Working Paper No. 5176, 2015]
Since July 2013, the EU and the US have been negotiating a preferential trade agreement (PTA), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). We use a multi-country, multi-industry Ricardian trade model with national and international input-output linkages to quantify its potential economic consequences. We structurally estimate the sectoral trade flow elasticities of trade costs and of existing PTAs. We simulate the trade, value added, and welfare effects of the TTIP, assuming that the agreement would eliminate all transatlantic tariffs and reduce non-tariff barriers as other deep PTAs have. The long-run level of real per capita income would change by 2.12% in the EU, by 2.68% in the US, and by -0.03% in the rest of the world relative to the status quo. However, there is substantial heterogeneity across the 134 geographical entities that we investigate. Gross value of EU-US trade could triple, but its value added would grow by substantially less. Moreover, trade diversion effects are more pronounced in value added trade than in gross trade. This signals a deepening of the transatlantic value chain. [CESifo Working Paper No. 5150, 2014]
Fragmentation of the global value chain makes it difficult to assess the effects of trade liberalization on the global pattern of production. Gross bilateral trade flows no longer reveal a country's or a sector's value added contribution. Yet, it is value added that matters for employment and welfare. We show that value added trade on the bilateral crosssectoral level follows a gravity equation and we derive a structural equation for production networks from a multi-sector gravity model with inter-sectoral linkages to analyze the effects of trade liberalization in the presence of globally fragmented value chains. We estimate the model's key parameters, calibrate it to the year 2000 using the World Input-Output Database, and perform a counterfactual analysis of China's WTO accession. We find that China's WTO entry accounts for about 45% of the decrease in China's value added exports to exports ratio and for about 7% of the decline in this figure on the world level as observed between 2000 and 2007. Furthermore, our results imply that China's WTO accession was the driving force behind the strengthening of production networks with its neighbors and led to significant welfare gains for China, Australia, and the proximate Asian economies. [First draft coming soon]
We argue that the narrative of variety-induced gains from trade in differentiated goods needs revision. If producing differentiated varieties of a good requires differentiated skills and if the work force is heterogeneous in these skills, then firms are likely to have monopsony power. We show that trade then has adverse labor market effects: It increases the monopsony power of firms and worsens the average quality of matches between firms and workers. We also show that international migration has the opposite beneficial effects. Our model can explain two-way migration among similar countries, a pattern that features prominently in migration data. [CESifo Working Paper No. 4387, 2013]
Reportedly, firms often find it impossible to finance large and long-term projects despite positive net present values. Should governments step in and can their assistance be effective? This paper studies the case of public export credit guarantees in Germany. Covering the default risk of exporters’ foreign customers, the policy is supposed to enable funding of international business opportunities that would otherwise remain unexploited. Using German firm-level data covering the universe of publicly insured firms for the years 2000 to 2010, this study tests for the causal effect of guarantees on sales and employment. It employs a difference-in-differences strategy combined with a matching approach, to create an appropriate control group of untreated firms. It finds that guarantees increase firm-level sales and employment on average by about 4.5 and 3.0 percentage points, respectively. During the financial crisis of 2008/09, effects turn out larger. These findings suggest the presence of credit constraints and provide an argument justifying the observed government intervention. [CESifo Working Paper No. 3908, 2012]