Working Papers

Doctoral Symposium and Travel Grant at Midwest Finance Association, 2022
Runner-Up for Best Doctoral Paper at Eastern Finance Association, 2022

This paper provides causal evidence on the impact of immigrant labor mobility frictions on business dynamism. An unexpected information-technology-related change in the Green Card process reduced inter-firm mobility for Indian and Chinese immigrants in October 2005. The mobility drop was twice as severe for startups compared to incumbent firms. The resultant reductions in immigrant labor availability reduced new firm formation, with 12,000 fewer new firms founded in markets with more Indian and Chinese employees in the next five years. The distortion also decreased the funding and IPO of existing startups with Indian and Chinese co-founders. Incumbent firms benefited from mobility restrictions with $28.7 billion in abnormal stock returns for public firms with Indian and Chinese employees in the ten days following the announcement. The slowdown in internal promotions for Indian and Chinese employees suggests monopsony power as an important driver for incumbent firm value.

Owner Incentives and Performance in Healthcare: Evidence from Private Equity
(with Atul Gupta, Sabrina Howell, and Constantine Yannelis)

Revise and Resubmit at Review of Financial Studies
Awarded Best Paper in Health and Finance by Midwest Finance Association, 2021

Relative to conventional private ownership, private equity (PE) ownership creates higher-powered incentives to maximize profits. We study how PE affects firm performance in healthcare, focusing on nursing homes and exploiting patient-level data from Medicare. PE-owned nursing homes appear to select less risky patients, so we use distance as an instrument to control for unobserved selection. We find that PE ownership increases short-term mortality by 13% and reduces other measures of patient well-being, while also increasing revenue per patient by 10%. Clinical and operational changes help to explain these effects, including declines in nursing staff, and lower compliance with care standards.


International Trade and Social Connectedness
(With Mike Bailey, Sebastian Hillenbrand, Theresa Kuchler, Rob Richmond, and Johannes Stroebel)

Journal of International Economics, 129(103418), March 2021

We use de-identified data from Facebook to construct a new and publicly available measure of the pairwise social connectedness between 170 countries and 32 European regions. We find that two countries trade more when they are more socially connected, especially for goods where information frictions may be large. The social connections that predict trade in specific products are those between the regions where the product is produced in the exporting country and the regions where it is used in the importing country. Once we control for social connectedness, the estimated effects of geographic distance and country borders on trade decline substantially.