I recently gradauted from NYU with a PhD in Economics.
I will be joining the Research Department at the Bank of Portugal at the end of the summer.
Fields: macroeconomics, entrepreneurship and international trade.
Recent research shows that entrepreneurial activity has been declining in the US in recent decades. Given the role of entrepreneurship in theories of growth, job creation and economic mobility this has generated considerable concern. This paper investigates why entrepreneurship has declined. It documents that (1) the decline in entrepreneurship has been more pronounced for higher education levels, implying that at least part of the force driving the changes is not skill-neutral, and (2) the size distribution of entrepreneur businesses has been quite stable. Together with a decline in the entrepreneurship rate the second fact implies a shift of economic activity towards non-entrepreneur firms. Guided by this evidence I evaluate explanations for the decline in entrepreneurship based on skill-biased technical change, increases in the fixed costs of businesses which could be due to technological change or increases in regulations, and changes in technology that have benefited large non-entrepreneur firms. I do this using a general equilibrium model of occupational choice calibrated with a rich set of moments on occupations, income distributions and firm size distributions. I find that an increase in fixed costs explains most of the decline in the aggregate entrepreneurship rate and that skill-biased technical change can fully account for the larger decrease in entrepreneurship for more educated people when combined with the other forces.
Many modern business cycle models use uncertainty shocks to generate aggregate fluctuations. However, uncertainty is measured in a variety of ways. Our analysis shows that the measures are not the same, either statistically or conceptually, raising the question of whether fluctuations in them are actually generated by the same phenomenon. We propose a mechanism that generates realistic micro dispersion (cross-sectional variance of firm-level outcomes), higher-order uncertainty (disagreement) and macro uncertainty (uncertainty about macro outcomes) from changes in macro volatility. If we want to consider ''uncertainty shocks'' as a unified phenomenon, these results show what such a shock might actually entail.