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Research
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Goethe University Frankfurt & SAFE

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Research

Job Market Paper

Working Paper

Work in Progress

Policy

Publications
&Contributions

Teaching

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Financial Research (SAFE). In September 2023, I will join the Tilburg School of Economics and Management (TiSEM) as an assistant professor at the Department of Marketing.

My research applies microeconometric methods and economic theory to study policy-relevant questions at the intersection of industrial organization, behavioral economics, public economics and household finance.  Individual information processing and choice under uncertainty are central to most of my papers.

Please download my CV for further information or contact me by email.

Job Market Paper. Find latest version here.

Strategic shrouding of taxes by profit-maximizing firms can impair the effectiveness of corrective taxes. This paper explores tax shrouding and its consequences after the introduction of a digital sin tax designed to discourage harmful overconsumption of online sports betting in Germany. In response to the tax reform, most firms strategically shroud the tax, i.e., exclude tax surcharges from posted prices. Using an extensive web-scraped panel data set on online betting odds, I causally estimate the effect of the tax on consumer betting prices. Consumers bear, on average, 76%  of the tax burden. There is considerable and long-lasting heterogeneity in effects conditional on shrouding practices. Firms that shroud taxes can pass 90% of the tax onto consumers, while the pass-through rate is 16% for firms that directly post tax-inclusive prices. To understand the results' underlying mechanisms and policy implications, I propose an optimal corrective taxation model where oligopolistic firms compete on base prices and can shroud additive taxes. Tax shrouding is only attainable in equilibrium if (some) consumers underreact to shrouded attributes. According to the theoretical predictions, the empirically identified heterogeneity suggests that strategic tax shrouding significantly attenuates the positive corrective welfare effects of the tax. The results prompt regulating shrouding practices in the context of corrective taxation.

with A. Janssen, IFN Working Paper No. 1379 / SAFE Working Paper 306.

Revision requested at the Journal of Industrial Economics

We study the behavior of firms in a duopoly that can obfuscate their prices before competing on price. Obfuscation affects the rational inattentive consumers' optimal information strategy, which determines the probabilistic demand. Our model advances related models by allowing consumers to update their unrestricted prior beliefs with an informative signal of any form. We show that the game may result in an obfuscation equilibrium with high prices or a transparency equilibrium with low prices and no obfuscation, providing an argument for market regulation. Obfuscation equilibria cease to exist for low information costs and if one firm seems a priori considerably more attractive.

with T. Bucher-Koenen, A. Hackethal & C. Laudenbach, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 22-037.

Financial literacy affects wealth accumulation, and pension planning plays a key role in this relationship. In a large field experiment, we employ a digital pension aggregation tool to confront a treatment group with a simplified overview of their current pension claims across all pillars of the pension system. We combine survey and administrative bank data to measure the effects on actual saving behavior. Access to the tool decreases pension uncertainty for treated individuals. Average savings increase---especially for the financially less literate. We conclude that simplification of pension information can potentially reduce disparities in pension planning and savings behavior.

with M. Dertwinkel-Kalt & D. Schneider, SAFE Working Paper 351.

We test for skewness preferences in a large set of observational panel data on online poker games (n=4,450,585). Each observation refers to a choice between a safe option and a binary risk of winning or losing the game. Our setting offers a real-world choice situation with substantial incentives where probability distributions are simple, transparent, and known to the individuals. Individuals reveal a strong and robust preference for idiosyncratic skewness, which has important implications for asset pricing. The effect of skewness is most pronounced among experienced and losing players but remains highly significant for winning players, in contrast to the variance effect.

with C. Cloud & S. Heß, arXiv preprint arXiv:2209.06870.

We estimate the causal effect of shared e-scooter services on traffic accidents by exploiting variation in availability of e-scooter services, induced by the staggered rollout across 93 cities in six countries. Police-reported accidents in the average month increased by around 8.2% after shared e-scooters were introduced. For cities with limited cycling infrastructure and where mobility relies heavily on cars, estimated effects are largest. In contrast, no effects are detectable in cities with high bike-lane density. This heterogeneity suggests that public policy can play a crucial role in mitigating accidents related to e-scooters and, more generally, to changes in urban mobility.

with M. Fina, A. Laghaie, T. Otter & S. Turlo.

Models derived from random utility theory represent the work-horse methods to learn
about consumer preferences from discrete choice data. However, a large body of literature
documents various behavioral patterns that cannot be captured by basic random utility
models and require different non-unified adjustments to accommodate these patterns. In
this article, we suggest how to develop an empirical rational inattention model for the
analysis of discrete choice among multiple alternatives described along multiple attributes,
as encountered in prototypical discrete choice experiments and choice-based-conjoint analysis
in marketing and economics. We then illustrate how this model naturally motivates stylized
empirical results that are hard to reconcile from a random utility perspective. Finally, we
contrast the proposed approach to extant empirical work that builds on rational inattention.

Tax Incentives and Attention to Information

with Y. Benzarti

The Geography of Banking and Spatial Inequality in the US

with I. Angeloni & C. Tantasith (draft available upon request)

Public Debt Management, Maturities and Interest Rate Swaps

with L. Nöh & A. Weichenrieder

with I. Angeloni & C. Tantasith, Harvard Kennedy School
M-RCBG Associate Working Paper No. 177, 2021

with J. P. Krahnen, S. Ongena, L. Pelizzon, M. Schmeling & M. Wahrenburg, study requested by the ECON committee of the European Parliament/SAFE White Paper 84, 2021

with J. P. Krahnen, S. Ongena, L. Pelizzon, M. Schmeling & M. Wahrenburg, VoxEU column, 2021

Also available in German (Ökonomenstimme) and Italian (LaVoce)

with A. Boot, E. Carletti, H.-H. Kotz, J. P. Krahnen, L. Pelizzon & M. Subrahmanyam, NYU Stern Opinion, 2020

with L. Nöh & A. Weichenrieder, Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, 21(1), 79-89, 2020

with L. Nöh & A. Weichenrieder, SAFE Finance Blog, 2020

with A. Hackethal, T. Bucher-Koenen & C. Laudenbach, SAFE White Paper 57, 2018

with L. Pelizzon, SAFE Policy Letter 67, 2018

Teaching Assistant for Advanced Microeconomics (Ph.D level)

Fall 2018 & 2019 - Graduate School of Economics, Finance, and Management (GSEFM) of the Goethe University Frankfurt

Teaching Assistant for Public Finance (B.Sc.)

Fall 2016 & 2017 - Goethe University Frankfurt

Teaching Assistant for Business Taxation (B.Sc.)

Fall 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018 - Goethe University Frankfurt

Teaching Assistant for Environmental Economics (B.Sc.)

Spring 2016, 2017 & 2018 - Goethe University Frankfurt

Teaching Assistant for International Economics (B.Sc.)
Teaching Assistant for Microeconomics I (B.Sc.)
Policy
Teaching
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