Assistant Professor of Economics, UC Santa Cruz
PhD in Economics, Cornell 2013

Email at
Phone: +1 (831) 459-4791
Office: E2 rm463, UCSC
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Research Interests:

International finance
Macro labor 

Professional Activities:
AEA (Atlanta)
SNDE (Dallas Fed)


MWMacro (Vanderbilt)
CA Macro (Claremont)
NASMES (Davis)
MMCN (Stanford)

WCWIF (Santa Clara U)


U Pittsburgh
GeorgeWashington U
U Maryland
Notre Dame
MWMacro (Purdue)


AEA (Boston)
UC Riverside
UC Davis
Atlanta Fed
Peking U
SF Fed
U Richmond
Fed Board
Fordham U
Phila Fed
World Bank
MW Intl
MW Macro (Rochester)

Thought-Provoking Figures (Latest First):

Figure: Histograms for the Grow Rates of Firm-Paid Nominal Hourly Wage and Benefit Expenditure: Normal Times (left) and Recessions (right)
Source: BLS and authors' calculations. 

  • Benefit growth has much greater variation than wage growth across establishment-job unites.
  • The highest density for wage growth is always around zero, while the highest density for benefit  growth is generally to the right of zero.  
  • Across business cycles, both wage growth and benefit expenditure growth distributions appear to become narrower, suggesting increasing nominal rigidity for labor costs.
  • Within a business cycle, the highest density bar (at zero) for nominal wage growth is slightly higher in recessions, indicating higher nominal wage rigidity in recessionary periods.
  • We investigate the cyclicality and rigidity of labor costs in our paper "New Evidence on Cyclical Variation in Labor Costs in the U.S."

Figure: Sovereign Spreads versus Google Search Volume Index

  • Sovereign spread comoves with public attention measured by Google Search Volume Index on debt (crisis) related search terms 
  • We investigate the impact of state-contingent investor attention on sovereign spread dynamics in our paper "The Pricing of Sovereign Risk Under Costly Information."

Figure: Growth around Sovereign Default Episodes (in percent)
Note: The statistics are based on 45 sovereign default episodes in 27 developing countries over the period 1977-2009. Due to data limitation, the sample period and/or the number of default episodes vary slightly for some variables. Most up-to-date information and raw data sources are detailed in my paper "A Tale of Two Countries: Sovereign Default, Trade, and Terms of Trade".

  • Upon default (year 0), on average GDP volume growth rate declined a lot less than GDP value, if at all. The majority of the countries' losses of output growth came from real depreciation relative to US dollars. 
  • And the growth rates of both export value and import value turn negative, and the import value declines more significantly than the export value does. 
  • Most of the decline in export value does not come from changes in export volume but from the real depreciation, since on average export volume growth remains positive through default events. 
  • About half of the decline in import value can be attributed to declines in import volumes, and the other half to the real depreciation. 
  • Without exchange rate, it is difficult for a model to distinguish the sources of changes to real income, import, and export values after a default: by how much the changes are due to real depreciation, and by how much the changes can be attributed to activity volume changes. 
  • My paper "A Tale of Two Countries: Sovereign Default, Trade, and Terms of Trade" distinguishes the two sources during default events through a terms-of-trade channel. 
Figure: The Dynamics of Firm-paid Per-worker Cost of Employee Benefits
Source: BLS-ECI and author's calculations.