Has van Vlokhoven
I am a PhD candidate in economics at the Institute for International Economic Studies at Stockholm University. My research interests are broadly in macroeconomics. I am particularly interested in long-run dynamics, the macroeconomics of development and firm behavior.
Next year I will be a postdoc at Columbia University, after which I will start as an assistant professor at Tilburg University.
Job Market Paper
Estimating the Cost of Capital and the Profit Share [Download]
Ola Bengtsson Award for Best Finance PhD Paper 2019
Abstract: Compensation of the factor of production capital is not directly observed since most firms own part of their capital stock. In this paper, I develop a new method to estimate capital compensation. I show how firms' input choices reveal the user cost of capital when firms minimize costs and produce according to a homogeneous production function. Subtracting estimated capital compensation together with all other observed costs from sales gives economic profits. Estimating the model using Compustat data, I find that the cost of capital has been declining, and that the profit share has been increasing over the past fifty years from around 4% of sales to around 8% of sales. The increase in the profit share coincides with the observed fall in the labor share, while I estimate the capital share to be falling as well. Therefore, the fall in the labor share is not due to an increased capital intensity, but due to an increase in profits. Furthermore, I find that the increase in profits is due to reallocation between firms, but not due to reallocation between industries. I also document that profits have become more back-loaded over the life cycle of the firm, which provides a potential explanation for the fall in firm entry. Finally, I find an upward trend in the returns to scale, which combined with the rise in profits implies that markups have been increasing.
Abstract: I study the diffusion of technology when the decision to learn and adopt existing technologies depends on the network of interactions between agents. Agents have the option to engage in costly learning from their first-degree connections. The more productive an agent's connections, the more willing it is to learn. Hence, the network affects the reservation productivity at which agents choose to learn and affects therefore aggregate productivity. I find that the denser the network, the higher learning effort and therefore the higher total factor productivity and the lower inequality. However, the effect of the network on the share of agents that learn in equilibrium is ambiguous. Furthermore, I find that nodes that are central in terms of their closeness to other nodes tend to exert more learning effort and have a higher productivity.
Journal of Informetrics (2019), Vol. 13(2): 751-756
Journal of Financial Stability (2016), Vol. 27: 250-262, with Miguel Ampudia and Dawid Zochowski
Research in Progress
The Life Cycle of Profits and the Labor Share
Abstract: I show that profits have become more back-loaded over the life cycle of the firm. All else equal, this lowers the present value of profits, and therefore the value of entry. In order for the entry condition to continue to hold, total (undiscounted) profits must have gone up. This means that the change in the life cycle pattern of profits can potentially explain the increase in profits and markups, and the fall in the labor share and firm entry. I study this in a quantitative framework and investigate potential explanations for the change in the life cycle pattern of profits.
Profits and the Marginal Product of Capital Around the World
Abstract: I estimate the profit share around the world and find that over the last thirty years profits have evolved differently in different countries. Profits have been increasing in the United States and Europe, but have not been increasing in Asia, Latin America and Canada. Furthermore, I estimate the marginal product of capital across countries, while allowing for imperfect competition. I find that the marginal product of capital does not correlate with GDP.