Research

Job Market Paper

  • Optimal Ownership and Firm Performance: Theory and Evidence from China's FDI Liberalization
    (with Hong Ma), 2018.
    Abstract. Does ownership matter for firm performance? Canonical theories of the firm argue that firms allocate ownership over production facilities to minimize the inefficiencies arising from contractual frictions. But the size of these inefficiencies is unknown. This paper provides a first quantification of the gains from optimal ownership by exploiting a major liberalization of China's policy restrictions on foreign ownership. The reform allowed multinationals to reoptimize their control over Chinese firms. We find that optimal ownership restructuring induced firm-level output gains of up to 34\% within only two years. These effects are stronger and accompanied by productivity gains over the medium term. We rationalize our findings by an extended property-rights theory of the multinational firm.

Publications

Work in Progress

  • Disrupting Multinational Firm Networks - A Butterfly Effect? (with Bohdan Kukharskyy)
  • Firm Exports, Foreign Ownership, and the Global Financial Crisis (with Marcel Smolka).

  • Globalization and Inequality (with Tom Zylkin).