PictureI'm currently working as a Lecturer in the Queen's University Management School in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I am moving to Cardiff starting August 2017. I am working mostly in the fields of applied micro and econometrics, I invent models, quantify their predictions and test their consistency with the data.
Research supervision: I am eager to supervise PhD students in many topics (from international trade to social choice to corruption to mechanism design), but my speciality is in applied micro theory. If you have a research idea, write me, I try to reply all emails I get.

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Current Research (more)

On Publication, Refereeing and Working Hard


With Sascha Baghestanian. Full text, conditionally accepted, Canadian Journal of Economics.

We present a model for academia with heterogeneous author types and endogenous effort to evaluate recent changes in the publication process in Economics. We analyze the implications of these developments on research output. Lowering the precision of refereeing signals lowers the effort choices of intermediate ability authors, but invites more submissions from less able authors. Increasing the number of journals stimulates less able authors to submit their papers. The editor can improve the journal’s quality pool of submitted manuscripts by improving the precision of refereeing, but not by lowering acceptance standards. The submission strategy of an author is informative of his ability. Presented at:

  • CeDEx, Department of Economics, Nottingham University, England.
  • Department of Economics, University of Bath, Bath, UK.
  • Economic Theory Lunchtime Workshop, Nuffield College, Oxford, UK.
  • School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews, Scotland.
  • EARIE 2015 meeting, Munich, Germany.
  • 30th Annual congress of the European Economic Association, Mannheim, Germany.
  • Econometric Society World Congress, Montreal, Canada.
  • International School of Economics, Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi, Georgia.
  • International College of Economics and Finance, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.
  • 2015 Annual Conference of the Royal Economic Society, Manchester, UK.
  • Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.
  • Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Central Bank of Armenia Training and Research Center, Dilijan, Armenia.

Alma Mat(t)er(s): Determinants of Early Career Success in Economics

With Sascha Baghestanian. Full text, currently under rewriting.

We study 6000 author-publication observations to investigate predictors of early career success in six fields of Economics. Concentrating on top researchers enables us to control for the effects of ability and effort, and focusing on the start of their careers minimizes distortions from reputation feedback. Our results reveal that the most important predictor for early career success is the ranking of an author’s PhD granting institution, followed by his first placement. Our insights suggest that a counterfactual decrease in the Alma Mater of a high ability author, who graduated from a top 10 university, by as little as 10 to 20 ranks, reduces his probability of getting a top 5 publication significantly by 13 percentage points. Lowering the ranking of his Alma mater by another 80 ranks decreases his chances of getting a top publication by a factor of three. Our findings suggest that the Economics publication market values Alma mater signals, discounting newcomers graduating from- or working at lower ranked departments.

On Basu's Proposal: Fines Affect Bribes


Full text.

I provide a model that connects the bribe amount with the fines imposed on both bribe-taker and bribe-payer. I show that Basu (2011) proposal to not punish bribe-payers to induce whistleblowing does not have to help lower bribes. Higher fines on bribe-takers will make them ask for larger bribes, whereas lowering fines for bribe-paying on bribe-payers might increase their willingness to pay the bribe. An increase in transparency, if achieved, effectively increases both fines simultaneously. Presented at: