I am a PhD Candidate in Economics at University College London (UCL).
My primary research field is Political Economy. I am also interested in Applied Microeconomics and Behavioral Economics.
In my job market paper, I investigate whether public image concerns can induce costly altruistic behavior. I exploit a unique natural experiment: At the beginning of WWI, the UK relied on a voluntary army. To encourage recruitment, young women often handed out white feathers to men in civilian clothes, marking them as cowards. I hand-collected archival data on local daily recruitment in England and Wales and created a new measure for the activity of the “White Feather Girls” using contemporary newspaper articles. Using a difference-in-differences design with staggered treatment adoption, I pin down the effect of shaming on recruitment and show that White Feather Girls activity was followed by a significant increase in recruitment.
My CV can be downloaded here.
Can social image concerns cause people to take costly actions benefiting their community? Using newly collected data, I study the impact of public shaming on voluntary recruitment during World War I in England and Wales. At the time, young women in many towns and cities handed out white feathers to men in civilian clothes, marking them out as cowards. This was intended to encourage volunteering. I reconstruct a panel of “White Feather Girls” activity from local newspaper articles and exploit the staggered spread of the movement in an event study framework. Following episodes of public shaming, recruitment increased significantly: Volunteering surged by a third during the 10 days after the first mention of the White Feather Girls in the news. Confounding factors such as reporting of wartime events are unlikely to account for these patterns. These results suggest that public image concerns can have first-order effects on costly altruistic behavior that benefits the group.
We examine how being single affects frustration and subsequent xenophobic behaviour. In a first step, we show that higher male-to-female ratios are associated with more anti-immigrant violence and far-right voting. We corroborate these correlations using an instrumental variables strategy exploiting the close-by availability of university places for females. Using simple experiments, we will test a behavioral mechanism underlying single men’s inclination to engage in anti-immigrant behaviour and political extremism. Single men perceive substantial social stigma of being single, which in turn, results in high levels of frustration. A simple informational intervention that corrects misperceptions about the stigma associated with being single, is meant to decrease frustration and look at the implications on attitudes towards immigrants.
We study the causal relationship between moral values (“ought” statements) and factual beliefs (“is” statements) and show that, contrary to predictions of orthodox Bayesian models, values exert an influence on beliefs. This effect is mediated by prior political leanings and, thus, contributes to increasing polarization in beliefs about facts. We study this process of motivated political reasoning in a pre-registered online experiment with a nationally representative sample of 1,500 individuals in the US. Additionally, we show that subjects do not distort their beliefs in response to financial incentives to do so, suggesting that deep values exert a stronger motivational force.
We propose a simple mechanism whereby, all else equal, consumers derive a higher marginal utility from consuming a good if it is produced at a sufficiently high wage cost. Combined with firms’ inability to credibly commit to higher wages, a mandated minimum wage policy can lead to higher output and increased profits simultaneously. The model can reconcile the limited effect of the minimum wage on employment with its positive effect on output prices which existing models fail to explain simultaneously. We seek to corroborate our findings with an online survey experiment that assesses the credibility of minimum wage policies, consumers’ responses to price changes, and their attitudes towards the minimum wage.
This study tests the hypothesis that individuals’ cooperative behavior does not just depend on their available wealth but also on the shape of the income process which generates that wealth. Inequality is no longer observed in levels only. It also affects real incomes with those of the poorest not only stagnating but declining. I ran a pre-registered online experiment to look at the impact of income changes on cooperation. The experiment varies whether participants received increasing, decreasing or constant rewards for a task they had to complete repeatedly, while keeping their final budgets equal. Whereas I find no effects on charitable giving, I find evidence that contributions in a public goods game are affected by players comparing their reward profiles.