I research and teach economics at Cornell where I also co-direct the Labor Dynamics Institute, and at UCLouvain. Among other things, I study how search frictions impact employment, sorting, and even disease transmission. I enjoy the hills of NY and Belgium, vegan cuisine (see blog), and time with my wife & daughter.
Main Research Agenda
I am particularly interested how various people change occupations (see paper), how one re-design online job search to incorporate advice that facilitates such changes (see paper and VOX column), and how one can identify sorting even though two-sided fixed effects are inappropriate (see paper)? And I want to understand what determines theoretically the sorting and wages in the presence of large firms (see paper) and search frictions (see paper), and how is this is affected by trade (see paper)?
A second research agenda of mine that I review in (see survey) explores whether workers direct their job search towards jobs that post a higher pay:
I have randomly varied wage offers in the field (see paper), and studied the theoretical foundations (see paper and see paper), its effects on firm dynamics (see paper), its consequences when workers apply to multiple jobs (see paper and see paper), its importance for mechanism design (see paper), and whether firms can signal their pay efficiently through cheap talk messages (see paper). Relatedly, I considered how individuals can get better deals by following others, and – more importantly – how firms reward those who are being followed (see paper).
Finally, I study (calibrated models of) epidemics and, in particular, how to incorporate that individuals adjust their behavior to protect themselves. These reactions by the population alter the predictions of these models and the effectiveness of policies. (See this paper for new work on behavioral adjustments, testing and age-dependence in the COVID-19 epidemic, and this paper and this paper for contributions to the HIV/AIDS epidemic).