I am a fifth-year PhD Candidate in Economics at the University of California San Diego. My research interests are in macroeconomics and monetary economics. I am especially interested in financial crises and the associated macroeconomic stabilisation policies.
I am on the 2023-2024 job market.
PhD in Economics, 2024 (Expected)
University of California San Diego
MA in International and Development Economics, 2016
BSc in Economics, 2012
London School of Economics
A vast theoretical literature claims that increasing interest rates reduces bank leverage, therefore making banks safer. The empirical validity of this claim is critical to improving our understanding of the transmission of monetary policy through banks in addition to informing the ongoing debate on whether monetary policy should be used to support financial stability. I show empirically that raising interest rates actually increases bank leverage. I propose and empirically validate a mechanism that explains the overall increase in bank leverage in response to monetary policy shocks which I term the loan-loss mechanism: contractionary shocks increase loan losses, reduce bank profits and equity, and ultimately increase bank leverage. I document why much of the theoretical literature is unable to explain the leverage response and develop a banking model where floating-rate loans entail a trade-off between interest rate risk and credit risk, which generates the loan-loss mechanism. Using microdata, I provide empirical evidence consistent with floating-rate loans hedging interest rate risk at the expense of generating loan losses.
- Young Economist Prize (Runner-Up)
- Rady School of Management Libby Award
- Walter Heller Memorial Prize (Best 3rd Year Paper)
External Seminars and Conferences:
- Southern Economic Association Annual Conference (2023)
- Federal Reserve Board Monetary Affairs Seminar (2023)
- King’s College London QCGBF Annual Conference (2023)
- Midwest Macroeconomic Conference (2023)
- London Business School TADC (accepted)
We develop a simple game-theoretic model to determine the consequences of explicitly including financial market stability in the central bank objective function, when policymakers and the financial market are strategic players, and market stability is negatively affected by policy surprises. We find that inclusion of financial sector stability among the policy objectives can induce an inefficiency, whereby market anticipation of policymakers’ goals biases investment choices. When the central bank has private information about its policy intentions, the equilibrium communication is vague, because fully informative communication is not credible. The appointment of a “kitish” central banker, who puts little weight on market stability, reduces these inefficiencies. If interactions are repeated, communication transparency and overall efficiency can be improved if the central bank punishes any abuse of market power by withholding forward guidance. At the same time, repeated interaction also opens the doors to collusion between large investors, with uncertain welfare consequences.
Cieslak et al. (2019) show that the equity premium in the US since 1994 is earned entirely in even weeks of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting cycle and that these same even weeks also drive international stock returns. Updating their data, I find that their US result does not hold out-of-sample and show that with an extended sample, the result loses its robustness as early as 2004. I construct central bank cycles for the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan and show, when accounting for potential pre-announcement effects, their international result also no longer holds.
This paper analyzes food inflation trends in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) from 2000 to 2016 using two novel datasets of disaggregated CPI baskets. Average food inflation is higher, more volatile, and similarly persistent as non-food non-fuel inflation, especially in low-income countries in SSA. We find evidence that food inflation became less persistent from 2009 onwards, related to recent improvements in monetary policy frameworks. We also find that high food prices are driven mainly by non-tradable food in SSA and there is incomplete pass-through from world food and fuel prices and exchange rates to domestic food prices. Taken together, these finding suggest that central banks in low-income countries with high and persistent food inflation should continue to pay attention to headline inflation to anchor inflation expectations. Other policy levers include reducing tariffs and improving storage and transport infrastructure to reduce food pressures.
Teaching Assistant: 2023
Teaching Assistant: 2022
Teaching Assistant: 2020, 2021, 2022
Teaching Assistant: 2021
Guest Lecturer: 2016