Thank you for visiting! I’m a fourth year PhD Candidate in Economics at the Department of Economics and the Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED) at the University of Bern. Currently, I am visiting the Wharton School Real Estate Department at the University of Pennsylvania. My main research interests are in urban and regional economics where I try to understand households’ consumption and nutrition. You can download my CV here.
Spatial Frictions in Consumption and Retail Competition [ Download ]
with Maximilian von Ehrlich and Tobias Seidel
In this paper, we empirically quantify spatial consumption frictions and the degree of local retail competition. We exploit a unique data set including 1.5 billion daily transactions in combination with detailed characteristics of more than 3 million households. Our estimates are based on a quasi-experimental approach to estimate the causal effect of store openings. We find that a same-chain store opening in the proximity of households' residences reduces their expenditures at incumbent stores by 30% in the first month. Smaller effects for competitors suggest imperfect substitutability between retail chains. Exploiting more than 350 openings, we identify causal consumption gravity functions, which allow us to quantify spatial consumption areas. We document significant heterogeneities across regions and socio-demographic groups, indicating substantial inequalities in consumption access.
Cross-border shopping allows purchasing comparable goods at lower prices abroad. At the same time, it can reduce domestic consumption, sales, or tax collection. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries restricted cross-border movements to mitigate the virus’s spread, thereby also prohibiting cross-border shopping. I exploit the random timing of the Swiss border closure using data on 600 million customer-linked transactions from the largest Swiss retailer to identify patterns in cross-border shopping. I find that grocery expenditures temporarily increased by 10-15% in border regions. Households drive up to 70 minutes to a location across the border, but the distance decay function is non-linear and marginal costs of traveling become negligible after 40 minutes.
Work in Progress
The Apple Does Not Fall Far From the Tree: Intergenerational Persistence of Dietary Habits
with Martina Pons
The Dietary Response to Parental Health Shocks