I work as an Economist at Amazon on the topics of experimentation and causal inference from observational data. Before, I was a Senior Economist/Applied Scientist at Zalando and, prior to this, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow the University of Oxford (Nuffield College). In 2018, I successfully defended my PhD dissertation at the Hertie School in Berlin.
My academic research covers topics in the areas of Comparative Politics, Political Economy, and Political Methodology. It has been published in journals, including the Journal of Politics and Political Science Research & Methods.
PhD in Political Science, 2018
Hertie School Berlin
MSc in International Political Economy, 2014
London School of Economics
BA in Political Science & Economics, 2013
Freie Universität Berlin
The idea that bank credit serves as a private form of insurance against economic shocks has recently gained credence, but do voters see bank credit as an acceptable substitute for publicly-provided welfare? We conjecture that voters do see bank credit as a private form of insurance against economic risk, but we only expect voters with high incomes and those who face low risk from unemployment to willingly trade off credit access for welfare. Relying on observational data from the European Social Survey between 2002–10 we conclude that individuals with better credit access demand lower levels of redistribution, but confirm this effect is conditional on income and job loss risk. We then conduct a conjoint analysis in the United Kingdom that also points to a credit-access effect on preferences for redistribution. We find that high-income, low-risk voters support lower income taxation when credit is cheaply available.
Close ties between politicians and businesses affect firms’ performance and political outcomes, and while direct political control over firms has been curtailed by tightened regulation, political connections remain ubiquitous in many countries. Yet, it is unclear through which channels these linkages are maintained in strictly regulated environments. I speculate that one such channel of political control over firms is politicians’ ability to influence corporate appointment decisions. To test the claim, I employ survival models that analyze chairpersons’ turnovers in 90 Spanish savings banks between 1985–2010 and find strong evidence for electoral appointment cycles: bank chairpersons are more likely to lose office shortly after regional elections and when new governments enter office.
Do politicians benefit electorally from connections to banks? Recent research illuminates how banks benefit from political connections, yet we do not know much about the impact of bank connections on a politician’s reelection chances. We consider the German system of publicly owned local savings banks to assess whether local politicians who sit on bank boards are likelier to win reelection for their parties. Based on data from 3,214 mayoral elections and 182 savings banks between 2006 and 2015, we find that mayors with a board seat in a savings bank have higher odds of winning reelection than mayors without a board seat. We address concerns about unobserved confounders and show that the electoral benefits of board membership are concentrated among conservative mayors. We also present preliminary evidence that mayors in bank boards increase bank donations to, and prevent branch closures in, their municipalities, which helps us understand why voters reelect them.