Financial Economist

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Biography

Curriculum Vitae

I am a financial economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. My research interests are in applied microeconomics, consumer finance, and public economics. Previously, I worked as a Staff Economist for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and for the Census Bureau. The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia or the Federal Reserve System.

Interests

  • Consumer Finance
  • Public Economics
  • Industrial Organization

Education

  • PhD, Economics, 2020

    University of Pennsylvania

  • MS, Mathematics, 2013

    University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • BS, Mathematics and BA, Philosophy, 2013

    University of Alabama at Birmingham

Research

Published Research

A World Without Borders Revisited: The Impact of Online Sales Tax Collection on Shopping and Search

Forthcoming at Journal of Economics & Management Strategy

Abstract: For years, online retailers did not have to collect sales taxes at the time of sale. Over the past decade, states have passed laws to capture this lost revenue. I study the effect of closing the online sales tax loophole on online spending and search. Using online shopping data, sales taxes, and Amazon’s staggered sales tax collection, I estimate that a household’s tax elasticity is $-$1.9, implying a 13% decline in Amazon’s revenues upon sales tax collection. After Amazon collects sales taxes, households increase their spending on Amazon’s taxed competitors, but not its untaxed competitors. I find no evidence that households change their search behavior or shift their spending offline. Collecting sales taxes online will help governments recapture lost taxes and increase online competition, but will not shift customers back offline.

Working Papers

Less is More Expensive: Income Differences in Bulk Buying

Abstract: Increasing the salience of unit prices can reduce consumption inequality. Using Nielsen data, I show that low-income households forgo savings by not buying in bulk. I estimate that low-income households could save 5% on groceries if they bought in bulk like high-income households. Using novel data on state-level unit-price regulations and warehouse club entry, I find that cognitive costs, store preferences, liquidity constraints, and storage costs discourage low-income households from bulk buying. Mandating unit price display, a policy adopted by nine states, may reduce cognitive costs, increase the salience of unit prices, and close the ``bulk buying gap'' by 26%.

Research In Progress

Going Off-Script: Physician License Suspensions and Primary Care Access for Medicaid Recipients (in progress) with Emma Dean and Daniel Kaliski

Made from Scratch: SNAP and Lottery Sales (in progress) with Jason Sockin