Working papers:

(with Matteo Sostero)

We provide a causal test for differential treatment of Black and white victims, using vehicle-pedestrian crashes. The unintentional nature of such crashes provide plausibly exogenous variation in the race of the victim within the same location. On aggregate hit-and-run rates are substantially higher for Black pedestrians than for white pedestrians in the United States. However, we find that within the same Census block, light condition, and injury severity, hit-and-run rates are equal across Black and white pedestrians, and there is no evidence of in-group bias in drivers' decisions to flee. Case clearance rates are also equal by race, but there is a lower likelihood that the driver is charged when the victim is a Black man.  Thus, we do not find systematic racial discrimination in decisions to victimize, but racial gaps begin to emerge at later stages of criminal justice.

Awards: Best Paper Award for the Discrimination and Diversity Workshop University of East Anglia (2023)

Presented at  Discrimination and Diversity Workshop 2023, CEPR Women in Economics Workshop, RES2021, APPAM2020, TxECW 2020,  SMYE (Brussels), SEG Lunch Meeting (Tilburg),  EUI Applied Micro Seminar, and Tilburg Economics Workshop

(TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2022-016; with Tobias Klein, Jens Prüfer, and Patricia Prüfer)

Do some search engines produce better search results because their algorithm is better, or because they have access to more data from past searches? In the latter case, mandatory data sharing, a policy that is currently discussed, could trigger innovation and would benefit all users of search engines. We document that the algorithm of a small search engine can produce non-personalized results that are of similar quality than Google’s, if it has enough data, and that overall differences in the quality of search results are explained by searches for less popular search terms. This is confirmed by results from an experiment, in which we keep the algorithm of the search engine fixed and vary the amount of data it uses as an input.


A settlement among conflicting parties is usually regarded as an efficient solution to a judicial dispute, but settlements between the rich and the poor can also be a symptom of unequal access to justice. We develop a model of settlements that takes wealth disparity between the parties into account, as the defendant and the victim must exert costly effort in court. Richer litigants can drive a harder bargain, and achieve a more favorable settlement price (the price effect), but so can poorer litigants  if they have connections or know the judicial system better, e.g., police officers. We  provide empirical evidence consistent with the price effect using  data on criminal traffic offenses in Russia, where the process allows for civil-style victim-defendant settlements. In line with the theoretical prediction, we find that law enforcement officers and government officials settle more often as defendants (and less often as victims) than their comparable wealth group. Other potential reasons, like judicial bias, fail to explain these differences. The price effect highlights the failure of the judicial system to provide equal justice.

Presented at  the Micro and Macro Foundations of Conflict workshop (Bath), IOEA 2019, EconomiX Seminar (Paris Nanterre), HSE Economics Seminar (Moscow), NES Economics Brown Bag Seminar (Moscow),  St Petersburg Economic Seminar (EUSP), TILEC workshop, EUI Applied Micro Seminar

This paper estimates the effect that wealth and power have on criminal justice outcomes by exploiting the random matching of drivers to pedestrians in traffic accidents. If justice is impartial, we should observe the same share of rich offenders across victims of any wealth,  conditional on location and time. Rich victims act as a control group to estimate the amount of missing rich offenders for poorer victims. I use this approach on the data from Russia, and find that its justice system is not impartial. The paper contributes methodologically to the literature by causally estimating the effect of wealth on justice.

Presented at CELS (Duke), SIOE (Montréal), Tilburg Economics Seminar, EUI Applied Micro Seminar

Newspaper articles: