Working papers:

(with Matteo Sostero)

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

Black Americans are more likely than white Americans to become victims of crime and their cases are less likely to be cleared by the police. We provide a causal test for differential treatment of victims, focusing on vehicle-pedestrian crashes involving Black or white pedestrians. The unintentional nature of such crashes provide plausibly exogenous variation in the race of the victim within the same location. Despite large aggregate differences overall, comparing cases within the same location shows no difference in hit-and-run rates, or case clearance rates, or charges brought against drivers across Black and white pedestrians. Thus, the role for systematic racial bias in the actions of drivers or the police appears to be limited, while the aggregate differences seem to be explained by differences in places and crash circumstances.

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

Diversity in employee representation is often advocated for its potential to promote the diversity of ideas, and thereby innovation. In this study, we shed light on the phenomenon of 'idea homophily', which is a tendency to be more interested in ideas closer to one's own. We first document recent trends in the Economics Academic junior hiring showing that women specializing in traditionally male-dominated fields are faring significantly better than their counterparts in female-dominated fields and even outperform their male peers. We then examine the demand for ideas in a college educated population with an Online experiment involving 500 participants. We find substantial gender differences in which ideas people are choosing to engage with. Also, when decision-makers are predominantly male, incentives encouraging engagement with female ideas increase substantially their demand, but disproportionately in male-dominated fields. In contrast, incentives encouraging ideas in female-fields in general increase exposure to female ideas but do not lead to an over-representation of either gender conditional on field. 

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: