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I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the School of Economics at the University of Queensland and a Research Affiliate at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics. I received my PhD in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


(with Peter Kuhn), Journal of Labor Economics, 2021

We estimate turnover costs in small retail sales teams using daily sales data and an advance notice requirement to address endogeneity concerns. In addition to short-staffing and onboarding costs, we identify two less familiar sources of turnover costs: incumbent workers’ recruitment activities and reductions in team morale after a departure is announced. Our estimates of total turnover costs are relatively modest, however: 10% higher turnover is about as costly as a 0.6% wage increase. We attribute these low costs to a set of complementary personnel policies that ensure that only 25% of departures result in a short-staffing spell.


(with Peter Kuhn),  NBER Working Paper 28487

We study the performance of small retail sales teams facing an incentive scheme that includes both a lump sum bonus and multiple accelerators (kinks where the piece rate jumps upward). Consistent with standard labor supply models, we find that the presence of an attainable bonus or kink on a work-day raises mean sales, and that sales are highly bunched at the bonus; inconsistent with those models we find that teams bunch at the kinks instead of avoiding them. Teams’ responses to the kinks are consistent with models in which the kinks are perceived as symbolic rewards, and inconsistent with reference point models where kinks induce loss aversion.

We consider identification of peer effects under peer group miss-specification. Two leading cases are missing data and peer group uncertainty. Missing data can take the form of some individuals being entirely absent from the data. The researcher need not have any information on missing individuals and need not even know that they are missing. We show that peer effects are nevertheless identifiable under mild restrictions on the probabilities of observing individuals, and propose a GMM estimator to estimate the peer effects. In practice this means that the researcher need only have access to an individual level sample with group identifiers. Group uncertainty arises when the relevant peer group for the outcome under study is unknown. We show that peer effects are nevertheless identifiable if the candidate groups are nested within one another and propose a non-linear least squares estimator. We conduct a Monte-Carlo experiment to demonstrate our identification results and the performance of the proposed estimators, and apply our method to study peer effects in the career decisions of junior lawyers.

Female Bosses and Female Employees' Careers: Evidence from Lawyers in Shanghai

In this paper, I examine the responses of lawyers’ promotions, performance, and turnover to changes in the gender mix of their bosses and peers. Merging unique data on lawyers’ careers from nearly 400 Shanghai law firms with rich information from 134,000 court judgements, I create novel indicators to measure lawyers’ performance in civil litigation. Specifically, based on Chinese civil practice I use the amount of court fees to measure the size of a case, and the assigned division of court fees between the litigants to measure the judgement outcome. I find that female law associates’ promotion rates increase relative to their male counterparts when they have more female bosses (the partners in their firm). Further, the primary mechanism for this effect is that female bosses assign higher-value cases to their female subordinates, at no cost in terms of performance, and with no apparent reductions in men’s advancement. In contrast to female bosses, however, having more female peers reduces women’s promotion rates, suggesting that there may be gender-specific intergroup competition in these firms.

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