About

I'm a Ph.D. Candidate in Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

My research interest include urban economics, transportation economics, and real estate economics.

My current research focuses on traffic, parking, land values, building heights, and cities’ walkability.

Work in Progress

Parking Prices, Cruising, and Congestion

Abstract: Expensive garages and cheap curbside parking characterize downtown parking in large American cities. The price difference between these two services is an incentive to curbside park. The incentive increases traffic congestion as drivers that park on-street must cruise in search of parking. On the other hand, garage customers don't produce a negative traffic externality as their cruising happens inside the parking lot. This paper uses block-by-block panel data on garages, traffic speed, meters, and free-of-charge curbside parking to map and assess the effects of on-street parking on traffic in New York City. The analysis starts with a theoretical model that rationalizes the connection between parking prices and traffic. Based on the theoretical model, I use a difference-in-differences approach to measure the effects of on-street parking on traffic speed. My findings show a reduction in speed of 1.5% during rush hour in locations with on-street parking, and an increase in speed of 0.4% during rush hour when meters are enforced. Based on this novel data set, measurement findings show that most parking in New York City is provided on-street at no charge. Also, in most places where garages and on-street parking is available, the incentive is to park on-street for more than 80% of New Yorkers.

Crowning the Metropolis: Skylines, Land Values, and Urban Population (with David Albouy and Minchul Shin)

Abstract: In the U.S., the height of cities' tallest buildings is strongly correlated with their greater metropolitan area's population. This is explained through land prices, which rise proportionally with population and income in a monocentric city model while decreasing proportionally with the arc at which a city can expand. These prices in turn raise building heights less than proportionally through a production function for skyscrapers, mitigated by construction costs and land-use regulations. Using a system of recursive simultaneous equations, we endogenize income with agglomeration economies and test these economic relationships, providing a novel and intrinsically interesting instrumental variables framework for skyscraper heights.

Working Papers

Assessing Walkability Through Parking Prices

Abstract: This paper uses data on the price and location of garages to build a market-driven measure of walkability for New York City and Chicago. The measure is based on the idea that the walking cost is embedded in parking prices as drivers wish to park close to their destination. The paper lays out and estimates a theoretical model of price competition between garage operators that explains the dynamic between parking prices and walking costs. This model is later used as the framework to measure the cost of walking. Based on the estimated cost of walking, I calculate a Walkability Index that uses data on the location characteristics of all census tracts in New York City and Chicago. The Walkability Index combines several elements that affect willingness to walk based on the urban planning literature. The Walkability Index shows a strong correlation with other walkability measures and with the proportion of non-car commuters in New York City.

A General Equilibrium Analysis of Bank Debit Taxes

Abstract: Taxes on bank debit transactions have been used as an easy way to collect substantial revenue, especially during an economic crisis. The existing literature has found evidence of distortionary effects of this policy on money demand and interest rates, even if the tax is charged at very low rates. Instead of studying these monetary topics, this paper develops a general equilibrium model with no money and no nominal rigidities to explain the effects of bank debit taxes on real resources allocation, welfare, and revenue. The study demonstrates that bank debit taxes reduce the size of the financial system and increase deadweight loss. The model also shows that under certain plausible situations, these levies reduce the size of the sector that manufactures high-value goods.

Interactive Data Visualizations

Walkability Index NYC

Check the value of my Walkability Index for different locations in New York City

Walkability Index CHI

Check the value of my Walkability Index for different locations in Chicago

Parking prices

See how garage prices change between weekdays and weekends in different locations

Sky Scrapers and the City Center

How central is the location of skyscrapers in American cities, and how it compares to other definitions of the city center like the location of the City Hall

Eight Decades of Urban Expansion

Expansion of the urbanized area of different American cities throughout the last eight decades (data from the American Community Survey)

Teaching

As Instructor: International Economics, Undergraduate (ECON 420) Syllabus

This is a course on the economic relations between countries, its main structure is divided into two: the microeconomic fundamentals of trade and the macroeconomic dynamics of international trade and capital flows. The first part of the course will be dedicated to discussing the economic fundamentals of trade to answer questions like: What are the drivers of international trade relations? and who wins with trade? We answer these questions by looking at theoretical models that explain the microeconomics of trade. The second part answers the question of how the economy reacts to changes in trade tariffs, monetary policy, and fiscal expenditure. To answer these questions, we look at: the national accounts and balance of payment, macroeconomic models of an open economy, and the effects of policy shocks—monetary, fiscal, and trade—on different economic variables.

As Teaching Assistant: Economic Statistics II, Undergraduate (ECON 203)