Working papers

previously CESifo working paper, winner of the 50th EFA best doctoral tutorial award

This paper investigates whether and how company boards affect firm performance. It sheds light on decisions taken by these types of high-level managers and the importance of member variety in the board profit function. I study a regulation in France that exogenously changed boards by mandating a minimum representation of each gender for firms above a certain size threshold. I show that the gender quota constrains firms to diversify boards across a variety of individual traits such as age and nationality. New boards increase various measures of profitability by around 7%. A decomposition of all margins of adjustments indicates that the rise in profits occurs mainly through cuts in variable labor costs. Results suggest that new boards use temporary high-skilled workers to enter new markets and increase firm revenue. I identify a non-linear mapping from member characteristics to firm outcomes. I relate profits to changes in board members to infer switchers' ability and separately quantify the relevance of member variety. I find that ability explains around 35% of the profit variance but that observable traits matter at the margin. I tie back the substantial gains from the regulation to the diversification of individual traits which are complementary inputs in boards.

Conferences/workshops: EARIE, RES, Brucchi Lucchino, AFSE, IZA women in leadership workshop, LIEPP, CESIFO, RIEF, SOLE, EEA, EFA, EALE, CEPR-IO, Economics of firms and labor workshop (LMU), IIOC (scheduled)

Invited seminars: Federal reserve board Atlanta, Ludwig Maximilans Universitat (organizations research group), Erasmus School of Economics (finance group & applied economics group), Harvard Business School (strategy unit)

Labor Flows in France: Insurance through Diversity (with François de Soyres, Simon Fuchs and Illenin Kondo), coming soon 

Are economically diverse cities more resilient? Building on the insights of a simple model of labor flows, we document using French data on worker moves that more diverse cities–occupationally or industrially–experience shallower decreases in gross outflows and smaller declines in employment following negative labor demand shocks. We then show that such data also allows us to measure the implied insurance value of a city using a sufficient-statistics approach in a canonical random utility dynamic discrete choice model across sectors, occupations, and cities. The diversity of outside options impact a worker’s welfare. We find that there is a correlation between a city’s economic diversity and its insurance value against labor demand shocks.

Conferences/workshops: Urban Economic Association (UEA)

Work in progress

Market power, Labor Outsourcing and the Labor Share

Company board formation and market power 

Pre-phd publications

Coase Lecture - the Inverted U Relationship Between Credit Access and Productivity Growth (with Philippe Aghion, Antonin Bergeaud, Gilbert Cette and Rémy Lecat), Economica (2019)