I am a macroeconomist, although boundaries across specialties in Economics are somewhat blurred. My research has focused on how technological progress has affected, in a variety of ways, the economy. Some time ago, I analyzed how technological advance in the capital goods sector has been an engine of growth for the economy by making investment less expensive. Technological revolutions have tended to be associated with rapid drops in the cost of adopting new technologies, productivity slowdowns, and rises in income inequality. This is true for the First Industrial Revolution, the Second Industrial Revolution, and the Information Age. I have modeled this phenomenon. Other work examined the effect that skilled-biased technology advance, which favors skilled relative to unskilled labor, has had on income inequality and de-unionization. Last, I have estimated the worth of a personal computer for the average American.
I have also investigated how improvements in household technologies have liberated married women from working at home and allowed them to enter the labor market. Another hypothesis from this research is that technological progress in the home has led to a fall in marriage and an increase in assortative mating. Other work has focused on social change as a result of improvements in contraception.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket landing. Source: Flickr
Some of my research has investigated the consequences of technological progress in financial markets, which allows investment to be directed toward the most profitable production opportunities in the economy, thereby increasing income and productivity. More recently I have explored how efficiency in both financial and patent markets affects technology adoption and growth. For example, how does the efficiency of financial markets affect funding for the development of advanced technologies? Path-breaking technologies may be expensive to develop and involve long and risky gestation lags. Is an inventor more likely to develop new ideas when he can patent and sell them?
Currently I teach at the University of Pennsylvania. I am also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a Fellow of the Econometric Society.