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Selected Works:

  1. How Do Acquisitions Affect the Mental Health of Employees?”,  Coauthors: Laurent Bach Ramin Baghai, and Rui Silva. R&R at Management Science, 2024 Abstract
    . We study employee mental health as a non-monetary measure of the long-term effects of mergers. Using employer-employee level data linked to individual health records, we document that the incidence of stress, anxiety, depression, and psychiatric medication usage increased following mergers. These effects are prevalent among employees from both targets and acquirers, in weak as well as in growing, profitable firms. Employees who experience negative career developments within the merging firms, `blue-collar’ workers and employees with lower skills are most affected. Mergers that generate more mental illness among employees perform worse post-transaction. A variety of tests address endogeneity concerns
  2. ”Impulsive Consumption and Financial Wellbeing: Evidence from an Increase in the Availability of Alcohol”, The Review of Financial Studies, 2021, Volume 34, Issue 5, May 2021, Pages 2608–2647, Coauthor: Itzhak Ben-David,   Abstract
    Increased availability of alcohol might harm individuals if they have time-inconsistent preferences and consume more than planned before. We study this idea by examining the credit behavior of low-income households around the expansion of the opening hours of retail liquor stores during a nationwide experiment in Sweden. Consistent with store closures serving as commitment devices, expanded operating hours led to higher alcohol consumption and greater consumer credit demand, default, and negative consequences in the labor market. Our calculation shows that the effects of alcohol consumption on indebtedness could amount to 3.2 times the expenditure on alcohol.
  3. ”Scarcity and Consumers’ Credit Choice”, Theory and Decisions, 2021, Volume 91, Issue 5, May 2021, Pages, Coauthors: Chloe Le Coq and Peter van Santen,    Abstract
    This paper documents that high-educated borrowers choose a lower loan to value ratio when their budget constraints are exogenously tighter. In contrast, low-educated borrowers do not respond to temporarily elevated levels of scarcity. This lack of response translates into a significantly higher probability of default and an 11.6 percent increase in borrowing costs. We show that a difference in access to liquidity and/or buffer stocks cannot explain our results. Instead, a framework where the awareness of self-control problems is positively correlated with education explains why high-educated, but not low-educated, consumers choose a lower LTV as a commitment device. Our findings highlight that increased levels of scarcity risk reinforce the conditions of poverty.
  4. “Bad Times, Good Credit”, Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, 2020, 52: 107-142. Coauthors: Bo Becker and Kasper Roszbach  Abstract
    Banks’ limited knowledge about borrowers’ creditworthiness constitutes an important friction in credit markets. Is this friction deeper in recessions, thereby contributing to cyclical swings in credit, or is the depth of the friction reduced, as bad times reveal information about firm quality? We test these alternative hypotheses using internal rating data from a large Swedish cross-border bank and credit scores from a credit bureau. The ability to classify corporate borrowers by credit quality is greater during bad times and worse during good times Soft and hard information measures both display countercyclical patterns. Our results suggest that information frictions in corporate credit markets are intrinsically counter-cyclical and not due to cyclical variation in monitoring effort.
  5. Financial Distress and Suicide over the Lifecycle for Individuals with ADHD: A Population Study”, Science Advances, 2020, 6, no. 40: eaba1551. Coauthors: Theodore P. Beauchaine and Itzhak Ben-David.   Abstract
    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exerts lifelong impairment, including difficulty sustaining employment, poor credit, and suicide risk. To date, however, studies have assessed selected samples, often via self-report. Using mental health data from the entire Swedish population (N = 11.55 million) and a random sample of credit data (N = 189,267), we provide the first study of objective financial outcomes among adults with ADHD, including associations with suicide. Controlling for psychiatric comorbidities, substance use, education, and income, those with ADHD start adulthood with normal credit demand and default rates. However, in middle age, their default rates grow exponentially, yielding poor credit scores and diminished credit access despite high demand. Sympathomimetic prescriptions are unassociated with improved financial behaviors. Last, financial distress is associated with a fourfold higher risk of suicide among those with ADHD. For men but not women with ADHD who suicide, outstanding debt increases in the 3 years prior. No such pattern exists for others who suicide.
  6. ”The Labor Market Effects of Credit Market Information”, The Review of Financial Studies, June 2018, 31(6), 2005-2037Editor’s Choice, Michael J. Brennan Best Paper Award 2019, Coauthors: Emily Breza and Andres Liberman.  Abstract
    We exploit a natural experiment to provide one of the first measurements of the causal effect of negative credit information on employment and earnings. We estimate that one additional year of negative credit information reduces employment by 3 percentage points and wage earnings by $1,000. In comparison, the decrease in credit is only one-fourth as large. Negative credit information also causes an increase in self-employment and a decrease in mobility. Further evidence suggests this cost of default is inefficiently borne by those most creditworthy among previous defaulters.


January 2024This academic year, Anastasia Girshina and I are organizing the CEPR seminar series on Household Finance. Please register and join us online once a month

Check outOne more year was added to the Swedish House of Finance Women in Finance Database. We have now a 3-year panel that tracks the share of women in the top 100 finance departments of the world  (plus the top 50 in the EU). 

Check out: The trailer and the movie ’Sidelined in Science’! A short movie about the Science behind roadblocks to women’s academic careers in (financial) economics. 

The trailer: 

The short movie (20 minutes):

Highlight: ”The Labor Market Effects of Credit Market Information” together with Emily Breza and Andres Liberman in the Review of Financial Studies, received the Michael J.Brennan Best Paper Award at the SFS Cavalcade.

Marieke Bos, Emily Breza and Itay Goldstein at SFS Cavalcade 2019, Pittsburgh and Andres Liberman, in front of NYU Stern, NY.

Upcoming Talks, and Discussions:

March 18, 2024: Finance Research Seminar, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

March 19, 2024: Expert Presentation, OECD Task Force on Financial Consumer Protection Roundtable Discussion on Consumer Credit, Paris, France.

April 19, 2024: Paper Discussion, ”Bankruptcy Lawyers and Credit Recovery by Brian Jonghwan Lee”; CEPR 9th Workshop on Household Finance, London, UK.

April 22, 2024: Health Economic Research Seminar, Rotterdam University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

April 25, 2024: Finance Research Seminar, Toulouse School of Economics, Toulouse, France.

May 18, 2024: Presentation, Consumer Finance Conference, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Recent Working Papers:

”The Effects of Diagnosing a Young Adult with a Mental Illness? Evidence from Randomly Assigned Doctors”, Coauthors: Andrew Hertzberg, Andres Liberman, and Daniel Paravisini NBER Summer Institute Slides

In the developed world, the diagnosis of mental illness is widespread among young adults. This paper estimates the long-term causal effects of being diagnosed during young adulthood for those at the margin of diagnosis. We follow all Swedish men born between 1971 and 1983 matched to administrative panel data on health, labor market, and family outcomes to estimate the impact of a mental illness diagnosis on subsequent outcomes. Exploiting the random assignment of 18-year-old men to doctors, we find that, for people at the margin, a mental illness diagnosis increases the future likelihood of internal death, hospital admittance, being sick from work, and unemployment while also lowering expected income and the propensity to be married or have children. We find that diagnosis increases the use of psychiatric medication in the 36 months right after diagnosis. A possible interpretation of our results is that the amount and type of treatment used for marginal diagnosis may be inadequate, or inappropriate

”The Price of Love” Coauthors: Wenli Li and Jenny Säve-Söderbergh Abstract

We document gender differences in behavior responses to an important aspect of the 2001 Swedish pension reform, which allowed retiring men/women to elect Survivor’s Pension Protection for their spouses albeit at a cost, using detailed microdata. We find that while men are more likely to elect protection for their wives, particularly when their pension income significantly exceeds that of their wives, interestingly, a considerable fraction of women also elect for their husbands, despite that the husbands are older and have more pension income. To understand these phenomena, we next conduct a survey of Swedish older people regarding their expectations of their own and that of their spouses’ mortality risk. Lastly, we build a dynamic equilibrium model that allows us to back out the utility weights in households’ decision-making while taking into consideration factors including income, assets, age, program cost, and the expectation differences between men and women. We also conduct counter-factual policy analyses to study the welfare implications associated with reducing the program participation cost as well as making expectations more in line with reality.

Work in Progress:

”Growing-up in Debt; Intergenerational Transmission of Debt” with Eline Molin, Erik Plug, Paula Roth, and Kasper Roszbach

”Debt Relief and Children’s Outcomes: Measuring the Effect of Personal Debt Relief Programs” with Eline Molin, Erik Plug, Paula Roth, and Kasper Roszbach

”Dissemination of Research” Evidence from Quasi-Random Conference Slots”, Coauthors Renee Adams and Laurent Bach

”Inflation Literacy and Consumer Choice: Evidence from an RCT with Bank Customers, Coauthors Arna Olafsson, Enrichetta Ravina, and Basit Zafar.

”Loneliness, Alzheimer and Financial Distress” with Andrew Herzberg and Johan Orrenius