Welcome to my website! I'm a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago's Department of Economics and will be on the 2023-24 job market.
My main areas of study are International and Labor economics. I am interested in how financial and human capital decisions shape aggregate responses to changes in the economic environment. My research covers human capital accumulation during commodity booms, the role of the dollar in finance and trade, and how banks shape the spatial allocation of investment.
Read more in my CV. If you'd like to reach out, please contact me at soramarcos [at] uchicago [dot] edu.
Job Market Paper
Temporary booms affect sectors as varied as commodities, construction, and tech. I study how uncertainty about the boom's duration shapes labor mobility across sectors. I build a model of sector-specific human capital accumulation and show that workers in booming sectors can exhibit risk-loving attitudes towards duration. Unlike in settings where uncertainty necessarily increases the value of waiting, human capital accumulation acts as a force in the opposite direction and leads to ambiguous effects of uncertainty on the margin. Then, I turn to an empirical investigation of the effects of duration uncertainty during the boom in mineral prices of 2011-2018, driven by a construction boom in China. I estimate the model using financial data and novel administrative micro-data from Australia, an exporter of mineral products to China. I use the quantified model to study a counterfactual perfect foresight economy in which the mining boom was temporary and duration known. I find that the share of employment in mining in Australia would have increased from 3.7% to 4.4%, and the relative wage in the sector would have been substantially lower, indicating that duration uncertainty deterred labor supply and contributed to the rise in wage inequality during this boom.
We study macroprudential policy aimed at domestic debt denominated in different currencies. We model a small open economy with entrepreneurs and workers who save and borrow in domestic and foreign currency. Financial frictions make dollar debt on entrepreneurs' balance sheets especially disruptive when the exchange rate depreciates. Falling output causes additional depreciation; this amplification provides a rationale for de-dollarization. On the other hand, de-dollarization is costly because the dollar savings of domestic workers provide them with insurance. We characterize the social marginal benefits and costs of de-dollarization in this context. The social marginal costs are associated with a deterioration in risk-sharing and can be expressed in terms of the interest rate premium on domestic currency assets. We find that these costs are of second order around the unregulated equilibrium but play a role for optimal policy.
Work in progress
Leveraging a rich dataset that covers the universe of loans in Chile, we document that variation in the cost of capital across cities is substantial and larger than differences in wages between cities. We then establish that less competition between banks is associated with higher interest rates at the city level, while a larger pool of firms in the city is associated with lower interest rates. We are building a quantitative model that can account for these facts. We emphasize the role of competition between banks at the city level and how the geographic presence of a bank in cities with high deposits determines the marginal cost of raising deposits at the bank level and, indirectly, on the interest rate they charge.
Presented: UEA European Meetings 2023, Warwick PhD Conference 2023.
We study the currency invoicing decision of Peruvian exporters during a period of de-dollarization of the national financial system. Between 1993 and 2007 the macroeconomy stabilized and the uncovered interest parity, the premium on local currency debt, fell. We study how exporters responded to the change in the relative price of debt in different currencies by shifting the currency in which they invoiced their exports. This sheds light on the link between the roles that the dollar plays globally in finance and trade. Differential debt requirements by sector allow us to isolate the effect of this mechanism.
TA for Price Theory I (Profs. Kevin Murphy and Casey Mulligan) in 2021.
TA for Price Theory III (Prof. Lars Stole) in 2020 and 2021.
Executive MBA (Booth):
TA for Microeconomics (Prof. Lars Stole) in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Student reviews by year: 4.48/5; 4.57/5; 4.55/5.
TA for Global Strategy and Economics (Prof. Guido Lorenzoni) in 2023. Student reviews: 4.45/5.
TA for Avanced Microeconomics (Prof. Kevin Murphy) in 2019.
TA for Managing the Firm in the Global Economy (Prof. Jonathan Dingel) in 2021.
TA for Business in Historical Perspective (Prof. Richard Hornbeck) in 2022.
TA for Economics 201 (Lecturers Rafael Jimenez and German Villegas Bauer) in 2020.