Research

Employers and Health Insurance Under the Affordable Care Act, with Arnold J. Rosoff, Annals of Health Law, Summer 2015.

We review the history of health insurance in the U.S., emphasizing how our system came to be so heavily based on voluntary employer action. We assess the consequences of placing EBHI at the center of our nation’s healthcare system. We examine how the ACA undertakes to change the employer-based health insurance environment, and how the Obama Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are implementing the relevant provisions. Finally, we project how employers will respond to these changes, and how the U.S. healthcare system will evolve as a result

A Comment on “The American Mortgage System: Crisis and Reform, eds”, with Marvin M. Smith and Susan M. Wachter, World Financial Review, January-February 2012.

To avoid a repeat of the disaster that has rocked the global financial system for the past four years, American housing finance must transition toward greater transparency, better tracking of risky products, standardized products for most borrowers, and fewer incentives for market participants to increase systemic risk in the pursuit of short-term profits. It was this under-regulated, under-informed, under-capitalized, over-leveraged race for short-term profits and secondary market share, fueled by competition and the production of securitized credit, for which lenders held no “skin in the game,” that actually caused the housing bubble, the underlying credit bubble, and the inevitable financial crisis.

Booms and Busts in Real Estate, with Susan M. Wachter, Wharton Real Estate Review, Spring 2011.

Real estate booms and busts have been a recurring feature of the global economy for decades, including in the 20th century, the Great Depression, the thrift crisis of the 1970s and 1980s, the East Asian Crisis of the late 1990s, and the recent crisis. Real estate is particularly prone to pro-cyclical behavior due to the temporal lag in construction and the difficulty in short selling the underlying asset and the lack of effective derivatives to trade bubbles. In the most recent cycle, real estate investment trusts may have helped prevent overbuilding, but the complexity, heterogeneity, and opacity of mortgage securitization products encouraged the market to underprice risk, resulting in a credit bubble. While regulatory efforts and market memory may contain oscillations for some time, we have not seen the end of booms and busts in real estate markets.

The Growth of the Corporation across States in Nineteenth-Century America, Dissertation for MSc in Economic History (Research), London School of Economics & Political Science, August 2010.

This paper investigates the relationship between the corporation and economic growth in the nineteenth century. There is little evidence for the strong connection suggested by most of the literature. More industrialized states were more likely to adopt the corporation to protect investors from risk. States that had adopted more corporations in the nineteenth century were more likely to experience high economic growth in the twentieth century. Prior to the advent of the modern regulatory state, the corporation was mostly a tool for investors and had little benefit for the majority of workers feeling the brunt of industrialization.

An Early Assessment of the Sherman Antitrust Act: Three Case Studies, Senior Thesis for the Wharton Research Scholars Program, University of Pennsylvania, May 2009.

The majority of the research literature on early antitrust law focuses on prices and output, but few empirical studies decompose these symptoms into the causes that the underlying theory suggests. The literature has been equally silent about secondary effects, even when their derivative claims depend on and could be proven (or disproven) by evidence in such data. This paper focuses on three case studies where the United States Supreme Court used the Sherman Antitrust Act to justify significant government intervention in an industry, resulting in the breakup of a major trust or cartel — Chesapeake & Ohio Fuel Co. v. United States, Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States, and United States v. American Tobacco Co. — by measuring five industry metrics and their relation to the antitrust action: capital, number of establishments, employment, profit margin, and revenue.