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I am a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University. I received my Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Minnesota and my M.A. in Economics from the New Economic School.

My research focuses on applied macroeconomics, firm dynamics, labor economics and business cycles.

Email             vladimir.smirnyagin@yale.edu

CV                 Download pdf

Papers

Locus of Control and Business Formation [UPDATED: December 2021]

Previously circulated under the title "The Impact of Aggregate Fluctuations on Superstar Business Formation"

Abstract: This paper brings the insights from management to firm dynamics literature and introduces the notion of locus of control, according to which entrepreneurs can direct their startup efforts toward projects with different target sizes. Firm-level data from the U.S. reveal that businesses which eventually become large tend not to be started in recessions, and that financial conditions at birth are critical for the formation of such enterprises. A version of a standard firm dynamics model with financial frictions and the ability of potential entrepreneurs to choose their target size can account for the data. In the estimated model, financial frictions slow the rate at which growth-oriented businesses expand disproportionately; this discourages entrepreneurs from pursuing such ideas in recessions. From the policy perspective, I highlight the importance of improving the quality of startups rather than increasing their quantity.

Abstract: We document a growing link between university research and development expenditures and patenting activity in the surrounding metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) since 1980. The gap in patents per capita between MSAs with and without a research university has doubled, while the elasticity of patents per capita with respect to university R&D has tripled. We establish that this trend reflects growing knowledge spillovers from university R&D by showing that it survives controlling for MSA and university characteristics; that it holds by research/patent field; and that it is stronger in areas where universities do more basic R&D. We show that a portion of this change can be linked to the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act, which was designed in part to improve knowledge flows between universities and firms. The growing importance of teams for leading scientific research and reduction in corporate basic research likely also play a role.

Abstract: Using administrative data on U.S. multisector firms, we document a cross-sectoral propagation of the import competition from China (“China shock”) through firms’ internal networks: Employment of an establishment in a given industry is negatively affected by China shock that hits establishments in other industries within the same firm. This indirect propagation channel impacts both manufacturing and non-manufacturing establishments, and it operates primarily through the establishment exit. We explore a range of explanations for our findings, highlighting the role of within-firm trade across sectors, scope of production, and establishment size. At the sectoral aggregate level, China shock that propagates through firms’ internal networks has a sizable impact on industry-level employment dynamics.

Abstract: We investigate cyclicality of variance and skewness of household labor income risk using PSID data. There are five main findings. First, we find that head’s labor income exhibits countercyclical variance and procyclical skewness. Second, cyclicality of hourly wage is muted, suggesting that head’s labor income risk is mainly coming from volatility of hours. Third, younger households face stronger cyclicality of income volatility than older ones, although the level of volatility is lower for the younger ones. Fourth, while the second earner helps lowering the level of skewness, it does not mitigate the volatility of household labor income risk. Meanwhile, government taxes and transfers are found to mitigate the level and cyclicality of labor income risk volatility. Finally, among heads with strong labor market attachment, cyclicality of labor income volatility becomes weaker, while cyclicality of skewness remains.

 

Works in Progress

 

Returns to Scale and Markups: Micro-level Decomposition Using Administrative Data

with Jay Hyun (HEC Montréal), Daisoon Kim (NC State University) and Yoonsoo Lee (Sogang University)

 
Older Projects

 

Uncertainty Driven Entry and Exit Over the Business Cycle