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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

Abstract: Using U.S. Census data, this paper documents that firms which eventually become large tend not to be started in recessions, and that financial conditions are critical for the formation of high-profile businesses. A standard firm dynamics model requires both the ability of potential entrepreneurs to choose their target size at birth and financial frictions in order to account for the data. In the estimated model, financial frictions slow the rate at which high-profile businesses grow disproportionately; this discourages such firms from entering during recessions. Government policy which stimulates business entry yields sizable welfare improvements; gains are larger if the policy targets high-profile firms.

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.

 

Uncertainty Driven Entry and Exit Over the Business Cycle

New version soon

Abstract: This paper explores the aggregate implications of countercyclical macroeconomic volatility. First, by drawing on data of publicly traded U.S. firms, I find that both the investment rate and the probability of investment spikes decrease as macroeconomic volatility rises, with this effect weakening as firms age. Second, to rationalize empirical patterns, I build an uncertainty regime-switching general equilibrium model of investment with capital adjustment costs and firms' entry and exit. In the model, mature firms are close to their long-run productivity, and therefore, do not respond strongly to heightened uncertainty. Conversely, young firms are far away from their long-run productivity, and prefer to "freeze" their investment decisions during volatile times. Finally, in contrast to existing literature, I show that the entry/exit margin can be quantitatively important, especially during high-uncertainty episodes such as the Great Recession.

 

Works in Progress

 

Productivity, Business Cycles, and Trade: Evidence from Chile

with Diana Van Patten (Princeton)

 

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)