PhD Candidate, Department of Economics

Contact Information

Department of Economics
Northwestern University
2211 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208

Phone: 224-410-7955

jjnorris@u.northwestern.edu

 

 

Curriculum Vitae

Download Vita (PDF).pdf

Education

Ph.D., Economics, Northwestern University, 2019 (expected)
MA, Economics, Northwestern University, 2014
MSc, Experimental and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, 2013
BA, Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, 2012

Fields of Specialization

International Trade, Macroeconomics

Job Market Paper

“Fiscal Multipliers in Integrated Local Labor Markets”
Download (PDF)
The states within the USA are highly, and heterogeneously, integrated through interstate trade. The effect on the nation from the government spending in any given state depends on how the state economy adjusts, and how these effects percolate to the rest of the country. I show that the state of spending plays an important role in determining the effect of government spending on national GDP — the fiscal multiplier. Empirical analysis of this is challenging: the effect from spending in each state must be estimated simultaneously because the states are interdependent through trade. An instrument per state is required and dimensionality reduction is necessary as panels are typically short. I proceed by proposing a parameterization based on a general equilibrium model of interstate trade. Combining a shift-share source of exogenous variation in government spending, and its interactions with observable trade flows, I develop a structural estimation framework that is implemented by 2SLS. Using a new dataset that I digitized on interstate trade, I apply this framework to the analysis of the late-20th century US Federal defense procurement. I find that observed changes in the geographic distribution of spending generate a 50% standard deviation in the fiscal multiplier. Counterfactual distributions impact long-run growth by +/-3.5%. When it comes to fiscal policy, the location of government spending has significant importance on the size of the fiscal multiplier.

Works in Progress

“Disproportionate Gains: A Home Market Effect in an Almost-Arbitrary Geography”
Draft available soon
The Home Market Effect posits that, in the presence of increasing returns to scale in production, an exogenous across-country, intraindustry shift of expenditure causes a more-than-proportionate across-country, intraindustry equilibrium shift in output. This generates a mechanism for international trade due to intraindustry specialization across countries. However, the literature only offers sharp theoretical predictions in two-country models. By making only a single additional assumption relative to the canon – the matrix of interregional iceberg trade costs is positive semi-definite – I prove that two characterizations of the Home Market Effect are maintained in a many-country world. 1) an across-location, intraindustry shift of expenditure causes on average a more-than-proportionate response; 2) a within-location, interindustry shift of expenditure always causes a more-than-proportionate response.

“Spillovers through Supply Chains”, with Caleb Kwon
Over the past decade, there has been a surge in using local labor market variation to inform macroeconomic questions. Although it offers the promise of sharper identification, only relative local treatment effects are typically identified, whereas it is the absolute local treatment effects that are relevant for policy. We demonstrate theoretically that the fundamental challenge in recovering absolute local treatment effects from relative local treatment effects is spatial interdependence. We present an approximate solution to this and develop a empirical framework to implement it. This is made feasible using a transactional level dataset on international trade. We construct exogenous shocks to a firm by exploiting a beneficial consequence of spatial interdependence: local shocks in economically distant firms can be used to instrument changes in economically close firms.

References

Prof. Martí Mestieri (Committee Chair)
Prof. Treb Allen
Prof. Martin Eichenbaum
Prof. Kiminori Matsuyama