Work in Progress

Workplace Harassment Risk, Non-disclosure Regulation, and Information Exchange in Firms

(with Yuping Jia, Xiang Zheng, Menghan Zhu)


We study the effects of regulation of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) between firms and employees. We argue that laws that limit the use of NDAs (i) reduce harassment-related frictions in social interactions between employees and (ii) improve information exchange in firms. Empirically, we find that legal insider trading becomes more profitable and firm value increases. The effects of the laws are stronger for individuals with high frictions in their social networks and for firms with high reliance on private communication. In contrast, the effects of anti-NDAs are muted in regions with stronger prevailing conflicting social norms.


Terrorism and Voting: The Rise of Right-Wing Populism in Germany

(with Marius Liebald and Navid Sabet)


Can terrorism shift voting outcomes, individual opinions, and party programs? Exploiting quasi-random variation between successful and failed terror attacks across German municipalities, we find that successful attacks lead to significant increases in the vote share for the right-wing, populist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party in state elections. Successful attacks lead to differential increases in turnout which are mainly captured by the AfD; by contrast, the vote share for the ruling party decreases significantly. Using the German SOEP, we find that people who reside in areas with successful attacks identify as more right-wing, prefer the AfD more and the ruling party less, and are more worried about migration and social cohesion. These results hold despite the fact that most attacks are targeted against migrantsby right-wing nationalists. The AfD responds to attacks by speaking more about asylum, crime and Islam in its election manifestos at the state level. All other parties shift in the opposite direction.


Knowledge Teams, Careers, and Gender

(with Cagatay Bircan and Tristan Stahl)

We use rich data on personnel records, work assignments, and performance from a financial institution to uncover the mechanisms that lead to promotion gaps in knowl- edge work. We find a substantial promotion gap for women, which emerges early in their careers and leads to under-representation of senior women. Bankers work in multiple project teams concurrently and take on team leadership roles occasionally. Analyzing over 10,000 investment projects, we find that assignments to the job of team leader, which provide visibility to the upper echelons of the organization, are crucial for careers. Assignments to these jobs are carried out by supervisors and favors men.