Lukas Nord

Lukas Nord

Junior Scholar

Minneapolis Fed


I am a Macroeconomist. In my research, I combine quantitative models and micro data to study how micro level heterogeneity and frictions in goods or labor markets interact with macro outcomes.

For the academic year 2023/24, I am a Junior Scholar at the Minneapolis Fed. I will join the University of Pennsylvania as an Assistant Professor in 2024.

I have obtained my PhD from the European University Institute (Florence) in 2023.


Working Papers

Shopping, Demand Composition, and Equilibrium Prices (Job Market Paper)

     ECB Young Economist Prize 2023
     EEA & UniCredit Foundation Best Job Market Paper Award 2022
     Best Paper Acknowledgement at the 1st Zurich PhD Macro Workshop

This paper develops an equilibrium theory of expenditure inequality and price dispersion, to study how retail prices respond to households' shopping behavior. Heterogeneity in the effort to search for prices implies that the price elasticity faced by retailers depends on the composition of demand. For a search market with price posting, I show analytically that retailers optimally charge higher markups if goods are mainly consumed by low-search-effort households. Additional predictions on the shape of posted price distributions are consistent with evidence from US supermarket scanner micro-data. I embed search for prices into an incomplete markets model with non-homothetic preferences and equilibrium price dispersion for multiple varieties. Endogenous heterogeneity in search effort allows the model to match evidence on differences in prices paid for identical goods and reduces inequality in consumption relative to expenditure. I show that the equilibrium response of posted prices across products doubles this direct effect of search on inequality. In addition, the model reconciles conflicting evidence on the cyclicality of retail markups, as aggregate shocks change the composition of demand. Finally, I find that the response of posted prices to a redistributive earnings tax compensates top earners for up to 14% of their losses.

Distributive Effects of Banking Sector Losses

     with Caterina Mendicino and Marcel Peruffo

This paper studies the distributive effects of banking sector losses on household consumption and welfare. Using data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, we document that in response to declines in bank equity returns the consumption of low-income households decreases by roughly twice as much as the average. To understand this result, we develop a heterogeneous-agent model featuring rich income and portfolio heterogeneity and a banking sector subject to financial frictions. The model matches the empirical inequality in consumption responses following a shock to banks’ asset returns. Households at the bottom of the income distribution suffer from losses in labor earnings and from an increase in the cost of borrowing. In contrast, high-income consumers can take advantage of temporarily low asset prices and high future returns and increase their savings to sustain a higher consumption in the medium term. In fact, a fraction of households benefits from distress in the banking sector. A debt-financed asset purchase program can improve welfare, especially for low-income individuals, by dampening the increase in credit spreads and stabilizing investment.

Joint Search over the Life Cycle

     with Annika Bacher and Philipp Grübener

This paper provides novel evidence that the added worker effect -- labor force entry upon spousal job loss -- is substantially stronger for young than old households. Using a life cycle model of two-member households in a frictional labor market, we study whether this age-dependency is driven by heterogeneous needs for or availability of spousal insurance. Our framework endogenizes asset and human capital accumulation, as well as arrival rates of job offers, and is diciplined against US micro data. By means of counterfactuals, we find a strong complementarity across both margins: A large added worker effect requires both high spousal earnings potential (human capital) relative to the primary earner and limited access to other means of self insurance (assets). Either one individually does not generate a sizable response of spousal labor supply to the job loss of a primary earner, but their interaction can account for the observed age differential in the added worker effect.

Who Cares about Inflation? -
    Endogenous Expectation Formation of Heterogeneous Households


This paper builds a joint theory of endogenous inflation expectations and consumption-savings choices of heterogeneous households. We introduce imperfect information about future inflation rates in a consumption-savings model and allow households to exert costly effort to reduce uncertainty about future price changes. High wealth households are more exposed to future inflation due to its effect on real interest rates and hence choose to be better informed. The joint distribution of wealth and inflation expectations generated by the model is consistent with key features of the data. The implied consumption response to news about inflation is hump shaped in wealth: Wealthier households pay closer attention and update their expectations more in response to any signal received, but change their consumption less after any given update in expectations due to the income effect of future inflation. We show this mechanism to reduce the on-impact aggregate consumption response to forward guidance policies by up to 55% compared to an attentive counterfactual.

Work in Progress

    Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Price Search

     with Max Bres

    Customer Capital and Corporate Borrowing

     with Luigi Falasconi and Gianmarco Ruzzier

    The Gender Turnover Gap Across Countries

     with Annika Bacher, Kevin Donovan, Philipp Grübener, and Todd Schoellman

Teaching Experience

At the EUI I have been a teaching assistant for different core and advanced courses at the PhD level, including courses on heterogeneous agent models, search frictions and computational methods. Here you can find some lecture notes I wrote for a PhD level course on search frictions and some sample codes for a course on computational methods.