Work in Progress and Working Papers

If no link is provided below the abstract, a PDF file is available upon request. Please send me an email if you are interested.

Green parties and building permissions: Evidence from Bavarian municipalities

Sharply increasing property prices and rents have become an important social challenge in many localities across the globe as housing supply is inadequate to meet an ever increasing demand. This paper studies whether the rise of environmental parties during the last few decades can provide an explanation for the constrained housing supply. Specifically, using a large panel of Bavarian municipalities (1990-2018), I explore whether the election of green parties into local councils affects (short-run) housing supply as proxied by building permits. As the sealing of land has environmental consequences, green parties call for strict sealing quotas. The results rely on difference-in-differences regressions and suggest that the entry of green parties into councils leads to fewer building permits.


Conflicts and political intervention: Evidence from the Anti-Open Grazing laws in Nigeria

(with Chukwuma Ume)

We study the implications of political intervention on herder-farmer conflicts at the grid-level across Nigerian states. While the causes of herder-farmer disputes in Subsahara-Africa have been studied by previous literature mainly pointing at climate change as a crucial factor, we know little about the effects of political measures addressing these conflicts over increasingly scarce land resources. In response to the rising violent conflicts between cattle herders and crop farmers during the last two decades, 13 Nigerian states enacted laws, over the period 2016-2021, referred to as Anti-Open Grazing Laws that aim at reducing clashes over fertile land resources. Applying difference-in-differences regressions to a highly disaggregated sample of data including 6,362 carefully identified herder-farmer conflicts, we overall find that the implementation of these laws lead to increased tensions in border regions of states that enacted these laws and neighboring states.


Favoritism by the Governing Elite

(with Zareh Asatryan, Thushyanthan Baskaran, and Carlo Birkholz)

In this paper, we study the extent to which ministers engage in regional favoritism. We are the first to provide a comprehensive analysis of a larger set of the governing elite, not just focusing on the primary leader. We hand-collect birthplaces of this governing elite globally. Combining this information with extended night-time luminosity and novel population data over the period from 1992 to 2016, we utilize a staggered difference-in-differences estimator and find that birthplaces of ministers globally emit on average roughly 7\% more nightlight. We do not find evidence that this is driven by, or induces migration to their home regions. The size of our data set lets us investigate heterogeneities along a number of dimensions: political power, ministerial portfolio, and the institutional setting.


Regional Redistribution of Mineral Resource Wealth in Africa

(with Zareh Asatryan, Thushyanthan Baskaran, and Carlo Birkholz)

We study the spatial economic implications of mineral resource activity. Using detailed geocoded data on mine openings and closures in Africa and luminosity data as proxy for economic activity, we show that mining regions experience local booms after a mine opens. We next explore how (additional) mineral resource activity affects non-mining regions. We find that generic non-mining regions are worse off when mineral activity increases in autocratic countries but not in democracies. In contrast, leaders’ birth regions benefit in autocracies but not in democracies. These results suggest that the spatial implications of mines vary between autocracies and democracies, a result that can potentially explain the observation that the aggregate economic effects of mineral resources often differ across countries.



Regional Favoritism and Human Capital Accumulation in Africa

(with Zareh Asatryan, Thushyanthan Baskaran, and Alexander Stöcker)

We study the long-run implications of regional and ethnic favoritism in Africa. Combining geocoded individual-level survey data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) with data on national leaders’ birthplaces across 41 African countries, we explore the educational attainment of adults who were exposed to favoritism at various points during their life. We find that generic male respondents exposed to regional favoritism during their adolescence have higher educational attainment later in life. This higher human capital accumulated by men leads to more stable employment later in life. For generic women, we observe no beneficial effects of regional favoritism. However, those women who belong to the same ethnic group as their national leader witness an increase in their educational attainment. These results indicate that regular inhabitants rather than only a narrow elite benefit from regional favoritism.



Political Favoritism and Internal Migration in Benin

(with Thushyanthan Baskaran and Alexander Stöcker)

In this paper we explore the role of regional connections with a national leader as a pull factor of internal migration in Benin by exploiting granular census data over the period 1991-2013. The empirical analysis is based on a gravity model of migration and utilizes a PPML estimator. Controlling for a diverse set of fixed effects, we show that being connected to a national leader goes along with statistically significant levels of migration into the respective districts. We also provide more detailed evidence that links these migration movements to the presence of political favoritism through its ability to improve economic opportunities and the access to public goods at the local level. The evidence in this paper blends in well with the related literature on political favoritism extending it by a previously unexplored dimension.



M. Buchner, P. Hufschmidt: Verschuldung, in: Staatslexikon8 online

M. Buchner, P. Hufschmidt: Verschuldung, private, in: Staatslexikon8 online