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Working Papers

1. Banking and Innovation: Evidence from the Industrial RevolutionLink opens in a new window (Job Market Paper)

  • Economic History Society: Banks and Patents during the British Industrial RevolutionLink opens in a new window
  • Abstract: How do banks affect innovation when there exist liquidity constraints? Between 1750 and 1825, country banks in England and Wales provided short-term loans to clients due to legal restrictions during the Industrial Revolution. Using a new district-level panel dataset on patents and banks, covering almost six hundred registration districts, I find that better access to banking services increased patenting. My baseline estimation, which includes district and year fixed effects, shows that a one standard deviation increase in banking access increased patenting by 15.6% of a standard deviation. I establish a causal relationship by constructing instrumental variables that utilize shocks to the money supply and the locations of historical post towns to predict the growth of country banks. My findings suggest that country banks and their London agents contributed to the formation of an integrated national financial market that channeled surplus funds from rural districts to industrial areas that lacked credit. Country banks increased patents acquired by their clients, who were mainly industrialists and merchants. Banks lowered the costs of procuring working capital by providing short-term credit. The effects of banks were larger in districts subject to tighter credit constraints and lacked access to the London money market.
  • Circulated under the title "Financial Development and Patents during the First Industrial Revolution: England and Wales"
  • Presented at: CAGE Summer School 2021, The 8th Annual Symposium on Quantitative History, the 81st Annual Meeting of the Economic History Association, Economic History Society Residential Training Course, 2022 Royal Economic Society Annual Conference, 2022 RES Symposium of Junior Researchers, PhD Symposium in Industrial Economics 2022, 2022 UEA North America Meeting, Northwestern Economic History Research Lunch, 2023 CAGE Economic History Workshop, Arthur Lewis Lab Graduate Workshop, 2023 Economic History Society Annual Conference, 2023 UEA European Meeting, CAGE Summer School 2023, the 3rd Annual Southern PhD Economics Conference, the 1st Summer Meeting in Urban Economics in China, the 2023 Asian Meeting of the Econometric Society in East and Southeast Asia, the 2023 EEA-ESEM Congress, and the Applied Young Economist Webinar (Development Economics).


1. Railways and Cities in IndiaLink opens in a new window with James FenskeLink opens in a new window and Namrata KalaLink opens in a new window 

Work in progress

1. Branching for caution: Banks in England and Wales during a Financial Panic.Link opens in a new window (Slides available upon request)

  • Abstract: Using a bank-level dataset on joint-stock banks in England and Wales in the 1870s and 1880s, I show that exposure to an unexpected financial panic resulting from the failure of the City of Glasgow Bank in 1878 led to the geographical expansion of banks affected. My baseline estimation includes bank and year fixed effects. I also construct an instrumental variable based on the number of newspapers in the towns of bank headquarters before the panic. After the panic, banks adopted limited liability. Banks that were initially smaller expanded their branch networks to diversify geographic risks. Initially larger banks expanded less than smaller banks, but they collected more deposits by setting up new branches.
  • Prize: Best Paper Prize of the Business and Industrial Section of the Royal Statistical SocietyLink opens in a new window
  • Presented at: Northwestern Economic History Research Lunch, PhD Symposium in Industrial Economics 2023, The 9th International Symposium on Quantitative History.Link opens in a new window

2. The Fiscal Foundation of Bureaucratic Power Sharing in Late Qing China,Link opens in a new window with Tianyang XiLink opens in a new window (Slides available upon request)

  • Abstract: How does the control over incomes affect de facto power within an organization? We construct datasets about the resumes of subnational leaders and details of likin, a new tax controlled by provincial leaders, in late Qing China. Using a two-way fixed effects model including position and year fixed effects, we show that higher incomes increased the chances of promotion and lowered the chances of demotion for subnational leaders in the next year. The Emperor promoted bureaucrats to avoid the rebellion of subnational leaders. Likin increased the chances of being promoted to connected regions and the impacts of likin were larger for bureaucrats perceived as less loyal to the Emperor. Subnational leaders enjoyed high discretion over the transfer payments to other provinces funded by likin.
  • Presented at: The 5th International Symposium on Quantitative History (presented by coauthor), China Public Finance Forum.Link opens in a new window