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Partial Adjustment in Policy Functions of Structural Models of Capital Structure

August 20, 2017

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series showcasing Barcelona GSE master projects by students in the Class of 2017. The project is a required component of every master program.


Authors:

Mattia Bongini

Master’s Program:

Finance

Paper Abstract:

We present a tradeoff model of capital structure to investigate the sources of adjustment costs and study how firms’ financing decisions determine partial adjustment toward target leverage ratios. The presence of market imperfections, like taxes and collateral constraints, is shown to play a decisive role in the behavior of the policy function of capital and leverage. By means of a contraction argument, we are able to show the existence of a target leverage towards which optimal leverage converges with a speed of adjustment that depends on a firm marginal productivity of capital. Our predictions are consistent with the empirical literature regarding both the magnitude of the speed of adjustment and the relationship between leverage ratios and the business cycle.

Conclusions:

In this work we showed how financial and economic frictions are able to generate a partial adjustment dynamics in leverage policy functions. In the model we studied, the key factors of this phenomenon are collateral constraints (which strike a balance between tax benefits of debt and distress costs) and firm productivity of capital. The latter, in particular, determines the speed of adjustment towards the (state-dependent) target leverage ratio.

Our model fits well several stylized facts of leverage dynamics established by the empirical literature: an example is given by the magnitude of the speed of adjustment, which falls into the confidence intervals estimated by several authors. Another one, is the countercyclical behavior of leverage dynamics with respect to the business cycle, which is due to the fact that in recessions it is easier for the collateral constraint to be binding.

Future work should first address the translation of the hypotheses of Theorem 5.4 on the Lagrange multiplier into assumptions on the components of the model (the production function and the various market frictions). The next step would then be to extend the model to a full general equilibrium model to study thoroughly the effects of preference and monetary shocks on leverage dynamics. Pairing consumers’ utility maximization with firms’ financing problem would also allow to study the interaction between expected returns and partial adjustment: in such framework, the collateral constraint should probably be replaced by several credit rating inequalities determining both firm specific discount rates and target leverage ratios.

Gravity in Bank Lending within the European Union

August 15, 2017

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series showcasing Barcelona GSE master projects by students in the Class of 2017. The project is a required component of every master program.


Authors:

Saga Gudmundsdottir, Olafur Heidar Helgason, Moritz Leitner, Clíona McDonnell and Alexander Schramm

Master’s Program:

Master in Economics and Finance

Paper Abstract:

This paper investigates whether and how geographical distance matters for bank lending within and between countries in the European Union. We estimate gravity-type regressions in various specifications, incorporating novel econometric insights which have thus far not been applied in the context of bank lending. Using recently published, disaggregated data on banks’ credit exposures from the European Banking Authority, we find the elasticity of lending with respect to distance to be -1.42 in our main specification. Controlling for various factors, the negative relationship remains persistent. We argue that this relationship is largely attributable to information costs, though cultural and historical ties between countries, capital requirements, local competition and cross-border trade also play a role. The analysis highlights the enduring influence of factors which prevent full European financial integration.

Conclusions:

The broad narrative that emerges from our analysis is that a combination of deeply-entrenched and policy-based factors determine international bank lending. Firstly, issues that have historically either hindered or facilitated lending – the prohibiting effect of distance in gathering information about potential or current borrowers, and the ties between societies brought about by cultural closeness, trade or direct investment – remain significant predictors of banks’ current stocks of outstanding loans within the EU. Secondly, some of the issues that have recently been under close scrutiny by European policymakers – capital requirements and market competition – also impact lending decisions.
Our analysis has important implications. Although we have not tested directly for the current state of financial integration in the banking sector in the EU, our results imply that a borderless single market for bank loans has not yet been achieved. Despite the progression of financial market integration across the EU, distance continues to be a deterrent to international bank lending on the European level. While some of the underlying mechanisms, particularly cultural and historical ties, are difficult to address politically, others provide scope for intervention by policymakers seeking to further progress the European integration project.

Although technological advancements may have improved transparency and eased the procurement of information and communication between bank and client, it seems they have not yet eliminated information costs in banking. There is room for new technologies that would further reduce the cost of verifying and monitoring clients to allow banks to underwrite more loans internationally. Although it is beyond the scope of this paper to provide a normative analysis of optimal EU policy, we have shown that both government ownership of competing banks and differences in national capital requirements act as deterrents to lending. The key areas we have identified could be targeted to advance the goal of further financial integration in bank lending across the EU.

 

Estimating Stochastic Volatility: The Rough Side to Equity Returns

August 8, 2017

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series showcasing Barcelona GSE master projects by students in the Class of 2017. The project is a required component of every master program.


Authors:

Lukas Grimm, Jonathan Haynes and Daniel Schmitt

Master’s Program:

Finance

Paper Abstract:

This Project evaluates the forecasting performance of a Brownian Semi-Stationary (BSS) process in modelling the volatility of 21 equity indices. We implement a sophisticated Hybrid Scheme to simulate BSS processes with high efficiency and precision. These simulations are useful to price derivatives, accounting for rough volatility. Then we calibrate the BSS parameters for the realised kernel of 21 equity indices, using data from the Oxford-Man Institute. We conduct one- and ten-step ahead forecasts on six indices and find that the BSS outperforms our benchmarks, including a Log-HAR specification, in the majority of cases.

Conclusions:

This project confirms the findings of Gatheral et al. (2014) and Bennedsen et al. (2016) that volatility is indeed both rough and persistent across a wide range of equity indices. We have explored the advantage of using a Brownian Semi-Stationary (BSS) process to model volatility enabling the user to calibrate both stylised facts in contrast to previous generations of fractal processes, like Fractional Brownian Motion. We have successfully implemented simulation methods so that a BSS process can be incorporated within a continuous time asset pricing equation to price options and other exotic derivatives. We then calibrated the parameters for the BSS model using the realised kernel of 21 equity indices. Our parameter estimates confirm the expected roughness and persistence in the series. The parameter for roughness, α, was quite stable across the cross-section of indices, but fluctuated over time. α averaged -0.37 and ranged from −0.33 to −0.42, implying much more roughness than the α = 0 implied by Standard Brownian Motion. Estimates of the long memory parameter, λ, were less stable, ranging from 0.0041 to 0.0230. We identify an issue when using MoM estimation that suggests MoM may be sub-optimal for BSS-Gamma forecasting. We forecast with six indices that cover a broad geographical spread and have stable lambda estimates. For the one-step ahead forecast we find that the BSS model outperformed two of our three benchmarks consistently under both MSE and QL loss functions. The BSS beat the Log-HAR benchmark in the case of the index with the longest memory, while it was slightly worse for the other five indices. For the ten-step ahead forecast, under the MSE loss function, the BSS model outperformed all benchmarks consistently for five out of six indices. Under the QL loss function the BSS outperforms all benchmarks, and this outperformance is always statistically significant.
Areas for further research would include investigating the forecasting accuracy of the BSS Power Kernel using a wider range of asset class, such as commodities, real estate funds and foreign exchange rates. Further robustness checks could test the performance of BSS against the family of fractional volatility models. It would also be interesting to further explore the relationship of ξ and its link with the variance swap curve.

 

 

 

Gender Differentials in Returns to Education in Developing Countries

August 1, 2017

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series showcasing Barcelona GSE master projects by students in the Class of 2017. The project is a required component of every master program.


Authors:

Ignatius Barnardt, Golschan Khun Jush, Thies Wollesen, Samuel Hayden and Eva Sotosek

Master’s Program:

Economics and Finance

Paper Abstract:

We investigate a possible gender gap in returns to education using data from the World Bank’ STEP program for seven developing and emerging countries. We control for cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills and parental education – previously unobserved due to unavailability of data – to investigate how this heterogeneity is playing a role in estimating the gender differential in educational returns. We also model selection using the Heckman two-step estimation procedure to examine whether selection may be driving this phenomenon. Our findings suggest that gender gaps in returns to education are not as prominent in the countries in our sample as previously suggested. We also find that controlling for unobserved heterogeneity on the one hand, and selection on the other, has different effects in different countries, highlighting the importance of understanding individual countries’ labour markets in detail before drawing conclusions regarding the existence of a gender gap in returns to education.

Conclusions:

This paper explores gender gaps in returns to education for seven developing and emerging countries. First, we investigate the existence of such a gap in a standard Mincerian framework. We find a significant returns gap in only two countries, namely Ukraine and Ghana, while the estimates for the other countries are centred relatively tightly around statistically insignificant point estimates close to zero. Using quantile regressions to dig deeper does not materially affect our findings, although it does allow us to specify that the returns gaps estimated for Ghana and Ukraine are significant at two out of three quartiles of the wage distribution, and that in Vietnam there is a small but significant returns gap at the upper two quartiles of the distribution. These findings are important in providing context for the existing literature, showing that returns premiums in favour of females are not universally prevalent in developing countries for urban wage workers. This suggests that where large, significant returns gaps have been found in the literature, this seems to be driven to a large extent by other segments of the labour market.

Second, we use our novel dataset to analyse the extent to which controlling for previously unobserved heterogeneity, namely cognitive skills, personality traits and family background, affect OLS estimates of the returns gap. We find that controlling for these STEP variables does not materially affect our baseline estimates for Bolivia, Colombia, Georgia, Kenya and Vietnam (where the estimated gap remains insignificant and close to zero), or for Ukraine, where the estimated gap is of similar magnitude and remains significant. Only in Ghana we find that adding the STEP controls has a material effect, reducing the point estimate of the gap substantially and rendering it insignificant. The results of the quantile regressions qualify this finding somewhat, showing that controlling for the STEP variables does make a difference for estimates of the gap at certain quantiles of the distribution in Ukraine and Vietnam. Overall, our finding regarding the importance of these sources of previously unobserved heterogeneity is cautiously negative: although they do appear to make a small difference for the level estimates and have an important effect in Ghana, they do not appear to be universal sources of endogeneity in estimating the returns gap for urban wage workers.

Third, we examine the importance of controlling for selection in estimating the returns differential using the Heckman two-step procedure, dropping Kenya from our sample due to missing data. Here we find that after controlling for selection, our point estimates of the returns gap remain insignificant in Ghana, Georgia and Vietnam, albeit with a relatively high point estimate in Georgia. Similarly, our estimate of the returns gap in Ukraine does not change considerably and remains significant. In contrast, we obtain higher and significant point estimates of the returns gap in Bolivia and Colombia. As explained above, this somewhat counterintuitive result is due to positive selection of females into employment in Bolivia and Colombia, and the positive relationship between education levels and probability of employment. Interestingly, in the two countries where selection appears to be important, we found earlier that controlling for the STEP variables did not have an observable effect. Our findings therefore suggest that it is likely to be important to control for selection when estimating returns gaps in developing countries, even if only to exclude the possibility of selection bias. In addition, our approach suggests that selection is likely to operate through channels other than cognitive or non-cognitive abilities, or parental background.

Taken together, our findings show that, at least for urban wage workers in the countries in our sample, a returns premium for females may not be as prevalent as previously suggested. We also find that controlling for potential sources of endogeneity, such as unobserved heterogeneity and selection, substantially changes the estimates of the gender returns gap in three out of seven of the countries in our sample. This highlights the importance of considering these channels to avoid the risk of biased estimation. This paper therefore represents a starting point for more detailed research, which could zoom in on the existence and drivers of returns differentials in individual countries, and overcome some of the limitations of this paper by extending it to rural areas and using samples with a larger number of clusters. These findings are also relevant to policy makers, since they demonstrate the importance of understanding the characteristics and dynamics of each country’s individual labour market prior to making policy proposals.

Mihai Patrulescu (ITFD ’10) on the rebalancing of Romanian markets

July 27, 2017

ITFD alum Mihai Patrulescu ’10 analyzes the Romanian market in an article for Emerging Europe.

“Over the past three years, the Romanian economy has recorded some of the fastest growth rates in the European Union, helped by a rapid expansion of consumer spending,” he writes. “During this period, retail sales have benefited from what can be considered as a perfect storm of growth catalysts.”

Read his full commentary on the Romanian economy on Emerging Europe

Mihai’s bio from Colliers International:

Mihai has joined Colliers International in October 2016 as Head of Strategic Analysis. Prior to this position, Mihai coordinated the economic research activities of UniCredit Romania, working for the bank between 2012 and 2016. During this period, he has focused on the Romanian economy as well as the CEE region, along with the banking system and financial markets. Prior to UniCredit, Mihai also worked as a research economist for Bancpost, the Romanian subsidiary of EFG Eurobank.

During 2015/2016, Mihai was seconded on assignment to the Milan Headquarters of UniCredit, working as a management consultant on the implementation of the bank’s strategic plan.

Mihai holds a Master’s in International Trade, Finance and Development from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics. During his academic undertakings, he has focused on economic crises in emerging markets, and particularly their impact on financial systems. Mihai also holds a Bachelor degree from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest.

BGSE “Just Peanuts” qualifies for Data Science Game finals in Paris

July 12, 2017

data science game

A team of Barcelona GSE Data Science students from the Class of 2017 will compete in the final round of the Data Science Game in Paris at the end of September.

Among 400 international teams from 220 universities that participated in the first round, the BGSE team is among the 20 teams who have qualified for the final. The team is called “Just Peanuts” and its members are Roger Garriga, Javier Mas, Saurav Poudel, and Jonas Paul Westermann.

In the following interview, they talk about the Data Science Game and their expectations for the final.

What is the Data Science Game?

The Data Science Game is an annual Data Science competition for university students organized by ENSAE (Paris). Teams of up to four people can participate and represent their university. There is a free-for-all qualification round online and the top 20 teams are invited to the Finale in Paris.

Why did you decide to participate?

During the course we already took part in one data science challenge as part of the Computational Machine Learning course. That was quite fun and we have been generally wanting to take part in Kaggle-like challenges throughout the year. On top of that, we of course need to represent the Barcelona GSE and put the word out about our amazing Master’s.

Can you explain the task your team had to perform in the first round of the game?

The challenge for the online qualification round was related to predicting user’s music preferences. Data was provided by Deezer, a Music streaming service based in France. The training dataset consisted of 7+ million rows each pertaining to one user-song interaction describing weather the user listened to the song (for longer that 30 seconds) or not and whether the song was suggested to the user by the streaming service as well as further variables relating to the song/user.

How/by whom was the first round judged/scored?

The online round was hosted on Kaggle, a common website for these kinds of data science prediction challenges. Scoring was done according to the ROC AUC metric (reciever operator characteristic Area under the curve).

Was it difficult to combine participating in the game with your courses and assignments in the master program?

As we started really investing time into the challenge only quite late (about two weeks before the end) we spent a lot of time during the final days. The last 120 hours before submission were probably entirely spent on the challenge which definitely cut into our normal working schedules. Especially the last weekend before the deadline was very intense and spent mostly sitting shirtless at the table of a very overheated apartment living off frozen pizza and chips.

What specifically from the master’s helped you succeed in the game?

Part of the final model we used and what also made the first miles in terms of achieving a good score was a library recommended by one of the PhD students who also give lectures in our course. But also beyond that, we used all kinds of background knowledge and experience gained from the course. A constant scheme during the challenge were problems with difference in distribution and construction of the training and testing datasets. This gave inaccurately high cross-validation results and made it difficult to assess the quality of predictions.

Another issue was simply the size of the data that meant training and parameter tuning were extremely time consuming and we needed to expand our infrastructure beyond our own laptops. For both of those problems we’ve talked about possible solutions during the Master’s and applied combinations thereof.

What will you have to do for the final round? Can you tell us about your strategy or will that give too much information to the other teams?

The final round will be a two-day hackathon-like data science challenge on-site in Paris. No information has been shared with us on details of the challenge but we are thinking it might be something related to sound processing to continue the theme from part one.

How can we follow your progress in the competition?

We will surely be writing an update after the Paris trip and probably also give some social media updates during the event.

BGSE students get job offers

July 6, 2017

20170616_150946.jpg

From left: José Manuel Cebrian Diaz-Heredero, Emmanuelle Derré, Michèle Hamel, and Moritz Degler

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Now that the academic year 2016-17 is coming to an end, and the hustle and bustle is finally dying down, it is a good time to reflect on how the journey at the BGSE has been. The Voice team is glad to find out that many BGSE students of the current batch have got job offers. One of our editors, Demas Koh, met up with four students who were happy to share this piece of great news with the BGSE and the wider community: Moritz will start working at Oxford Economics (London Office) as an Assistant Economist; Emmanuelle has got an offer from The Brattle Group (London Office) as a Research Analyst; José Manuel will soon begin his role as a Research Assistant (Bank Strategy) at CaixaBank in Spain; and Michèle has been offered a traineeship at the Strategy and Institutional Relations Division of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) in Luxembourg. This post presents the full transcript of the interview with these four BGSE students.

 

Can you please tell us more about yourself and your background?

Moritz: I am from Germany, and I graduated from Zeppelin University where I studied Economics from a rather interdisciplinary perspective. I have done several internships – in management consulting and investment banking. I also did a research internship at the Central Bank of Estonia and worked as a research assistant at Zeppelin University. During these stints, I was becoming increasingly sure that I would subsequently pursue a Master’s in Economics, and BGSE’s programme was definitely one of my top choices.

Emmanuelle: I come from France. After graduating from high school with the French baccalaureate, I went to the UK and did a Bachelor’s degree in PPE at the University of Warwick. I am now doing the Master’s in Economics at BGSE. I used to work as a research assistant at Warwick and my supervisor was Professor Luigi Pascali, who is currently at UPF. I was working a lot on international trade and economic development.

José Manuel: I am from Madrid and I did my Bachelor’s in Economics at Carlos III. During the last year of my undergraduate education, I was working at the BNP Paribas as an investment operations assistant for a year and a half. Thereafter, I moved to London, where I did a Business course. In January 2016, I started to work as a junior economist at BBVA Research, which awarded me a full scholarship for my first Master’s in Professional Development and Business Management at CIFF Business School and Alcala University. Now at the BGSE, I am doing the Competition and Market Regulation programme.

Michèle: I am from Luxembourg. This is also my second Master’s. Before coming to the BGSE, I did a Master’s in International Relations at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. At the same university, I had also done my Bachelor’s in Political Science. During my first Master’s, I did an internship at the Embassy of Belgium in Luxembourg, where I found the combination of politics and economics really interesting. I am studying International Trade, Finance, and Development (ITFD).

 

What are your interests? Please describe them in two to three sentences.

Moritz: Academically, I like macro. What also fascinates me is the role of technological change and how it will affect the economy in many different ways. In my free time, I try to read more about it and follow up on things in the tech world. Apart from that, I am very interested in economic policies in the EU. I also like travelling a lot.

Emmanuelle: My academic interests are mostly related to microeconomics, especially industrial economics. I like the fact that it combines many different elements – micro, econometrics, and law. Outside of university, I like attending cultural events. For example, one of my favourite things to do is visiting museums, and being in Barcelona for close to a year has been great for this. Needless to say, London has an extensive array of cultural activities too.

José Manuel: My passion lies in strategy and competition using a quantitative framework. It is commonly assumed that the field of strategy is for MBA graduates and these graduates mostly do not employ economic and econometric analyses. There is definitely room for economists to be more involved in the strategy sector. In my free time, I enjoy doing sports, such as canoeing, surfing or playing football, as well as photography.

Michèle: I would say that I am very passionate about microeconomic policy evaluation. I guess I am also similar to Moritz in the sense that I like following European politics and reading up on EU policies. My hobbies include travelling, reading and cooking.

 

What have you gained from the BGSE?

Moritz: I did some applied research before beginning my Master’s here but I thought that there were gaps to fill with regard to the depth of my understanding of research methods in economics. So, academically, this year really helped me to do things in a considerably more rigorous way. I also really liked the international environment at BGSE.

Emmanuelle: Studying at BGSE enabled me to really develop and strengthen my quantitative background and to widen my knowledge of economics in general. I also really enjoyed working in groups for the weekly assignments: I was able to learn a lot from my friends. Apart from that, the international environment of BGSE enabled me to make some really good friends from all over the world.

José Manuel: At BGSE, I have applied my life philosophy, which is in accordance with this: “If I’ve seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of the best”. Here, I have enhanced my competencies in cutting-edge economic topics like competition and I have gained a solid foundation in quantitative and statistical methods thanks to a great faculty and wonderful colleagues from all around the globe – people with different points of view and tons of experience, both in their professional and personal capacities.

Michèle: This year I definitely developed strong analytical and quantitative skills in Economics and Statistics.  I will really miss studying with these amazing people from all around the world.

 

 Please tell us more about people who have inspired you.

Moritz: I definitely learned a lot from my supervisor at the Bank of Estonia, Karsten Staehr and my thesis/ research advisor at Zeppelin University, Jarko Fidrmuc with regard to applied economics research. Here at BGSE, I really enjoyed our first macro course with Manuel García-Santana.

Emmanuelle: I think two professors really inspired me to choose this career. Professor Robin Naylor at the University of Warwick made me discover and love economics in my first year of university. He made economics so intuitive, while at the same time demonstrating to us the rigour of the field. Working for Professor Luigi Pascali as a research assistant really motivated me to start a career in economics as I really liked how empirical quantitative research intertwines with theoretical knowledge.

José Manuel: There are many people who have inspired me throughout my life and I do not have enough space to mention them all so I will mention a few who were vital in shaping me into what I am today: Juanjo Dolado, Agustín Casas and Francisco Marhuenda from UC3M, the community of “No free lunch” (Nada es gratis) and last but not least, all those whose paths have crossed with mine, and made me who I am today.

Michèle: Former Belgian Ambassador and current Benelux Secretary General Thomas Antoine inspired me to pursue this Master’s. His optimistic view of the European project is also what partly convinced me to apply for the traineeship at the ESM. So starting July I can take part in the policy debates surrounding this project.

 

Why do you want to work at the organisation you applied for?

 Moritz: First of all, I think being at Oxford Economics brings together the experiences that I like most – not only research, but also facing real-world issues in a dynamic environment. It is not very common in the private sector that one can take on an advisory role in a macroeconomic research context.

Emmanuelle: I really like competition economics. Hence, starting my career at the Brattle Group is a great opportunity. They work on very interesting cases in Europe, the US and the rest of the world. When I was interviewed by them, I was surprised at how kind and encouraging people were. Working on competition economics in a pleasant environment seems like the ideal fit for me.

José Manuel: The CaixaBank is the third largest bank in Spain. The prospect of doing research in the Bank Strategy department really attracted me. I believe I can apply all the knowledge that I have acquired, especially what I have learned at the BGSE. Moreover, I am really excited about the development of new ideas for the transition into technology banking.

Michèle: I believe that this traineeship at the ESM will be an excellent starting point for me to put into practice what I have learned so far at the BGSE – a combination of quantitative, research and analytical skills. My previous academic endeavours have also equipped me with important communication skills. I think this is the right avenue for me to consolidate my learning and hone my skills. I will also work in an international environment, very much like the BGSE, and I am looking forward to it.

 

Please provide a brief job description of what you will do.

Moritz: I will be in the team that covers the Eurozone, and European economics is very important to me. I am glad that I will have the opportunity to work on these issues.

Emmanuelle: I will be working as a research analyst for the London office. I will be working on various projects in competition economics, as well as doing some quantitative analysis.

José Manuel: The department of Bank Strategy analyses the competitive and regulatory environment for strategic business decisions, both nationally and internationally, while also designing and following up on the strategic plans of CaixaBank.

Michèle: During my traineeship, I will assist the Policy Strategy & Institutional Relations Team. The division maintains relations with Member States and international institutions. Moreover, it does research on further euro area integration, regional financial arrangement and rating issues.

 

What advice can you give to future job applicants? How have you prepared for the application process?

Moritz: BGSE organises lots of recruiting events and I would definitely recommend taking advantage of that.

Emmanuelle: I think that the BGSE career centre was a very supportive platform to prepare for my job interviews, to get advice for my CV and cover letter. Magda and Laurence are really helpful and encouraging; they know a lot about micro consulting. Attending the companies’ presentations was also helpful to prepare for interviews and you could even write about it in your cover letter. For example, you could talk about your first-hand encounters with the company.

José Manuel: BGSE is educating many excellent professionals-to-be, so if you really want to be at the top, you have to be honest with yourself and show that sincerity and ambition to the world.

Michèle: I would say find out the most you can about any company you apply to via their website, news reports or other sources. Also, I would contact any BGSE alumni, for example via LinkedIn, that have worked or are currently working at your company of interest.

 

Finally, where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Moritz: I think it’s most important to stay curious, open-minded and to make sure to do things right. In the medium term, I could see myself either going more in a quant / tech direction or towards the analysis of economic policy and investment, specifically in the EU. Actually, finding meaningful answers on how to connect these two fields in the near future is also something I find very appealing.

Emmanuelle: Working at Brattle will definitely give me the chance to encounter many opportunities professionally. I am sure that in five years’ time, I will enjoy doing microeconomics consulting at Brattle even more!

José Manuel: Who knows? What is sure is that I will be working hard to do what I really like and I hope to grow professionally and personally by working alongside top economists.

Michèle: In general, I would like to use the next couple of years to gain as much experience as I can in order to then take up the responsibility of managing a team.