Constantine Yannelis

Booth School of Business
University of Chicago
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
Tel: 217/721-0587

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
NBER Program Affiliations: ED
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: University of Chicago

NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2020How Does Household Spending Respond to an Epidemic? Consumption During the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic
with Scott R. Baker, R.A. Farrokhnia, Steffen Meyer, Michaela Pagel: w26949
We explore how household consumption responds to epidemics, utilizing transaction-level household financial data to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 virus. As the number of cases grew, households began to radically alter their typical spending across a number of major categories. Initially spending increased sharply, particularly in retail, credit card spending and food items. This was followed by a sharp decrease in overall spending. Households responded most strongly in states with shelter-in-place orders in place by March 29th. We explore heterogeneity across partisan affiliation, demographics and income. Greater levels of social distancing are associated with drops in spending, particularly in restaurants and retail.
August 2018When Investor Incentives and Consumer Interests Diverge: Private Equity in Higher Education
with Charlie Eaton, Sabrina Howell: w24976
This paper studies how private equity buyouts create value in higher education, a sector with opaque product quality and intense government subsidy. With novel data on 88 private equity deals involving 994 schools, we show that buyouts lead to higher tuition and per-student debt. Exploiting loan limit increases, we find that private equity-owned schools better capture government aid. After buyouts, we observe lower education inputs, graduation rates, loan repayment rates, and earnings among graduates. Neither school selection nor student body changes fully explain the results. The results indicate that in a subsidized industry maximizing value may not improve consumer outcomes.
March 2017Students in Distress: Labor Market Shocks, Student Loan Default, and Federal Insurance Programs
with Holger M. Mueller: w23284
The collapse in home prices during the Great Recession triggered a sharp drop in consumer demand by households, leading to massive employment losses. This paper examines the implications of these labor market shocks for the dramatic rise in student loan defaults, which originated during this time period. Linking administrative student loan data at the individual borrower level to de-identified tax records and exploiting Zip code level variation in home price changes, we show that the drop in home prices during the Great Recession accounts for approximately 24 to 32 percent of the increase in student loan defaults. Consistent with a labor market channel, we find a strong relationship between home prices, employment losses, and student loan defaults at the individual borrower level, which is...
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