Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2021

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Business Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



This dissertation examines different aspects that determine households' financial decisions and income streams, as well as the the interaction between both. The first chapter studies the effect of access to the gig-economy on student debt take-up and repayment, and documents that following the introduction of ride-sharing services in a city, individuals decrease their student debt balance and probability of default. These results are primarily driven by former students. For potential students, I find that they become more likely to attend college in the first place. The second chapter looks at the effect of getting a mortgage on non-mortgage credit outcomes, and finds that individuals who transition to home ownership increase their credit card and auto balances by 13% of the average mortgage, suggesting a debt spillover effect from home ownership. It also documents how individuals with financial experience are able to borrow more without an impact to their financial health, while low-experience borrowers are not able to borrow more, but do see a decline in their financial health. The final chapter examines how firms adjust employment in response to aggregate shocks. This chapter finds that firms are more likely to lay off low-income and high-tenure employees before other classes of workers. Firms are also more likely to rehire high-tenure employees that were laid off first. These results are consistent with theories which document that search frictions play an important role in determining firms' responses to aggregate shocks.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Todd A. Gormley

Committee Members

Radhakrishnan Gopalan, Anjan Thakor, Taylor Begley, Gonzalo Maturana,

Available for download on Friday, May 14, 2100