RESEARCH PROJECTS

 

- Private Equity Buyouts and Worker Earnings Inequality: Contrasting Impacts of Operational and Financial Value Creation Strategies in Corporate Buyouts (Job Market Paper). Abstract:

How has the expansion of concentrated financial ownership of U.S. employers since 1980 affected worker earnings?  One perspective highlights greater owner pressure on executives to channel resources back to shareholders, forgoing longer-term investment in workers.  A second perspective emphasizes the capacity of concentrated financial owners to improve managerial practices, increasing worker earnings through human capital development.  I integrate these perspectives by theorizing the financial-to-operational spectrum through which financial owners seek to generate returns for their own investors by reorganizing companies.  I argue that reorganization strategies more focused on operational value increase earnings for college-educated workers, but that a greater focus on financial value reduces earnings for workers across the educational distribution.  I test this theory using administrative data following the employment and earnings of 99\% of U.S. private sector workers, a hand-curated database of all private equity buyouts of public companies from 1995-2014, and debt rate changes that facilitate the generation of financial value through corporate reorganization. This study develops the organizational theory of inequality by arguing that the level of skill-biased technological change in a society depends on the degree of financial versus operational value strategies enacted through its most prevalent corporate control structures.

- Job Upgrading and Earnings Growth for Non-college Workers, with Nathan Wilmers and Letian Zhang.

- Conform and Oppose through Numbers: Alternative Organizing and Formative Quantification at the International Cooperative Alliance, with  Benjamin Huybrechts, Teresa Nelson, Frederic Dufays, and Noreen O’Shea.

- From the Valley of Death: Ownership Form and the Realization of Science-to-Commerce Transfer.