I am a PhD candidate at the Department of Economics at LMU Munich.

My research interests lie in the field of applied microeconomics, at the intersection of urban and labour economics.

I am on the Job Market in 2020/21.


Research

Work in Progress

Land Use Regulations and Housing Development: Evidence from Tax Parcels and Zoning Bylaws in Massachusetts (Job Market Paper)
Land use regulations, such as zoning and urban growth boundaries, come in a wide variety of forms and govern the shape, size, and speed of development. They restrict housing development resulting in housing supply being less responsive to labour and immigration shocks. Yet little is known on what types of regulations are responsible, hindered by lack of comprehensive data on land use regulation stringency. I address this shortcoming by compiling a novel measure of land use regulation based on applying natural language processing techniques to over 40,000 pages of zoning bylaw texts. Utilizing a spatial regression discontinuity design around municipal borders, I find that stringent land use regulations reduce housing supply primarily through increasing the land usage per house. Strongly regulated localities do not compensate by developing more land overall. These results highlight how regulations like minimum lot sizes and setback requirements pose barriers to housing development in high-growth regions.

Identifying and Teaching High-Growth Entrepreneurship: Experimental Evidence from Entrepreneurship Academies for University Students in Uganda (with Vojtěch Bartoš, Kristina Czura, Michael Kaiser, and Timm Opitz)
We disentangle the extent to which entrepreneurial success can be attributed to skill formation and to selection. To study skill formation of nascent entrepreneurs among Ugandan university students, we randomly accept applications to a business training program fostering an entrepreneurial mindset. We measure labor market outcomes, business creation and success, and cognitive and non-cognitive skills as key outcomes up to three years after program participation. To better understand individual motivation for entrepreneurship, we experimentally vary marketing messages to all interested students prior to their application decision, emphasizing either entrepreneurial profit or entrepreneurial freedom. Lastly, we describe endogenous self-selection through nonexperimental comparisons of key outcomes among applicants and eligible students from the same population who were aware of the entrepreneurship training program but did not express interest.


Teaching

  • Econometrics (graduate, TA)
  • Microeconometrics (graduate, TA)
  • Empirical Econometrics II (undergraduate, TA)
  • Various seminars: Big Data, Empirical Analysis of Social Policy, Empirical Health Economics (undergraduate, TA)

CV

You can download my CV here.


Contact

Mailing Address

LMU Munich
Department of Economics
Ludwigstraße 33/III
80539 Munich

Email Address

brendan.shanks@econ.lmu.de