Franklin Qian
Job Market Candidate

Stanford University
Department of Economics
579 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford, CA 94305-6072

I will be available for interviews at:

  • EEA Virtual Meeting in Nottingham, UK (Dec 14-18)
  • 2021 ASSA Virtual Meeting (Jan 3-5)

  • Curriculum Vitae

    Primary Fields:
    Labor Economics, Public Economics

    Secondary fields:
    Urban Economics, Industrial Organization

    Expected Graduation Date:
    June, 2021


    Prof. Rebecca Diamond (Co-Primary):

    Prof. Liran Einav (Co-Primary):

    Prof. Nicholas Bloom:

    Prof. Matthew Gentzkow:

    Prof. Timothy McQuade:

    Job Market Paper

    The Effects of High-skilled Firm Entry on Incumbent Residents
    with Rose Tan
    Best Student Paper (Honorable Mention) at the 2020 Urban Economics Association meeting

    What happens to incumbent residents following the entry of a large high-skilled firm? To study this, we construct a dataset of 391 such entries in the U.S. from 1990-2010. We follow incumbent residents' outcomes over 13 years using rich micro-data on individual address histories, property characteristics, and financial records. First, we estimate the effects of the firm entry on incumbent residents' consumption, finances, and mobility. To do so, we compare outcomes for residents living close to the entry location with those living far away, while controlling for their proximity to potential high-skilled firm entry sites. Next, we decompose welfare from changes in wages, rents, and amenities for incumbent residents using a model of individual home and work location choice. Taken together, our results show high-skilled incumbents, especially homeowners, benefit. Low-skilled owners benefit less than high-skilled owners. Low-skilled renters are harmed. After five years, they incur an annual welfare loss that is equivalent to a 0.2 percent decline in their initial wages.


    The Effects of Rent Control Expansion on Tenants, Landlords, and Inequality: Evidence from San Francisco
    with Rebecca Diamond and Tim McQuade
    American Economic Review, Vol.109, No.9 (September 2019)

    Using a 1994 law change, we exploit quasi-experimental variation in the assignment of rent control in San Francisco to study its impacts on tenants and landlords. Leveraging new data tracking individuals' migration, we find rent control limits renters' mobility by 20 percent and lowers displacement from San Francisco. Landlords treated by rent control reduce rental housing supplies by 15 percent by selling to owner-occupants and redeveloping buildings. Thus, while rent control prevents displacement of incumbent renters in the short run, the lost rental housing supply likely drove up market rents in the long run, ultimately undermining the goals of the law.

    Which Landlords Pay for Rent Control? Heterogeneous Landlord Response to San Francisco's Rent Control Expansion
    with Rebecca Diamond and Tim McQuade
    AEA Papers and Proceedings, Vol.109, (May 2019)

    Using a 1994 law change, we exploit quasi-experimental variation in the assignment of rent control in San Francisco to study which types of landlords bear the burden of decreased rental payments versus substitute away from supplying rent-controlled housing. We find rent control leads to a long-run decrease in the supply of rental housing. This effect is more pronounced among properties managed by corporate landlords versus individual landlords. Raising revenue for rental subsidies through rent control appears to be regressive, since corporations can evade the tax burden of rent control more easily, likely due to their superior access to capital.

    Working Papers

    The Microstructure of U.S. Housing Market: Evidence from Millions of Bargaining Interactions
    with Haaris Mateen and Ye Zhang

    We study the microstructure of the U.S. housing market using a novel data set comprising housing search and bargaining behavior for millions of interactions between sellers and buyers. We first establish a number of stylized facts, the most important being a symmetric spread of the sales price around the final listing price in our data. Second, we compare observed behavior with predictions from a large theoretical housing literature. Many predictions on the relationship between sales price, time on the market, listing price and atypicality are borne out in the data. However, existing models do not adequately explain the symmetric spread of the sales price around the final listing price. Using a modeling strategy that treats listing price changes as revisions of expectations about the sales price, we find sellers under-react to information shocks in estimating the sales price. Last, we find that the bargaining outcomes are influenced by previously undocumented buyers' bid characteristics, e.g., financing contingencies and escalation clauses, that signal a buyer's ability to complete or expedite the transaction. This suggests an important role for buyer bid characteristics, which are not explained by existing theories, in affecting bargaining power and surplus allocation in bilateral bargaining in housing transactions.

    Do CEOs Know Best? Evidence from China
    with Nicholas Bloom, Hong Cheng, Mark Duggan, Hongbin Li
    Updated results with second wave of CEES available upon request. Third wave of survey pending

    We analyze a new management survey for around 1,000 firms and 10,000 employees across two large provinces in China. The unique aspect of this survey is it collected management data from the CEO, a random sample of senior managers and workers. We document four main results. First, management scores, much like productivity, have a wide spread with a long left-tail of poorly managed firms. This distribution of management scores is similar for CEOs, senior managers and workers management, and appears broadly reasonably compared to US scores for similar questions. Moreover, for all groups these scores correlate with firm performance, suggesting all employees within the firm are (at least partly) aware of the their firms’ managerial abilities. Second, the scores across the groups are significantly cross-correlated, but far from completely. This suggests that while different levels of the firm have similar views on the firms’ management capabilities, they do not fully agree. Third, we find that the CEO’s management scores are the most predictive of firm performance, followed by the senior managers and then the workers. Hence, CEOs do appear to know best about their firms management strengths and weaknesses. Fourth, within-firm management score dispersion is negatively correlated with investment and R&D intensity, suggesting long-run planning is linked with greater consistency in management across levels in firms.

    On the Role of Health in Climbing up the Income Ladder: Evidence from China
    with Gordon G. Liu and Xiang Zhang

    This paper uses two large panel data sets in China to study the effects of a health shock on household income mobility from 1991-2016. We compare outcomes of households with a member who receives a health shock with households that do not receive any health shocks. To do so, we match on demographic and worker characteristics of household members. At the aggregated level, a health shock lowers the probability of “getting out of the low-income trap” by 8.4 percentage points. At the household level, a health shock lowers household income per capita by 12.8%, and income position by 3.2 percentiles. Households that receive a health shock do not adjust labor supply at the intensive margin, but all household members' hourly wages decrease substantially. Households who become poor due to a health shock continue to exhibit lower income mobility in the following years.

    Work in Progress

    Who Benefits from Rent Control? The Equilibrium Consequences of San Francisco’s Rent Control Expansion
    with Rebecca Diamond and Tim McQuade
    Subsumes the structural model analysis from our original
    NBERWP No.24181

    We exploit quasi-experimental variation in assignment of rent control to study its impacts on tenants, landlords, and the overall rental market. Leveraging new data tracking individuals’ migration, we find rent control increased renters’ probabilities of staying at their addresses by nearly 20%. Landlords treated by rent control reduced rental housing supply by 15%, causing a 5.1% city-wide rent increase. Using a dynamic, neighborhood choice model, we find rent control offered large benefits to covered tenants. Welfare losses from decreased housing supply could be mitigated if insurance against rent increases were provided as government social insurance, instead of a regulated landlord mandate.

    Initial Public Offerings and Expectation in the Housing Market
    with Haaris Mateen and Ye Zhang