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Selected Works and Working Papers.

1. Reasons for Peace: Since 1914, interstate wars have prolonged fighting by an average of 142 days compared to the prior century. Despite more frequent and longer formal peace negotiations, wars are now 19.5 percentage points less likely to conclude post-negotiation. This paper extends the standard reputational bargaining framework to explain these trends. I prove that imposing ceasefires during peace talks prolongs conflicts by allowing combatants to posture with little cost and risk irreversibly damaging the goodwill for further talks. Using detailed war data since the 1820s, I confirm model predictions. Lastly, I propose a welfare-maximizing use of ceasefires: never stop the fighting during a negotiation if the probability of a negotiated peace is non-zero.

2. Optimal Sequential Experimentation:   An experimenter (E) learns about a payoff-relevant state. He does so by flexibly managing a jump-diffusion signal with state-dependent dynamics. He controls the diffusion's precision and the arrival rate of jumps. If jumps never arrive, the signal is feasible in Moscarini and Smith (2001). E further faces costs rising convexly with the flow amount of  information generated. My main result is that, in contrast to Zhong (2022), restricting attention to pure-diffusion signals is without loss.  Intuitively, E's problem can be reformulated into a dynamic, constrained information acquisition problem. In said problem, E picks how much information to acquire from the diffusion and jumps, but some information must be acquire from the diffusion. Also, both types of information are perfect substitutes and (thus) managing a pure-diffusion signal is without loss. In a numerical example, I further illustrate how (if ever) information from jumps might be used.

3. The Game of Snake (Upcoming, latest research (early stage), slides available here): Technological progress is key to wealth generation and nations, consequently, invest heavily in research and development (R& D). Over time, however, the direction of research is increasingly narrow and unresponsive to new findings (Park et al 2023): thus, technological progress stalls. In this paper, I rationalize the trends above when a scientist's skills are valued outside of R&D and, in discovery, there are overall agglomeration gains. This is because new discoveries increases non-research productivity and thus its wages. Over time, rising, non-research wages prompts increasing concentration in scientific topics with decreasing social and private value.


4. Learning to Commit: I study the relation between limited commitment and learning in auctions. In each period, the seller  sets the terms for an auction selling an indivisible good among multiple buyers; but if the item fails to sell, he cannot pre-commit to the terms of future offerings.  I find that, in interdependent value settings, the seller's equilibrium revenues are greater than immediately running an efficient, Vickrey auction. In contrast with private value settings, this result persists regardless of how often the seller may interact with buyers. This is because learning among buyers both limits how many times a good can be gainfully re-offered and the information rents that each buyer can demand the seller. Intuitively, buyers lower their valuations in response to their peer's lack of interest. This progressively lowers the trade surplus and compresses the support of valuations. As the dispersion in valuations falls, the seller further extracts an increasing share of the remaining trade surplus. 

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