Caitlin Gorback

Caitlin Gorback
  • Applied Economics Doctoral Student

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    419E Vance Hall
    3733 Spruce Street
    Philadelphia PA, 19104

Research Interests: Applied Microeconomics, Urban Economics, Housing and Real Estate Economics, Environmental Economics, Transportation

Links: CV

Overview

Caitlin Gorback is a doctoral candidate in the Business Economics and Public Policy Department at Wharton. She is an applied microeconomist with research interests in urban economics, housing and real estate, and environmental economics. Her research agenda explores how cities and housing markets respond to increasingly interconnected local and global markets.

She received her B.S. in economics from Duke University in 2011, after which she worked as an research assistant in the capital markets function at the Federal Research Bank of New York.

Caitlin will be on the job market 2019-2020 and available for interviews at the 2020 ASSA Annual Meeting in San Diego.

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Research

  • Caitlin Gorback and Ellen Fu (Work In Progress), Urban Revival through reshaping cities: Evidence from the Detroit Demolition program.

  • Caitlin Gorback and Benjamin Keys (Draft), Global Capital and Local Assets: Evidence from U.S. House Prices.

    Abstract: Immigrant populations share financial linkages with their home countries; however, due to endogeneity concerns, it is difficult to measure how these financial ties impact domestic asset markets. We exploit an international tax policy change meant to slow down Chinese real estate investment in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and Canada to show that capital flight from China raises US house prices in areas with ex-ante high foreign-born Chinese populations. First, we find that in areas with high fractions of foreign-born Chinese residents, house prices grow 11 percentage points more than in other areas after the series of foreign-purchaser taxes are enacted. Second, we instrument for Chinese capital flows into the United States with the tax policy changes to isolate the supply of capital from China from the demand for Chinese capital originating in the USA. Using a parsimonious design and national data, we find that locations with high foreign born populations are 7% more sensitive to capital inflows than those without high shares of foreign born residents. Distributing the national capital flows to zip codes, we find that a 1% increase in instrumented foreign capital raises house prices at the zip code level by 0.5-0.6%.

  • Caitlin Gorback (Draft), Your Uber has Arrived: Ridesharing and the Redistribution of Economic Activity (Job Market Paper).

    Abstract: This paper studies how local accessibility influences the distribution of economic activity in cities, specifically nontradable services. Exploiting UberX’s entry crossed with a location’s ex-ante accessibility, I measure how establishment net creation responds to changes in access. I find that previously inaccessible areas add twice as many net new restaurants in the post period than in the pre-period, boosting net creation rates from 4% to 8%. I find no response in industries less sensitive to travel choice, such as dentists or dry cleaners. These results are robust to a variety of inaccessibility definitions, are not driven by the most public transit reliant cities, and show no evidence of industry dispersion in the pre-period. As these areas become more productive and desirable, house prices rise by 11-15% on average, as firms and residents compete for newly desirable locations. Tracking travel patterns, emissions increase by 11% in formerly inaccessible areas, and in New York City, travelers are 9% more likely to be dropped off by taxi in inaccessible locations; both consistent with consumers’ substituting away from public transit in favor of private cars to access new locations. Put together, a 9-11% increase in travel is associated with a 4% additional growth in restaurants. I frame these reduced form results using a modified spatial equilibrium framework, in which resident welfare depends on the trade-off between accessibility benefits and housing costs. Residents in accessible locations benefit more than those in inaccessible locations, with welfare increasing 3.1-6.5% more after Uber entry, as housing prices rise faster in inaccessible locations.

  • Caitlin Gorback (2019), Your Uber Has Arrived: How Ridesharing Expands Access, Increases Emissions, and Changes Cities,.

    Abstract: Ridesharing takes us to more places, more often. With better access, city outskirts open up and bring new commerce... and more emissions.

  • Caitlin Gorback and Andreas Fuster Underwater and Drowning? Some Facts about Mortgages That Could Be Targeted by Eminent Domain.

Teaching

REAL208/708 – HOUSING MARKETS (with Joseph Gyourko, 2017 and 2018)

This course is designed for students interested in the economics and operations of housing markets. It is primarily a U.S. focused course, but does include a limited amount of international material for comparative purposes. The class is divided into four sections: (1) supply and demand for housing, including the operations of homebuilders and rental landlords; (2) house prices, including cycles and price dynamics; (3) international comparisons; and (4) public policy and analysis applied to a current housing markets-related issue. This course presumes knowledge of intermediate economics, as we will apply that knowledge throughout the semester. For Wharton students, this means you must have passed BEPP 250 (undergrads) or MGEC 611 and 612 for MBA’s. Non-Wharton students should have taken the equivalent course in the College.

BEPP230/773 – URBAN FISCAL POLICY (with Robert P. Inman, grader, 2018 and 2019)

This course will examine the provision of services through cities and other local governments. Why cities exist, whether urban public finance matters, investments in infrastructure, realities of local governments such as inequality, poverty, crime, corruption, high cost of living and gentrification, will be covered. We will pay special attention to recent topics, such as partnerships with the private sector, enterprise zones, and other subsidies to business, the role of technology, and real estate policies that promote affordability and sustainable city development.

BEPP250 – MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS (with Gilles Duranton, 2016)

This course will introduce you to “managerial economics” which is the application of microeconomic theory to managerial decision-making. Microeconomic theory is a remarkably useful body of ideas for understanding and analyzing the behavior of individuals and firms in a variety of economic settings. The goal of the course is for you to understand this body of theory well enough so that you can effectively analyze managerial (and other) problems in an economic framework. While this is a “tools” course, we will cover many real-world applications, particularly business applications, so that you can witness the usefulness of these tools and acquire the skills to use them yourself. We will depart from the usual microeconomic theory course by giving more emphasis to prescription: What should a manager do in order to achieve some objective? That course deliverable is to compare with description: Why do firms and consumers act the way they do? The latter will still be quite prominent in this course because only by understanding how other firms and customers behave can a manager determine what is beswt for him or her to do. Strategic interaction is explored both in product markets and auctions. Finally, the challenges created by asymmetric information – both in the market and within the firm – are investigated.

Past Courses

  • BEPP250 - MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS

    This course will introduce you to "managerial economics" which is the application of microeconomic theory to managerial decision-making. Microeconomic theory is a remarkably useful body of ideas for understanding and analyzing the behavior of individuals and firms in a variety of economic settings. The goal of the course is for you to understand this body of theory well enough so that you can effectively analyze managerial (and other) problems in an economic framework. While this is a "tools" course, we will cover many real-world applications, particularly business applications, so that you can witness the usefulness of these tools and acquire the skills to use them yourself. We will depart from the usual microeconomic theory course by giving more emphasis to prescription: What should a manager do in order to achieve some objective? That course deliverable is to compare with description: Why do firms and consumers act the way they do? The latter will still be quite prominent in this course because only by understanding how other firms and customers behave can a manager determine what is beswt for him or her to do. Strategic interaction is explored both in product markets and auctions. Finally, the challenges created by asymmetric information - both in the market and within the firm - are investigated.

  • BEPP950 - MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS

    Public goods, externalities, uncertainty, and income redistribution as sources of market failures; private market and collective choice models as possible correcting mechanisms. Microeconomic theories of taxation and public sector expenditures. The administration and organization of the public sector.

Awards and Honors

Activity

Latest Research

Caitlin Gorback and Ellen Fu (Work In Progress), Urban Revival through reshaping cities: Evidence from the Detroit Demolition program.
All Research

Awards and Honors

OSU PhD Conference on Real Estate and Housing (Best Paper Award) 2019
All Awards