Caitlin Gorback

Caitlin Gorback
  • Applied Economics Doctoral Student

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    419E Vance Hall
    3733 Spruce Street
    Philadelphia PA, 19104

Research Interests: Urban Economics, Real Estate Economics, Housing and Household Finance, Applied Microeconomics

Links: Personal Website, CV

Overview

Caitlin Gorback is a doctoral candidate in Applied Economics at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. 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.

 

Her dissertation committee includes:

Gilles Duranton (Dissertation Chair), (215) 898-2859, duranton@wharton.upenn.edu

Joseph Gyourko, (215) 898-3003, gyourko@wharton.upenn.edu

Benjamin Keys, (215) 746-1253, benkeys@wharton.upenn.edu

Todd Sinai, (215) 898-5390, sinai@wharton.upenn.edu

Jessie Handbury, (215) 573-7903, handbury@wharton.upenn.edu

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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: House Prices, Quantities, and Elasticities.

    Abstract: Interconnected capital markets allow liquid global capital to flow into illiquid local assets. This paper documents how international capital impacts U.S. housing markets. Other countries introduced foreign-buyer taxes meant to deter Chinese housing investment beginning in 2011. We first show house prices grew 8 percentage points more in U.S. zipcodes with high foreign-born Chinese populations after 2011. Second, we use the international tax policy changes as a U.S. housing demand shock and estimate local house price and quantity elasticities with respect to international capital. We find that a 1% increase in instrumented foreign capital raises house prices at the zip code level by 0.55%, and housing supply by 0.005%. Finally, we use the two elasticities to construct a local house price elasticity of supply. We find that among the largest 100 CBSAs, supply elasticities vary between 0.01 and 0.5, suggesting that local housing markets are highly inelastic in the short run.

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

    Abstract: This paper studies how improvements in local accessibility influence cities' distributions of economic activity. Exploiting UberX's entry interacted with a location's prior accessibility, I measure how local economic activity responds to changes in access. After ridesharing's entry, restaurant net creation doubles in previously inaccessible locations, from 5% to 10%. As these areas open up and become more attractive, the median house price rises by 4% and rents rise by 1%. I quantify the impacts of these changes on welfare using a spatial equilibrium framework. Resident welfare depends on the trade-off between accessibility and amenity benefits versus housing costs. In the post-period, all residents benefit from ridesharing's entry. Homeowners are willing to pay $1,060 per year for ridesharing's entry, as user costs fall. Renters are willing to pay $430, as they do not realize capital gains.

  • 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