Max Brès

I'm an Economics PhD candidate at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. My advisors are Philipp Kircher and Thomas Crossley.

I also work as a Research Associate at the European University Institute (EUI) on the ERC-Project “Technological Change: New Sources, Consequences, and Impact Mitigation”.

My research interests are in Macroeconomics with a special emphasize on search frictions in goods and labor markets.



Aging Consumers, Market Structures and Growth (with Daniele Angelini)


Abstract: Consumption behaviors differ across age categories. Hence, population aging changes the characteristics of demand, which, in turn, modifies the market structures and aggregate trends. In this paper, we analyze the effect of population aging on economic growth through its effect on competition in the goods market. We instrument changes in the age composition of demand with unpredicted foreign demographics shocks through the global value chain. We find that middle-aged consumers reduce competition relative to younger and older peers, materializing into a concomitant drop in average productivity. We rationalize our results in a general equilibrium heterogeneous agent model in which firms compete within and between varieties. While younger consumers increase competition between varieties due to a higher elasticity of substitution, older consumers increase competition within varieties thanks to a lower opportunity cost of time. A larger share of middle-aged consumers reallocates demand to the profit of less productive firms and reduces the overall incentive to post low prices and improve productivity. We estimate that this \textit{age demand} channel contributed to a reduction of the US GDP growth of 8.7% in the period 1995-2004 and an increase of 10.3% in the period 2005-2019.

Customer Loyalty and the Rise of Large Firms

(draft to come)

Abstract:  In this paper, I develop a model of multi-product firm dynamics with competitive search on goods market. With buyers subject to preference shocks, firms expand beyond their core product in order to attract and retain customers. The model provides micro-foundations to the existence of within-firm heterogeneity in terms of prices, sales and markups. In line with empirical evidence, I show that a firm does not exploit incumbent customers' loyalty by increasing markups over the growth path, but instead deepens buyer's loyalty with a larger range of products and, therefore, profits extracted from each buyer.  A drop in search costs pushes the largest firms to further expand their product range, increasing aggregate profits and reducing entry.

Leading Firms and the Future of Work (with Philipp Kircher, David Koll and Vinzenz Ziesemer)

(work in progress)

Future versus Present Labor Markets: the trade-off of regional policies (with Philipp Kircher and David Koll)

(work in progress)

Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Price Search (with Lukas Nord)

(work in progress)