Milan Quentel

I am currently a 6th year PhD student at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. In the academic year 2024-2025, I will join Stanford University as a Hoover Fellow. From 2025, I will be an Assistant Professor at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

In my research, I combine quasi-experimental and structural methods to study climate change, the transition to a low-carbon economy, and other applied topics.

A question that motivates me:

How can economists help to smooth the aggregate and redistributive costs of the climate transition?

Fields: Economic Geography and Environmental Economics

Contact: Feel free to email me at or find me on Twitter.  Find my CV here.

Next conferences/seminars: NBER Distributional Consequences of New Energy Policies (September 20), Restud North America Tour (October 30 - November 4, ASU, Maryland, and WUSTL)

Job Market Paper

Gone with the Wind: Renewable Energy Infrastructure, Welfare, and Redistribution [Paper]

Selected for the REStud North America Tour 2024, Best Student Paper Prize at the 13th European Meeting of the Urban Economics Association

Abstract: Electricity production from wind and solar energy is projected to grow twelvefold until 2050. This paper studies the impact of renewable energy infrastructure on surrounding neighborhoods, its potential welfare costs for residents, and the implications for inequality. I focus on the wind energy expansion in Germany, 2000-2017. Using neighborhood data at 1-by-1 kilometer resolution and an IV strategy that exploits technology-induced changes in effective wind potential, I document that wind turbines decrease house prices and lead to residential sorting driven by the emigration of college-educated residents. Combined with a theory-consistent revealed preference argument, the reduced form results suggest that residents would be willing to pay between 0.9 and 1.4 percent of their income to avoid an additional wind turbine. I develop and estimate a quantitative spatial model in which wind turbines decrease amenities, residents can adapt, for example through sorting, and housing and labor markets respond in general equilibrium. The quantified model suggests that turbine disamenities cost residents 0.84 percent of welfare or 31 billion USD. Allocating wind turbines in neighborhoods with low willingness-to-pay substantially reduces welfare costs but also places the burden on rural, poorer, and less educated regions. Finally, I discuss Germany's wind development plans for 2030, and the implications for welfare and inequality.


Spies (with Albrecht Glitz and Sekou Keita)

Abstract: Espionage incurs important costs yet there is little quantitative evidence on how secret services and spies work, and under what conditions they perform well. We study this question by exploiting declassified archival data from one of the most prolific secret services worldwide, the East German Stasi during the Cold War. We build our analysis on a unique database that contains information on all the pieces of information that informants in the West sent to East Germany between 1970 and 1989. We match a subset of spies to their West German social security records, allowing us to simultaneously track their careers in the secret service and in the firms they were spying on. Analyzing the quantity and quality of information delivered, we disentangle the roles that spy heterogeneity, learning-by-doing, and career progression in the espionage object play for spy performance. Finally, we discuss the implications for counter-espionage efforts today. 

Global Meat Consumption, Production and Trade in a Warming World (with James Sayre)

Abstract: Food production is responsible for a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Animal products, and in particular meat, are especially emissions-intensive. We document that i) population and economic growth until 2050 will considerably increase meat demand, especially in the Global South, ii) meat production is already shifting to the Global South, and iii) meat production in the Global South is especially land- and emissions-intensive. We develop a quantitative spatial model with non-homothetic demand for animal products, change in land use due to meat production, and costly trade in meat to rationalize these facts. With the model, we aim to quantify how much demand for meat and emissions will grow by 2050, how land use and trade policy can reduce emissions, and the implications for global food inequality. 

Vegetarian*ism: Evidence from 200 Million Home Deliveries (with Ruben Durante and Christoph Semken)

Spousal Moves, Spatial Misallocation, and the Gender Wage Gap (with Nina Gläser)