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Pablo Ottonello

Assistant Professor of Economics Inspired by a Financial Crisis from his Country's Past

When Pablo Ottonello was a young undergraduate student in Uruguay, his country experienced a deep financial crisis that motivated him to study why these events occurred and how we might prevent them in the future.

Today, much of Ottonello’s research focuses on macroeconomics, particularly on its interaction with financial markets. Ottonello’s research could have wide-ranging implications for the ways in which we deal with economic fluctuations and financial crises, including the decisions governments make concerning monetary and fiscal policies. “I’m interested in the nature of these episodes and how they translate into economic activity, unemployment and investment,” says Ottonello.

Ottonello, in a joint project with Thomas Winberry from the University of Chicago Booth, was awarded a MITRE Faculty Research Award for his proposal titled, “The Dynamics of Capital and Labor Misallocation in the United States.”  In this project they will use microdata to measure and characterize the allocation of capital and labor over time, and use this measurement to discipline models of the business cycle.

Ottonello says he’s excited to be in Ann Arbor, and is enjoying interacting with his colleagues in U-M Economics. He is enjoying teaching his first course, ECON 435 - Financial Economics, as well as two doctoral courses in macroecoomic theory and stabilization policies, in the winter 2016 semester. “I am very happy to be at Michigan,” says Ottonello. “It’s been a good experience so far—I have fantastic colleagues in the department, and there is a very strong cohort entering this year. I’m also looking forward to creating courses that are enjoyable for my students, giving them important tools to use in their careers and also making them think about new perspectives on macroeconomics and financial economics.”

Ottonello worked as a research economist at CERES (Center for the Study of Economic and Social Reality), a think tank located in Uruguay, from 2004 to 2009 before receiving his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2015, the same year that he joined the Department of Economics at the University of Michigan. He will be teaching courses for undergraduate students in financial economics and graduate students in macroeconomics. More of Ottonello’s research can be found on his website.