Research

Working Papers

Abstract. This paper studies how the distribution of the growth rate of macro- and micro level variables change over the business cycle. At the micro level, we use firm panel data for more than 30 countries to show that skewness is strongly procyclical, driven by a large left tail of negative growth rates during recessions. At the macro level, analyzing the growth rates of GDP and stock market returns, we find a similar phenomenon of procyclical skewness. These results are robust to different selection criteria, across countries, industries, and measures, suggesting that a widening left tail—and, consequently, a more negative skewness—is a basic stylized fact of business cycles. Paper Slides

Work in Progress

Abstract. Top wealth inequality in the United States has increased dramatically since the 1980s. This paper documents that part of this increase relates to the rise of superstar firms. We build a novel owner-firm matched panel dataset using information from the official records of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Forbes Magazine, and Compustat. Using this data we document that: i) firms at the upper end of the market value distribution are disproportionately controlled by individuals at the top of the wealth distribution, ii) these individuals invest a large fraction of their net worth in one or two main firms which we interpret as evidence of lack of asset diversification, and iii) the output, employment, and market value shares accounted for by these firms has increased substantially during the last 30 years.

Abstract. This paper characterizes the dynamics of wealth at the top of the distribution in the United States. Using data from the Forbes Magazine and other publicly available sources, we construct a novel panel data set of the richest individuals in the United States, covering the period 1982-2016. Using these data we find that: i) the Super-Rich exhibit a hump-shaped age profile of wealth which features explosive growth at younger ages, and ii) their wealth growth is highly cyclical, with substantial downside risk during recessions. Then, we propose a flexible enough process that captures the main features of the data.

Research Previous to the Ph.D.

  • Does the BIC Estimate and Forecast Better than the AIC? (with Carlos Medel).  Economic Analysis Review, 2013. Paper.
  • Investment Dynamics in a DSGE model with Heterogeneous Firms and Corporate Taxation. Working Paper, Central Bank of Chile, 2011. Paper.