Bruno Pellegrino

Profile photo of Bruno Pellegrino
"As scientists, our job shouldn’t be to come up with answers. Logic and data should provide the answers. Our most important job is to ask questions. All great research starts with a great question."

PhD Candidate, Global Economics and Management

(312) 257-8888



Bruno Pellegrino is a PhD Student in the Global Economics and Management (GEM) Area. He joined the program in 2014. He employs a combination of theory and statistical analysis to understand how institutions shape economic activity and, in particular, the firms' productivity, innovation and competition. Additionally, he is also interested in the microeconomic foundations of social capital. He assists professors in the GEM area in teaching Managerial Economics to students of the FEMBA and EMBA program. Before joining the GEM PhD program, he worked in Credit Suisse, Nomura, Société Générale (primarily as an economist and global macro strategist), then as a Research Fellow at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. A southern Italian native, he holds an undergraduate degree from Bocconi University and a masters' degree from the London School of Economics. 

Place of Origin
Maddaloni, Italy

Ph.D. University of California Los Angeles (expected 2019)
Anderson School of Management-Global Economics and Management

M.Sc. London School of Economics (2009)
Finance and Economics

B.Sc. Bocconi University (2008)
International Economics and Management

Entered program in 2014

What is the Extent of Misallocation? (2017, with G. Zheng)

ABSTRACT: How much output is forgone due to market distortions? Recent studies suggest that there is substantial misallocation of resources, not just in developing economies, but also in developed economies. Frequently cited sources of distortions include regulations, financial frictions and family ownership. However, data availability has thus far forced researchers to rely on model-based inference and indirect measurement; as a consequence, we still know very little about the true extent and causes of misallocation. In this study, we exploit, for the first time, a combination of financial and survey data from a large, representative sample of EU manufacturing firms to reveal firm-level heterogeneity in policy and financial frictions. Using this rich data and a novel econometric methodology which is robust to mis-specification and endogeneity of the firm-level production function, we estimate the loss in aggregate industry output attributable to resource misallocation due to family control, bureaucracy, financial constraints and labor regulation. We find that the percentage loss in real output attributable to these factors to be at most one percent, in each of the six countries covered in our dataset (France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom). We also introduce a number of methodological innovations that substantially reduce the upward bias in current estimates of the extent of misallocation.

Diagnosing the Italian Disease (2017, with L. Zingales)

ABSTRACT: We try to explain why Italy's labor productivity stopped growing in the mid-1990s. We find no evidence that this slowdown is due to trade dynamics, Italy's inefficient governmental apparatus, or excessively protective labor regulations. By contrast, the data suggest that Italy's slowdown was more likely caused by the failure of its firms to take full advantage of the ICT revolution. While many institutional features can account for this failure, a prominent one is the lack of meritocracy in the selection and rewarding of managers. Familyism and cronyism are the ultimate causes of the Italian disease. 

Non-technical summary: [VoxEU]
Wikipedia Entry: [Economic History of Italy]
Press coverage: [Washington Post] [Project Syndicate]
 [II Sole 24 Ore] [Barron's] [LaRepubblica/Bloomberg] [Frankfurter Allgemeine] [Les Affaires]

Social Capital and Informal Contracting: Experimental Evidence (2017)

ABSTRACT:  The ability to enforce contracts plays a key role in enabling trade and fostering growth. Yet, a number of contemporary and historical examples can be made of trade networks emerging in the absence of contracting institutions. Some researchers argued that the social capital embedded in networks can help agents self-enforce contracts even when third-party enforcement is unfeasible. While recent empirical findings show support for this hypothesis, the microeconomic mechanism by which this occurs remain obscure. In particular, it is unclear whether this effect is due to social capital acting as "collateral" (Karlan et al. [2009]), empathy, or unobserved features of the network. The endogeneity of natural networks makes econometric identification of these effects particularly challenging, even in a controlled experiment setting. For this study, I administer a variant of the Optional Prisoner's Dilemma, that mimics informal exchange, to a network of southern-Italian high school students. Specific features of this network, combined with my experimental design, allow me to address network endogeneity and separately estimate these effects. I find that the subjects' gameplay cannot be explained by empathy. The results are instead consistent with "social collateral" hypothesis.

European Economic Association (Köln)  Aug 27th-31st, 2018
Econometric Society European Meeting (Köln)  Aug 27th-31st, 2018
International Association for Applied Econometrics (Montreal) June 26th-29th, 2018
Econometric Society Asian Meeting (Seoul)  June 21st-23rd, 2018
Bank of England/ESCoE/NIESR Economic Measurement Conference May 16th-17th, 2018
UC Berkeley-UCLA Political Economy Workshop (Santa Barbara, CA) May 5th, 2018

Research Grant (2017-18)

PhD Student Research Grant (2016-17)

PhD Student Research Grant (2015-16)