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 Student, 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: Explaining cross-country differences in income and productivity is one of the key questions in empirical economics. A number of recent studies argue that a major determinant of country-level productivity is the degree of input "misallocation" across productive units (plants and firms). Prior research that quantifies the effect of misallocation on aggregate productivity is forced by lack of data to rely on indirect measurement. In this paper, we exploit, for the first time, survey data from six European countries to reveal firm-level het erogeneity in policy and financial frictions. In order to do so, we generalize the canonical model of Hsieh and Klenow (2009) and devise an econometric framework to retrieve the distribution of firm-level wedges from the data. We estimate the extent of misallocation attributable to family ownership, bureaucracy, financial constraints and labor regulation in the manufacturing sector in the following countries: France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and the UK. 

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. 

Press coverage for "Diagnosing the Italian Disease": 
Pro-Market:  "Of Computers and Cronyism: What's the Cause of Italy's Productivity Problem?"
LaRepubblica/Bloomberg:  "Quando è l'impresa a frenare la crescita"
Frankfurter Allgemeine/Fazit: "Die wahre Ursache der italienischen Krankheit"
Les Affaires:  "Souffrez-vous (sans le savoir) du mal italien?"

Social Capital and Contracting: Experimental Evidence (2017)

ABSTRACT:  The ability to enforce contracts plays a key role in enabling trade and advancing prosperity. Yet, a number of contemporary and historical examples can be made of trade networks emerging in the absence of contract enforcement institutions. Some scholars (Karlan et al. 2009) have argued that these trade networks are based on a system of informal contract enforcement that leverages the social capital embedded in social networks. Consistent with this view, a recent empirical study (Chandrasekar et al. 2014) shows that individuals that are more interconnected in a network are more likely to write and self-enforce contracts when third-party enforcement is not available. It is not entirely clear, however, whether the effect is truly moderated by social capital acting as collateral, by empathy, or unobserved features of the network. For this experimental study, I administer a variant of the Optional Prisoner's Dilemma to a network of southern-Italian high school students. Specific features of this network, combined with the experimental design, allow me to isolate and measure the moral-hazard mitigating effect of social capital in an informal contracting setting.

Price Center of Entrepreneurship - Research Grant (2017-18)

Center for Global Management - PhD Student Research Grant (2016-17)

Center for Global Management - PhD Student Research Grant (2015-16)