Pablo Ottonello

Department of Economics
University of Michigan
611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
NBER Program Affiliations: IFM
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: University of Michigan

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2019Fiscal Stimulus under Sovereign Risk
with Javier Bianchi, Ignacio Presno: w26307
The excess procyclicality of fiscal policy is commonly viewed as a central malaise in emerging economies. We document that procyclicality is more pervasive in countries with higher sovereign risk and provide a model of optimal fiscal policy with nominal rigidities and endogenous sovereign default that can account for this empirical pattern. Financing a fiscal stimulus is costly for risky countries and can render countercyclical policies undesirable, even in the presence of large Keynesian stabilization gains. We also show that imposing austerity can backfire by exacerbating the exposure to default, but a well-designed "fiscal forward guidance" can help reduce the excess procyclicality.
January 2018Financial Heterogeneity and the Investment Channel of Monetary Policy
with Thomas Winberry: w24221
We study the role of financial frictions and firm heterogeneity in determining the investment channel of monetary policy. Empirically, we find that firms with low default risk – those with low debt burdens and high “distance to default” – are the most responsive to monetary shocks. We interpret these findings using a heterogeneous firm New Keynesian model with default risk. In our model, low-risk firms are more responsive to monetary shocks because they face a flatter marginal cost curve for financing investment. The aggregate effect of monetary policy may therefore depend on the distribution of default risk, which varies over time.
November 2013Jobless Recoveries During Financial Crises: Is Inflation the Way Out?
with Guillermo Calvo, Fabrizio Coricelli: w19683
This paper discusses three policy tools to mitigate jobless recoveries during financial crises: inflation, real currency depreciation, and credit-recovery policies. Using a sample of financial crises in Emerging Market economies, we document that large inflationary spikes appear to help unemployment to get back to pre-crisis levels. However, the counterpart of inflation is sizably lower real wages. Hence, inflation does not prevent wage earners as a whole from getting hit by financial crises. Interestingly, neither the change in the real exchange rate nor the change in output composition (tradables/nontradables), from output peak to recovery point, displays a statistically significant relationship with inflation or jobless recovery. This suggests that currency depreciation can help redu...
October 2012Labor Market, Financial Crises and Inflation: Jobless and Wageless Recoveries
with Guillermo A. Calvo, Fabrizio Coricelli: w18480
This paper uses a sample of 116 recession episodes in developed and emerging market economies to compare the labor-market recovery during financial crises with that of other recession episodes. It documents two new stylized facts. First, labor-market recovery from financial crises is characterized by either higher unemployment ("jobless recovery") or a lower real wage ("wageless recovery"). Second, inflation determines the type of recovery: low inflation (below 30 percent annual rate) is associated with jobless recovery, while high inflation is associated with wageless recovery. The paper shows that this pattern of labor recovery from financial crises is consistent with a simple model in which collateral requirements are higher (lower) when a larger share of labor costs (physical capital e...

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