Jacopo Ponticelli is an applied economist that primarily studies corporate finance and development economics. His research interests include bankruptcy, contract enforcement, financial development, firm dynamics, and structural transformation.
Most of his work is focused on financial frictions faced by firms in emerging economies. His latest paper, "Court Enforcement and Firm Productivity" studies the role of the judicial system in shaping the impact of a bankruptcy reform in Brazil.
His paper on the relationship between fiscal adjustment and social unrest (co-authored with Joachim Voth) has been mentioned in The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, CNN, El Pais, FAZ, The Guardian, L'Expansion, The Atlantic, as well as other media outlets.
Ponticelli earned a Ph.D. in Economics (cum laude) in 2013 and a MSc. in Economics in 2008 from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. He also holds a B.A. in International Relations from the Università Cattolica di Milano. Ponticelli joined Chicago Booth in 2013 as Assistant Professor of Finance.
2013 - 2014 Course Schedule
REVISION: Court Enforcement and Firm Productivity: Evidence from a Bankruptcy Reform in Brazil
Financial reform designed to improve creditor protection is often encouraged as a way to increase credit access for firms in developing countries. In this paper, I show that when court enforcement works poorly, financial reform is ineffective in fostering both credit access and the productivity of firms. In the empirical analysis, I exploit variation in the congestion of civil courts across Brazilian judicial districts at the outset of a bankruptcy reform. I find that, after the reform, firms operating in districts with less congested courts experienced higher access to bank loans and larger increase in investment and productivity than firms operating in districts with more congested courts. I propose an instrumental variable strategy to show that these results are not driven by district-level omitted variables.
New: Agricultural Productivity and Structural Transformation. Evidence from Brazil
We study the effects of the adoption of new agricultural technologies on structural transformation. To guide empirical work, we present a simple model where the effect of agricultural productivity on industrial development depends on the factor bias of technical change. We test the predictions of the model by studying the introduction of genetically engineered soybean seeds in Brazil, which had heterogeneous effects on agricultural productivity across areas with different soil and weather charac
REVISION: Austerity and Anarchy: Budget Cuts and Social Unrest in Europe, 1919-2008
Does fiscal consolidation lead to social unrest? Using cross-country evidence for the period 1919 to 2008, we examine the extent to which societies become unstable after budget cuts. The results show a clear correlation between fiscal retrenchment and instability. We test if the relationship simply reflects economic downturns, and conclude that this is not the case. While autocracies and democracies show a broadly similar responses to budget cuts, countries with more constraints on the executive