CV - Job Market Paper  

Chiavari, Andrea

Contact Information

Tel. +34 93 542 2672

[email protected]


Personal Webpage


Available for interviews at

European Job Market for Economists (EEA)

Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA)




Research interests

Macroeconomics, Firm Dynamics, Technological Change, Search and Matching, Market Power

Placement Officer

Libertad González
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Edouard Schaal (Advisor)
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Isaac Baley (Advisor)
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Andrea Caggese
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Jan Eeckhout
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"The Macroeconomics of Rising Returns to Scale: Customer Acquisition, Markups, and Dynamism” (Job Market Paper)
This paper studies the macroeconomic implications of the rise in firm-level scale economies. My empirical finding is that the average firm-level returns to scale increased within all US sectors, going from 1 to 1.05 between 1980 and 2014. Simultaneously, business dynamism declined, markups rose, and firms devoted increasing resources to customer acquisition, suggesting their active involvement in building and exploiting scales. To jointly account for these facts, I propose a novel theory of firm dynamics grounded in directed search in the product market. Search frictions microfound the customer accumulation process and the presence of heterogeneous markups. The rise in returns to scale explains 62-70% of the decline in business dynamism; 29% of the increase in markups; and 14-45% of the growth in expenditures devoted to customers acquisition. Additionally, the model rationalizes further facts: the aging of US firms, the reallocation of sales toward high markup firms, and firms’ declining responsiveness to productivity shocks.

"The Rise of Intangible Capital and the Macroeconomic Implications” (with S. Goraya)
Intangible capital has risen dramatically in the last decades, accounting for more than 30% of aggregate investment by 2015. However, we still know little about its importance in the production process and its associated properties. We estimate the firm-level production function, finding that intangible capital is an important factor for production: its share increased from 0.03 to 0.12 at the expense of labor between 1980 and 2015. We label this phenomenon intangible capital biased technological change (IBTC). Further, we provide novel empirical evidence showing that the investment process of intangible capital is associated with higher sunk costs, meaning that it entails higher investment adjustment costs relative to tangible capital. Finally, using a model of firms and investment dynamics, we show that IBTC can explain many of the trends witnessed in the US economy since the 1980s. Specifically, it quantitatively explains the rise in the average firm size and concentration, the changes in aggregate factor shares, the increase in the profit rate, the decline in the tangible capital investment rate, and the decrease in allocative efficiency. Our findings suggest that a significant fraction of these transformations can be an outcome of the efficient response of the economy to changes in firm-level production technology.

"Heterogeneous Markups Cyclicality and Monetary Policy” (with M. Morazzoni and D. Smirnov)
Firms' markups cyclicality is at the heart of monetary policy transmission in the New Keynesian model. Using US Compustat data and employing local projection techniques, we uncover a novel empirical fact: dominant firms have a more countercyclical markup response after an unexpected contractionary monetary policy shock. Using a heterogeneous firms New Keynesian model with demand accumulation and endogenous markups that evolve over the life-cycle of producers, we show that this is due to the different demand elasticities faced by the firms. Dominant firms face a more inelastic demand, which implies a lower pass-through rate from costs to prices. Therefore, after a contractionary monetary policy shock, dominant firms pass less the reduction in marginal costs to prices compared to competitors, and increase their markups by more, as documented empirically. After calibrating the model to US micro-level data, we find that considering firms' heterogeneous demand elasticities has important implications for monetary policy amplification.


Research Papers in Progress

"Intangible Capital, Lumpy Investment, and the Business Cycle" (with S. Goraya and M. Irisarri)
In this paper, we examine the effect that rising intangible capital, with its lumpy investment behavior, has on the business cycle fluctuations. We start documenting empirically that aggregate intangible capital investment reacts less to TFP shocks, consistently with its lumpy micro-level behavior. Using a heterogeneous firm Real Business Cycle model, we show that the model can rationalize the aggregate sluggish response of intangible capital investment to productivity shock. This differential investment response across capitals happens because the model implies a low semi-elasticity of intangible capital investment to the interest rate, once calibrated to the micro-evidences of firm-level investment behavior. When looking at the implications of rising intangible capital, we see that the model produces a sizable decline in output volatility, suggesting intangible capital as a possible contributor to the Great Moderation.

"Risk-Free Rate, Marginal Product of Capital, and Intangible Investment" (with J. Faltermeier and S. Goraya)