|Alberto Cavallo is the Douglas Drane Career Development Professor of Information Technology and Management and an Associate Professor of Applied Economics in the Sloan School of Management at MIT, a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the Technical Advisory Committees of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS).|
Alberto Cavallo's research focuses on the micro-level behavior of prices and its implications for macroeconomic models and policies. His empirical work is based on the use of daily data collected from hundreds of online retailers around the world. He co-founded the Billion Prices Project at MIT, an academic initiative that pioneered the use of online data to conduct research on high-frequency price dynamics and inflation measurement. He is also a co-founder of Dineromail, the first online-payments company in Latin America, and PriceStats, the leading provider of global inflation statistics.
Alberto received a B.S. fron Universidad de San Andres in Argentina in 2000, an MBA from MIT Sloan in 2005 and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2010. He is married and has two sons.
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sloan School of Management
100 Main Street, Office E62-512
Cambridge, MA 02142
Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics
Published and Forthcoming Papers
• NEW "Are Online and Offline Prices Similar? Evidence from Multi-Channel Retailers" American Economic Review- January 2017 - Vol 107 (1). - Appendix - Data and Replication Page - NEW Versión en Español del NBER working paper 22142. - Press - Chicago Tribune - CNET - Boston Globe - Sydney Morning Herald
• NEW "Inflation Expectations, Learning, and Supermarket Prices: Evidence from Field Experiments" (with Guillermo Cruces and Ricardo Perez-Truglia) American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics - 2016 - Accepted - Appendix - Questionnaire
• "The Billion Prices Project: Using Online Prices for Inflation Measurement and Research" (with Roberto Rigobon) - Journal of Economic Perspectives- Spring 2016, Vol 30(2):151-78. - Author's manuscript, April 2016. - Appendix - Data and Replication Page - Video Presentation about the BPP
• "Learning from Potentially Biased Statistics: Household Inflation Perceptions and Expectations in Argentina" (with Guillermo Cruces and Ricardo Perez-Truglia). Brookings Papers of Economic Activity - Spring 2016 - Author's manuscript, March 2016. - Appendix - Data and Replication Page
• "The Price Impact of Joining a Currency Union: Evidence from Latvia"(with Brent Neiman and Roberto Rigobon). IMF Economic Review September 2015 Vol. 63(2), p.281-297. Lead Article. - Author's manuscript, August 2014. - Data and Replication Page - Press: Column in VoxEU.org, Daily Mail, and Blog-Illusio (in French).
• "Distance and Political Boundaries: Estimating Border Effects under Inequality Constraints" (with Fernando Borraz, Roberto Rigobon, and Leandro Zipitria)- International Journal of Finance & Economics April 2015 - Vol 21 (1), pages 3-35. - Author's manuscript, August 2014.
• "Currency Unions, Product Introductions, and the Real Exchange Rate" (with Brent Neiman and Roberto Rigobon) - Quarterly Journal of Economics - May 2014 - Vol. 129 (2) - Author's manuscript, October 2013. - Appendix - Data Page - Press: VoxEU.org, Forbes, Bloomberg, Diario Vasco, Forsal, and El Confidencial.
• "Prices and Supply Disruptions during Natural Disasters" (with Eduardo Cavallo and Roberto Rigobon). Review of Income and Wealth - 2014 - Volume 60
• "Online vs Official Price Indexes: Measuring Argentina′s Inflation" - Journal of Monetary Economics. March 2013 - 60(2), 152-165. - Appendix - Data and Replication Page - Video interview on results (3 mins)
• "Sudden Stops: Determinants and Output Effects in the First Era of Globalization, 1880-1913". Joint with Michael Bordo and Christopher Meissner. Journal of Development Economics, Volume 91, Issue 2, Pages 185-364. March 2010.
• "Are Crises Good for Growth? The Role of Political Institutions". Joint with Eduardo Cavallo. Journal of Macroeconomics, Vol 32, Pages 838-857 March 2010.
Working Papers and Projects
• "Real Exchange Rate Behavior: Evidence from Online Retailers in Eight Countries" (with Brent Neiman) - Working Paper.
• "Online Prices and Standards of Living Across Countries" (with Rob Feenstra, Erwin Diewert, Robert Inklaar and Marcel Timmer)
• "The Macro and Micro Impact of Price Controls" (with Diego Aparicio) - Working Paper.
• "The Internet and Price Dispersion". Preliminary Results.
• At the Billion Prices Project we periodically share micro-price databases that can be used for academic research. This presentation introduces the shared data and the way to access the files. See the BPP data page for a list of databases that are publicly available at this time, and follow us on twitter (@bppmit) to get notified when new databases are shared.
Software and Other Utilities
• NEW Offline Data Collection App The offline data collection tool used to crowdsource offline prices for this paper can be downloaded and used for free by other researchers. Please contact Maria Fazzolari at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a "Project Code" that will be used by our BPP servers to separate and share the data with you. You can install it in as many phones as you need, collect data, send it via email, and our servers will automatically consolidate and share it with you via Dropbox.
• Beamer-like Powerpoint Template This is a Powerpoint template that looks like the Pittsburgh theme in Beamer. Latex fonts are embedded in the file, although in some cases they need to be installed separately by clicking on the font files. It is useful for presentations that use many graphs and equations (simply use a screen "snipping" tool to get a screenshot from your pdf and paste it here).
• NEW Retail price reality check by Chris Fleisher, American Economic Association, January 2017
• Britain’s inflation data needs to be dragged out of the stone age by Philip Aldrick, The Times, November 2016
• A billion prices can't be wrong by Tim Harford, Financial Times, May 2016
• Data collection is the ultimate public good by Larry Summers, FT Blog, April 2016
• The Billion Prices Project Thinks Inflation May Have Turned a Sharp Corner The Wall Street Journal, March 2015
• The Success of Monitoring the Economy With Big Data The Huffington Post, March 2015
• Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think By Mayer-Schonberger & Cukier, April 2013
• Rethinking how the Inflation Rate is calulated NPR - Marketplace, April 17th 2013
• A 21st-century approach to democratizing data FCW, October 24th 2012
• Which of these is not like the others? The Economist, February 24th 2012
• Price in a trice The Economist, June 23rd 2011
• Soaring inflation? Not with 9% unemployment USA Today, June 9th 2011
• A Billion Prices Now The New Yorker. May 30th 2011
• The Prices Are Right Scientific American. May 2011
• The Billion Price Preview- Paul Krugman's Blog, March 28th 2011
• New Indications of Inflation EconBrowser - by James Hamilton. February 20th 2011
• The Billion Price Index- Paul Krugman's Blog, February 18th 2011
• Innovator: Alberto Cavallo- Businessweek, February 10th 2011
• The Price is Right- MIT News January 14th 2011
• 10th Annual Year in Ideas – "The Real-Time Inflation Calculator" - New York Times Magazine.- Dec 19th 2010
• Economists programs are beating U.S. at tracking inflation-Washington Post -Dec 25th 2010
• Economists are creating new methods for tracking prices.-Slate Magazine- Dec 20th 2010
• Billion Prices Project EconBrowser - by James Hamilton. Nov 17th 2010
• A Way, Day by Day, of Gauging Prices Wall Street Journal. Nov 10th 2010