Distinguished Alumni

Michele Boldrin '87

Michele BoldrinMichele Boldrin was born on August 20, 1956 in Padova, Italy. He studied economics at the University of Venice "Ca' Foscari", where he obtained his Laurea (BA degree) in economics in July 1982. During 1982-83 he was a research associate at IRSEV (Venice), collaborating on the estimation of an input-output table for the Veneto region. He was also a researcher at the Department of Economics in the University of Venice.

In September 1983 he entered the Department of Economics at the University of Rochester as a graduate student. In Rochester he did research on the theory of optimal growth under the direction of Professors Lionel W. McKenzie and Paul M. Romer.

He obtained his PhD in 1987, after spending one year as a visiting fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. Since then he has held positions at UCLA (1987-94), the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University (1990-95), and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (1994-99). He is currently Professor of Economics at the University of Minnesota.

His main areas of research are macroeconomics, growth theory, general equilibrium theory, and political economy. His work started while he was still a graduate student in Rochester.

"On the indeterminacy of capital accumulation paths", Journal of Economic Theory, 1986 (joint with Luigi Montrucchio).

This famous paper arose from Michele Boldrin's PhD dissertation. It establishes an important result about the dynamic behavior of growth models. It shows how any twice differentiable function can be an optimal policy function in the neoclassical growth model. In particular, policy functions generating chaotic behavior can arise in such a model.

"Labor contracts and business cycles", Journal of Political Economy, 1995 (joint with Michael Horvath).

Here optimal contractual arrangements between employees and firms are used to derive an equilibrium relationship between the state of the economy on the one hand and labor markets outcomes on the other. This contractual arrangement is then embedded into a standard real business cycle (RBC) model. It improves the performance of RBC theory by matching some real-world labor market facts, such as the observed cyclical pattern of wage movements.

"Habit persistence, asset returns and the business cycle", American Economic Review (joint with Lawrence Christiano and Jonas Fisher), 2001.

In this paper habit persistence and limitations on intersectoral factor mobility are introduced into a standard RBC model. The resulting model is consistent with historical facts about the returns on bonds and equities. Also, it accounts for some other real-world facts such as the persistence in output movements and the observation that employment across sectors moves together over the business cycle.

Claudio Campanale (2001)