Francesco Trebbi

Francesco Trebbi is Professor of Business and Public Policy at the University of California Berkeley's Haas School of Business, Research Associate of the NBER, and a Research Fellow of CEPR. Dr. Trebbi focuses on the organization of nonmarket environments (government, special interest groups, military forces) and their interaction with the economy. This is an area of investigation that touches multiple fields within the economic discipline, from economic development to public economics, and within political science, from comparative politics to methods. He has worked on political institutions and their design in consolidated democracies and in autocracies, as well as on electoral campaigns and campaign finance, lobbying, housing and banking regulation, and public administration. His primary teaching interests are in political economy and applied economics more broadly. Professor Trebbi holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard University and was on the faculty of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business from 2006 to 2010 and the University of British Columbia from 2010 to 2020. He was also a Visiting Professor of Economics at Stanford University during 2017–18.

Investing in Influence: Investors, Portfolio Firms, and Political Giving

A new paper examines the relationship between the rising concentration in institutional investors' ownership of publicly traded U.S. firms and portfolio companies'...

“Comments for Sale”: Charitable Donations Can Lead Non-profits to Support Corporate Regulatory Agendas

A new paper shows how financial ties between companies and non-profits can subvert rulemaking process and lead to regulations that favor the...

“Thank You and Farewell”: Francesco Trebbi on Alberto Alesina’s Intellectual Legacy

There are two main intellectual precursors of modern political economy in 20th Century: Social Choice and Public Choice. In founding modern political...

From Politics to Macroeconomics and Beyond

Alberto Alesina’s curiosity and intellect led him to a research path that opened up entire fields of research and deepened our understanding...

The Political Footprint of Big Tech in Five Easy Charts

Big tech firms have been active in Washington since the early days of the Microsoft antitrust case, but in recent years they have increased...

When Taxpayers Subsidize Corporate Lobbying: How Firms Use Charitable Giving to Influence Politics

A new Stigler Center working paper examines a more roundabout way that companies can influence legislators: by donating money to charities in lawmakers’ districts....

The Big Picture: Clientelism, Plutocracy, and Democratization

Why is the electoral process not enough to rid nations of pathological political distortions such as cronyism and corruption?   This is the second installment of ProMarket’s...

Latest news

The Impact of Large Institutional Investors on Innovation Is Not as Positive as One Might Expect

In a new paper, Bing Guo, Dennis C. Hutschenreiter, David Pérez-Castrillo, and Anna Toldrà-Simats study how large institutional investors impact firm innovation. The authors find that large institutional investors encourage internal research and development but discourage firm acquisitions that would add patents and knowledge to their firms’ portfolios, hampering overall innovation.

The FTC Needs To Focus Arguments on Technological Transitions After High-Profile Losses

Joshua Gray and Cristian Santesteban argue that the Federal Trade Commission's focus in Meta-Within and Microsoft-Activision on narrow markets like VR fitness apps and consoles missed the boat on the real competition issue: the threat to future competition in nascent markets like VR platforms and cloud gaming.

We Need Better Research on the Relationship Between Market Power and Productivity in the Hospital Industry

Antitrust debates have largely ignored questions about the relationship between market power and productivity, and scholars have provided little guidance on the issue due to data limitations. However, data is plentiful on the hospital industry for both market power and operating costs and productivity, and researchers need to take advantage, writes David Ennis.

Debating the Draft Merger Guidelines: Transcript

On September 7, the Stigler Center hosted a webinar to discuss the draft merger guidelines. What follows is a slightly edited transcript of the event.

Holding Up the News

Meta has silenced news organizations’ social media accounts in response to Canada’s Online News Act, a law not yet in effect. Josh Braun describes the reasoning behind such legislation, its potential flaws, and how Meta, particularly Facebook, has turned the Canadian wildfire crisis into a regulatory pressure campaign.

Split the Legal, Economic and Policy Arguments of the Draft Merger Guidelines

To support the Agencies’ goals of stronger antitrust enforcement, Fiona Scott Morton recommends breaking the draft Merger Guidelines into three documents that clarify the Guidelines’ legal and economic justifications and overarching goals and priorities.

Randy Picker: A Brief for the Public?

Randy Picker provides his round-two comments on the draft Merger Guidelines.