Sérgio Rebelo is the MUFG Bank Distinguished Professor of International Finance at the Kellogg School of Management, where he has served as Chair of the Finance Department.
Rebelo’s research is focused on macroeconomics and international finance. He has studied the causes of business cycles, the impact of economic policy on economic growth, and the sources of exchange rate fluctuations. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the World Bank, the Sloan Foundation, and the Olin Foundation.
He is a fellow of the Econometric Society, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Center for Economic Policy Research. He has been a member of the editorial board of various academic journals, including the American Economic Review, the European Economic Review, the Journal of Monetary Economics, and the Journal of Economic Growth.
He has won numerous teaching awards at the Kellogg School of Management, including the Executive Masters Program Outstanding Professor Award and the Professor of the Year Award.
Professor Rebelo has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the European Central Bank, the European Commission, the McKinsey Global Institute, the Global Markets Institute at Goldman Sachs, and other organizations. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Rochester.
We study how people react to small probability events with large negative consequences using the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic as a natural experiment. Our analysis is based on a unique administrative data set with anonymized monthly expenditures at the individual level. We find that older consumers reduced their spending by more than younger consumers in a way that mirrors the age dependency in COVID-19 case-fatality rates. This differential expenditure reduction is much more prominent for high-contact goods than for low-contact goods and more pronounced in periods with high COVID-19 cases. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that people react to the risk of contracting COVID-19 in a way that is consistent with a canonical model of risk taking.
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