Francisco Torralba


I am an economist for Ibbotson Associates, a registered investment advisor and wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. In this role, I analyze and report on the state of the economy and the capital markets, perform macroeconomic and inflation forecasting, and maintain and improve Ibbotson’s valuation models. In addition, I research topics including the wage growth profile of U.S. workers, the effect of investor sentiment on equity returns, the evolution of the labor force participation rate, and exchange rate models.

Prior to joining Morningstar in 2010, I was a municipal-bond research analyst at Nuveen Investment Management in Chicago. Before pursuing my doctorate degree, I was an accountant and financial auditor for KPMG in Spain.

I hold a doctorate degree in economics from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. 

The opinions expressed in EconWeekly are only mine and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer or of any other institution with whom I am affiliated.

Non-academic experience
  • Economist, Ibbotson Associates, a Morningstar company, Chicago, IL (Jun. 2010 - present). In charge of macroeconomic and market analysis and inflation forecasting.
  • Research analyst, fixed-income at Nuveen Investments, Chicago, IL (Sept. 2008 - Jun. 2009). Assessed credit risk of municipal bond issuers in the healthcare and senior living sectors.
  • Auditor, KPMG, Barcelona, Spain (Sept. 1999 - Jul. 2001). Conducted audits of financial statements of entities in financial sector (insurance companies, mutual funds, pension funds, banks).

Academic work
Bankruptcy Law and Consumption Smoothing.
The Importance of Business Owners in Assessing the Size of Precautionary Savings (with E. Hurst, A. Lusardi, and A. Kennickell). Review of Economics and Statistics, February 2010, Vol. 92, No.1, 61-69.
Modeling Beauty. June 2004. Prepared for Gary Becker's Human Capital class.
New Evidence on the Effects of Sales Taxes on Retail Activity.  (Presented at the 2004 SRSA Annual Conference in New Orleans.) 
A note on ecological rationality, Bayesian learning, and rational expectations. Figures. December 2003.


Teaching assistant for the following undergraduate courses at the University of Chicago:
  • Econ 210 (econometrics), winter 2006.
  • Econ 201 (microeconomics), winter 2005.
  • Econ 202 (macroeconomics), spring 2004.
  • Econ 202 (macroeconomics), winter 2004.
  • Econ 203 (macroeconomics), fall 2003.

(p is the persistence of the productivity shock, i.e. the probability of keeping the same productivity; N is the size of the labor force.)

Figure 2. Rational expectations. 
Figure 3. Bayesian learning (red) vs. rational expectations (green)