Professor Stefano Giglio of Yale SOM receives the Carlo Alberto Medal for his contributions to economics
The prize recognizes an Italian economist under the age of 40 for his outstanding contribution to research in the field of economics.
Yale Daily News
Stefano Giglio, a finance professor at the Yale School of Management whose work explores the impact of climate change on financial markets, won the Carlo Alberto Medal last month for his research in the field of economics.
Created in 2007 by the Collegio Carlo Alberto, a private research and education institution in northern Italy, the Carlo Alberto Medal aims to inspire young Italian economists to “pursue their research activity with renewed commitment”. Each year, the program receives more than 350 applications from around the world and the winner is chosen by a selection committee made up of eminent economists. In 2021, the selection committee consisted of seven professors of economics, including Fabrizio Zilibotti from Yale. The award announcement recognized Giglio for his contributions to empirical asset pricing and his research on climate finance.
“Yale (and specifically the School of Management) is an amazing place to do research,” Giglio wrote in an email to The News. “SOM’s finance group is not only a collection of great minds with acute intellectual curiosity and a diverse set of research interests, but it is also an extremely collegial group, where constructive feedback is the norm. I benefited immensely from this work environment.
Giglio’s research broadly focuses on asset pricing, which studies how investors perceive and manage risk in financial markets. A specific area he focuses on is climate finance, which is the study of how financial markets manage the risks posed by climate change.
According to Edieal Pinker, director of studies and assistant dean of the School of Management, Giglio’s research is important because it proves that climate change news affects financial markets and provides the tools for investors to manage climate risk. Pinker added that Giglio’s work on long-term discount rates can potentially guide policy makers in balancing current and future societal needs, when it comes to investments made to address climate change.
“Financial markets play several important roles in managing climate risks.” Giglio wrote. “First, they can help reallocate resources from polluting businesses and industries to (more) green businesses…second, they can help businesses and investors share the risks arising from climate change…that is- that is, to transfer the risks from the most affected to those less affected or those most able to bear these risks.My research has mainly focused on the second role.
In an email to the News, Pinker stressed that the award was well deserved, describing Giglio as “a wonderful, insightful and friendly colleague who makes SOM a better place.”
Other colleagues shared the same sentiment. Toby Moskowitz, a finance professor at the School of Management, told the News that Giglio is extremely “generous with his time” with his peers and students.
“Stefano is a pleasure to work with and interact with,” Moskowitz wrote. “I usually come to him with initial ideas to see if they make sense and he proceeds to help me shape them better.”
Andrew Metrick, professor of finance and management at the School of Management, explained that Giglio’s work can make climate policy debates more data-driven than rhetorical.
“It is difficult to design climate policy because the risks of doing too little – albeit huge – are unlikely to hit us for a long time. In contrast, the costs of doing anything are hitting us today,” Metrick told the News, “Professor Giglio’s research shows how current market data can make this debate possible. It enables serious policy discussion on topics that have previously been dominated only by rhetoric.”
Before coming to Yale, Giglio was a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Before that, he received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Bocconi University in 2006 and his doctorate in economics from Harvard University in 2011.
Asked about Giglio’s success, Kelly Shue, a professor of finance at the Yale School of Management, shared a memory from their days as doctoral students.
“I first met Stefano when we were new students together in Harvard’s economics PhD program,” Shue wrote in an email to the News. “He introduced himself and told me he was stressed about our upcoming exams and then he got the highest grade in our class. Fifteen years later Stefano is still the smartest and hardest working person I’ve ever seen. I know.
The award ceremony will take place at the Collegio Carlo Alberto in late spring 2022.
Giglio told the News his next steps are to continue to study climate finance and explore other areas of asset pricing, such as volatility risk and crash risk.
“While there has been an explosion of research in this area over the past few years, there are still many aspects of climate risks and their interaction with financial markets that we don’t understand,” Giglio wrote. “The beauty of economics is that it gives us a lens to understand a very tangible aspect of the world around us – the behavior of people… Trying to use theories and concepts to understand actual observed behavior , we can really make the most of [economics].”
Giglio has been a faculty member at Yale School of Management since 2017.