Christopher Tonetti

Christopher Tonetti
Associate Professor, Economics
Contact Info
John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Faculty Scholar for 2020–2021
Academic Area: 

Research Statement

Christopher Tonetti is a macroeconomist with research in the areas of growth and household finance. His growth research focuses on how firms' investments in innovation and technology adoption contribute to aggregate growth. His recent research is on understanding the incentives and barriers that determine the diffusion of nonrival factors of production and production technologies (data and ideas). Recently he has studied the economics of consumer-generated data with an emphasis on property rights, incorporating concerns over privacy as well as the potentially productive use of data in innovation. He has also recently studied how changes in trade policy can alter the competitive environment and affect growth rates by altering the technology adoption patterns of firms. His household finance research focuses on the dynamics of household wealth, income, and consumption over the life cycle. His recent work studies the reasons for the saving and labor supply behavior of the elderly and their desire for insurance against late-in-life health and longevity risks.

Research Interests

  • Macroeconomics
  • Household Finance
  • International Economics


Christopher Tonetti is an Associate Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research is in the area of macroeconomics, with a focus on growth and household finance. Christopher received a BA in economics-mathematics from Columbia University and a PhD in economics from New York University.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Economics, New York University, 2013
  • BA, Economics-Mathematics, Columbia University, 2005

Awards and Honors

  • Fletcher Jones Faculty Scholar, 2017–2018
  • GSB Trust Faculty Fellow, 2015–2016


Journal Articles

Christopher Tonetti, Charles I. Jones. The American Economic Review. September 2020, Vol. 110, Issue 9, Pages 2819-2858.
John Ameriks, Joseph Briggs, Andrew Caplin, Matthew Shapiro, Christopher Tonetti. Journal of Political Economy. June 2020, Vol. 128, Issue 6, Pages 2375-2451.
John Ameriks, Joseph Briggs, Andrew Caplin, Minjoon Lee, Matthew Shapiro, Christopher Tonetti. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics. 2020, Vol. 12, Issue 1, Pages 174-209.
Taisuke Nakata, Christopher Tonetti. Journal of Applied Economics. 2015, Vol. 18, Issue 1, Pages 122-148.
Jess Benhabib, Jesse Perla, Christopher Tonetti. Journal of Economic Growth. 2014, Vol. 19, Issue 1, Pages 1-35.
Jesse Perla, Christopher Tonetti. Journal of Political Economy. 2014, Vol. 122, Issue 1, Pages 52-76.
Leonardo Bartolini, Spence Hilton, Suresh Sundaresan, Christopher Tonetti. Review of Financial Studies. 2011, Vol. 24, Issue 1, Pages 248-278.

Working Papers

Equilibrium Technology Diffusion, Trade, and Growth | PDF
Jesse Perla, Christopher Tonetti, Michael E. Waugh, March 2020
The Long-Term-Care Insurance Puzzle: Modeling and Measurement
John Ameriks, Joseph Briggs, Andrew Caplin, Matthew D. Shapiro, Christopher Tonetti, June 2018


Degree Courses


This course gives students the background they need to understand the broad movements in the global economy. Key topics include long-run economic growth, technological change, wage inequality, international trade, interest rates, inflation,...

Other Teaching

Stanford University Affiliations

Stanford GSB

Greater Stanford University

Service to the Profession

  • Associate Editor, Review of Economic Dynamics

In the Media

Fortune Magazine, December 19, 2019
The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2019

Insights by Stanford Business

November 19, 2018
New research shows 40% of American retirees would prefer to be working.
September 19, 2018
In an ideal world, consumers would control the rights to their data but would also be able to sell it broadly.
November 15, 2016
Long-term care can be ruinously expensive, and the odds of needing it are high. So why don’t seniors buy insurance to cover it?
December 15, 2014
Learn more about risk and other related topics.
July 23, 2014
Technical innovation makes more sense for some countries and companies than others.