Print Overview
Professor Alberto Salvo is an applied micro-economist who studies consumer choice and oligopoly behavior in a variety of settings. He has been examining whether consumers in Brazil, who have a choice between a conventional motor fuel, gasoline, and an alternative, sugarcane ethanol, tend to choose based on prices alone, or whether they value other real or perceived “non-price” characteristics of the fuels. This work includes conducting experiments with consumers at filling stations, for example, informing them at the point-of-sale of what fuel is priced most favorably or perceived by their peers to be less harmful to the environment. The broad finding is that demand-side considerations are likely to be as important as supply in weaning the world’s motorists off oil-based fuels. 

Professor Salvo is collaborating with scientists to examine the relationship between the fuel choices consumers make, including how much they drive, and the quality of the air they breathe, as measured by ambient concentrations of different pollutants. The setting is the gridlocked metropolis of São Paulo. Traffic congestion and air quality are among the most pressing problems facing emerging-world “megacities.”

Salvo is also studying consumer choice in markets that are being transformed socioeconomically. The emergence of a lower middle class, that is “new” to many markets and whose consumption habits are thus still being formed, has important implications for firms competing in such markets. For example, the growth of a middle class may have a moderating effect on prices.

Another theme in Salvo’s work is the notion that firms or labor located “offshore” can affect the behavior of local firms and workers even when the foreign competition does not grab a piece of the local market. For example, a domestic oligopoly may respond to the threat of import competition by lowering prices, say as the local currency appreciates, with imports barely occurring. Equivalently, the “specter of offshoring” or the threat of international competitors gaining ground may push organized workers to accept lower real wages or to work harder, without the substantial movement of jobs or advance of global competitors. Studies of local markets may thus need to allow for the presence of a foreign sector even when market integration is perceived otherwise.

Beyond Kellogg, Salvo is an Affiliated Faculty Member with Northwestern University’s Transportation Center. He has occasionally consulted for government on Antitrust Policy and has worked in the consumer goods industry.

Print Vita
PhD, 2005, Economics, London School of Economics
MS, 2000, Economics, London School of Economics, Gained Distinction
BS, 1994, Industrial Engineering, University of Sao Paulo (EP-USP), Ranked 3rd among 550 engineering graduates

Academic Positions
Affiliated Faculty Member, Transportation Center, Northwestern University, 2010-present
Assistant Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2005-present
Research Affiliate, Center for the Study of Industrial Organization, Northwestern University, 2005-present

Doctoral Students
Alexei Alexandrov, 2007

Conference Presentations
Marketing Science Emerging Markets Conference at the Wharton School, UPENN , 9/28/2012
NBER Summer Institute - IO, 7/21/2012
Energy Camp at University of California, Berkeley, 6/26/2012
Northwestern University - Toulouse Conference, 5/04/2012
Northwestern University (Kellogg Marketing), 4/27/2012
Energy Institute at UC Berkeley, 4/05/2012
Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy Workshop, 3/16/2012
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 3/12/2012
State of Sao Paulo's Environmental Authority (CETESB), 1/20/2012
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (ACE), 9/09/2011
North American Summer Meetings of the Econometric Society, 6/12/2011
Iowa State Bioenergy Camp, 5/15/2011
International Industrial Organization Conference, 4/10/2011
University of California-Berkeley Bioeconomy Conference, 3/24/2011
Columbia University (Economics/GSB), 2/15/2011
Northwestern University (Transportation Center), 1/20/2011
American Economic Association, 1/07/2011
Yale School of Management (International Trade), 2/24/2010
Yale School of Management, 10/21/2009
Yale University, 7/16/2009
International Industrial Organization Conference, 4/05/2009
Utah Winter Business Economics Conference, 2/27/2009
Southern Economic Association, 11/01/2008
K.U. Leuven, 10/02/2008
Canadian Economics Association, 6/08/2008
International Industrial Organization Conference, 5/17/2008
Brazilian Antitrust Authority (CADE), 2/01/2008
Washington University (Olin), 10/17/2007
EARIE (University of Valencia), 9/08/2007
NBER Summer Institute – IO (Discussant: Mark Roberts), 7/01/2007
DePaul University, 5/30/2007
International Industrial Organization (Georgia Tech), 4/14/2007
UC at Berkeley, 4/01/2007
Purdue University, 3/01/2007

Print Research
Research Interests
Oligopoly and Trade; Consumers, Energy and the Environment; Consumer Choice and Competition in Markets undergoing Socioeconomic Transformation

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests

International Business Strategy; Energy & Environmental Economics (e.g., developing a course on the “Human-Environment Interaction”) ; Industrial Organization; Antitrust Policy; Microeconomics; International Trade; Empirical Methods in Research