Start website main content

Selected Projects

The list of main european project coordinated by the Institute of Economics
Istituto Economia - selected projects

Finance and Innovation to achieve Negative Emissions with Sustainable Development (FIND)

FIND will evaluate how innovation and finance can support the development and diffusion of negative emission technologies and their integration in mitigation parthways supporting long run sustainable and inclusive development. Achieving ambitous climate targets, such as the Paris Agreement's 1.5*C goal, will require large stocks of greenhouse gases to be removed from the atmosphere. To date, the required technologies to sequestrate carbon rapidly and at large scale are neither fully developed nor deployed. Further, our knowledge about how such technologies can emerge, diffuse and affect the transition outlook is extremely scant. While historical evidence and robust theorizing suggests that the diffusion of highly uncertain technologies depends on the cumulative process of knoweldge generation, on adequate financing mechanisms and on an active role of public intervention - let alone public policies - existing assessment overlook each and all these elements. FIND aims to deliver a scientific breakthrough in the assessment of strategies to achieve ambitious climate targets and sustainable growth. It will realistically and robustly incorporate finance and innovation in the analysis of the diffusion process of negative emission technologies, enabling to evaluation of the risks and opportunities they generate to the green transition outlook. The project will be articulated in 4 work packages and will last full 5 years. The main activities will consist in data gathering and data management; statistical and econometric analysis; modelling and simulation. In addition, writing of scientific articles, blog posts, policy briefs and other dissemination activities are envisioned.

PI and consortium coordinator: Francesco Lamperti

Call: ERC Starting Grant 2023

GROWINPRO - Growth Welfare Innovation Productivity

GROWINPRO aims to provide a detailed analysis of the causes of the anaemic growth performance observed in Europe during the last decades and, in particular, after the Great Recession. On the grounds of such analysis, GROWINPRO will deliver a set of policy solutions aimed at restoring sustained and inclusive economic growth with particular attention both on the demand and on the supply-side.
GROWINPRO brings together researchers from eleven international academic institutions and three national statistical offices. The joint interaction between academic institutions and national statistical offices provides GROWINPRO with a focus on new data sources, methods and statistical indicators to address the challenges posed by the call.
The project has two main ambitions. From a diagnostic perspective, it proposes to link three levels of analysis – macro, meso and micro – empirically dissecting the sources of productivity slowdown and the relations between productivity, demand and growth. From a normative perspective, it aims at providing a novel, integrated set of policies to push Europe towards a balanced, innovation-fuelled and inclusive trajectory of development, also addressing major societal challenges, such as climate change, ageing population, and robotization.

PI and consortium coordinator: Andrea Roventini
Call: Horizon 2020

reCreating Europe - Rethinking Digital Copyright Law for a Culturally Diverse, Accessible, Creative Europe

Technologies enable unprecedented democratization of cultural practices and the production and use of IP. The creation of an effective system of sustainable norms for digital copyright is a major challenge due to four phenomena: copyright complexity, sidestepping, knowledge gap, and awareness gap. With its multi-disciplinary approach, bringing together researchers, practitioners and stakeholders, reCreating Europe will deliver ground-breaking contributions towards a clear understanding of what makes a regulatory framework that promotes culturally diverse production, and optimizes inclusive access and consumption. First, reCreating Europe yields unprecedented cross-national maps of (i) multi-level regulatory responses that impact access to culture, cultural production, competitiveness of creative industries, and (ii) coping strategies of stakeholders vis-à-vis IPRs pitfalls and constraints. Second, it develops innovative qualitative and quantitative methods to measure the impact of digitization on the production and consumption of cultural goods and services. Changing intermediaries, specific creative communities, micro/SMEs and vulnerable users get special attention. Third, reCreating Europe performs a legal and technological mapping and evaluation of TPMs and content-filtering algorithms, and their impact on cultural diversity, access to culture and the generation of cultural value. Last, it offers policy recommendations and best practices, aimed at democratizing culture while reinforcing the sustainable development of rich and diverse cultural/ creative industries. reCreating Europe’s unique comprehensive focus on five key groups of stakeholders -individual authors and performers, creative industries, cultural and heritage institutions, intermediaries, end-users- allows it to assess needs along intertwined research patterns, while its multi-disciplinary innovative approach joins different methodologies within the framework of participatory research strategies.

PI and consortium coordinator: Caterina Sganga (Sant’Anna-DIRPOLIS)
PI for the IoE: Alessandro Nuvolari
Call: Horizon 2020

How good is your model? Empirical evaluation and validation of quantitative models in Economic

Contemporary economics makes increasingly use of quantitative models. For example, in macroeconomics, dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models or agent-based models are two kinds of models, that, moving from very different approaches, rely on simulation to assign values to key structural parameters. More in general, economic models are a sort of surrogate of experimental laboratories to evaluate causal claims and generate artificial data that are confronted with observed data.
A major challenge for the empirical economist is the validation or evaluation problem, namely to find out "how good" or reliable is the model at hand, especially in comparison with alternative models. This is important both for improving the model and for understanding whether it is a reliable instrument for policy analysis.
This project aims to develop new methods and techniques for the empirical validation of quantitative models in economics. The main idea underlying our framework is that a valid model adequately represents existing causal relationships. Therefore our framework, building on established methods for causal search, evaluates models by comparing the causal structure inferred from the model-generated artificial data with the causal structure inferred from a set of observed data.

PI and consortium coordinator: Alessio Moneta
Call: PRIN 2017

Technological change, industry evolution and employment dynamics

The project develops an integrated analysis of the anatomy and dynamics of innovation processes and the ensuing patterns of industrial change and employment, starting from the ways in which new knowledge is incorporated into business, down to the market processes of “Schumpeterian” competition. The project contains three main lines of research. First, we will investigate the micro-properties of industrial dynamics, looking at the way in which learning, selection, and firm growth shape industry evolution. Second, we will investigate the effects of trade and technology on job creation, job destruction, and wage dynamics at the industry and firm level. Third, we will investigate the main features and the evolution of innovation patterns as well as the industrial dynamics in sectors that are characterised by the emergence of radical innovations within complex product-systems and general purpose technologies. The contributions will be both empirical, by using firm-level and industry level data from several European countries, and theoretical, by developing agent-based modelling techniques.

PI for the IoE: Daniele Moschella
Consortium coordinator: Università Cattolica, Milano (Marco Vivarelli)
Call: PRIN 2017

Lost highway: skills, technology and trade in Italian economic growth, 1815-2018

This project examines the long term historical roots of the recent Italian “falling behind”. Our guiding hypothesis is that factor endowments, by encumbering investments in innovation and human capital formation, represented a major burden for the long term development of the Italian economy. The project is structured around six main hypotheses on the relationships between factor endowment, real wages, skill premium, productivity growth, innovative activity, technological content of trade and economic performance. The project is fundamentally data-driven and it involves a major systematization of Italian economic series for the period from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the present day. We will interpret the data using the standard analytical tools of new economic history and we will also explore some counterfactual scenarios using agent-based models, focusing on major historical junctures and key policy decisions.

PI for the IoE: Alessandro Nuvolari
Consortium coordinator: Università di Pisa (Giovanni Federico)
Call: PRIN 2017

EEIST: Economics of Energy Innovation and System Transition

The Economics of Energy Innovation and System Transition (EEIST) project brings together leading experts in all fields of complexity science and innovation scholarship with decision-makers, via a delivery team composed of leading universities and research organisations from Brazil, China, India and the UK. EEIST’s strategic and co-created engagement with Brazil, China, India, the UK and the EU will be delivered via a network including technical experts and decision-makers from the public and private sectors, implementing clear and practical complexity-based modelling solutions for informing decision-making and planning for low-carbon innovation and technological change.  Solutions will be delivered within the context of existing science-policy interfaces in Brazil, China India, the UK and the EU in cooperation with BEIS.
We will deliver empirically validated modelling tools capable of assessing the impact of energy, innovation and technology-related policy choices, at micro and macro levels, on the short- and longrun performance along an economic-environmental spectrum with multiple dimensions (notably emissions, GDP, employment, inequality, sectoral and geographical distribution), under a ‘risk-opportunity’ assessment framework. These tools, framework and empirical evidence will be made available and maintained for use by stakeholders beyond the end of the project. EEIST’s pioneering approach adds value to existing models by embedding the risks and opportunities of innovation into policy appraisal.

PI for the IoE: Andrea Roventini
Consortium coordinator: University of Exeter (Jean-Francois Mercure)
Sponsor: U.K. Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy


ISIGrowth - Innovation-fuelled, Sustainable, Inclusive Growth

DOLFINS - Distributed Global Financial Systems for Society

IMPRESSIONS - Impacts and risks from high-end scenarios: Strategies for innovative solutions

FINNOV - Finance, Innovation and Growth: Changing Patterns and Policy Implications

DIME - Dynamics of Institutions and Markets in Europe