Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore


Effetti Socio-Economici delle Migrazioni. Analisi Controfattuale e Politiche per l’Integrazione (ESEM)” - Progetto D.3.2. 2016 coordinato dal Prof. Massimo Bordignon
ESEM: “The socio-economic effects of migration. Counterfactual analysis and policies for integration”.

Migration is one of the major challenges currently faced by European democracies. The future of the European Union depends also on the ability to respond to the migration problem, combining the goal of welcoming and integrating migrants with the need for cost-effective interventions. This project studies the impact of migration in a variety of social and economic dimensions using rigorous counterfactual analysis techniques. The emphasis on the counterfactual approach derives from the belief that it is necessary to establish causal links between the variables that are of interest to policy makers and individual behaviors. ESEM researchers will use the most recent methodological literature on empirical analysis of social phenomena. Distinctive and recurring features of this literature are the use of controlled randomized trials, the use of administrative data that allows the observation of whole populations or sub-populations, the exploitation of the longitudinal dimension of data in order to better control the individual characteristics.

●  Expectations and Social Influence Dynamics in Economics” (ExSIDE). 2017-2021 Horizon 2020 Programme financed by the European Commission, Marie Skodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network coordinato dal Prof. Domenico Delli Gatti
Website: http://exside-itn.eu/

Expectations play a crucial role in determining the behaviour of many economic decision makers. The recent financial and economic crisis has highlighted the importance of expectation dynamics for economic development, the success of firm strategies and public policies. The Innovative Training Network ExSIDE aims at improving our understanding of the role of expectation formation and social influence for economic dynamics and for the optimal design of economic policy. This agenda will be pursued by combining an interdisciplinary research agenda with an innovative European joint doctoral training programme, which provides Early Stage Researchers with a broad range of expertise and skills needed for a thorough analysis of expectation formation processes and their role in Economics. Both the research projects and the training activities will combine work in Behavioural Economics, Psychoanalysis, Opinion Formation, Network Theory, Agent-based Simulation and Economic Modelling in different areas. The academic training will be complemented by extensive Transferable Skills Training Measures, Inter-Sectoral Training Measures, provided by non-academic partners, and Career Development Training. Interaction with stakeholders, policy makers and the general public will play an important role in pursuing the ExSIDE agenda and disseminating the results. The ExSIDE consortium consists of eight leading European universities and nine non-academic partners. Each Early Stage Researcher will be hosted by two universities, has a secondment with a non-academic partner and will graduate with a joint or double degree. The research and training in ExSIDE will ensure world-wide employability of the ExSIDE graduates inside and outside academia and will also boost the ability of European institutions and companies to develop efficient policies and strategies. ExSIDE will reinforce the establishment and long term sustainability of structured European joint doctoral programmes in Economics.

Cognitive biases, perceived wealth and macroeconomic instability”. AXA Research Fund Post-doc scholarship. Coordinato dal Dott. Alberto Cardaci

Goal: Analyze the link between cognitive biases on wealth perceptions and household debt accumulation.
The research project combines a series of empirical experiments and a theoretical macroeconomic agent-based model. Based on recent findings from behavioral economics and social cognitive psychology, the research introduces the construct of perceived wealth, which identifies a biased perception of individual net worth, whose value deviates from the actual value of wealth. By means of laboratory experiments, the research investigates how perceived wealth leads individuals to make non-optimal consumption and borrowing decisions that result in large household debt accumulation. Eventually, the aim is to build a macro ABM in order to evaluate the macroeconomic implications of such individual behaviour.
Duration: the project will start in September 2017 and it has a duration of 2 years.

 “Oppressive gender norms: Female genital cutting (FGC) and female empowerment” coordinato dalla Prof.ssa Lucia Corno (con Eliana La Ferrara e Alessandra Voena)

Harmful social norms are an impediment to economic development and economic growth. This project focuses on one such norm, female genital cutting (FGC), which has been associated with a broad range of poor socio-economic outcomes for women. In sub-Saharan Africa, FGC is correlated not only with severe psychological and health costs, but with lower human capital accumulation. The current proposal aims at answering the following research questions: Why does FGC persist with different intensity across countries? Can current differences in FGC prevalence be traced back to the origins of the slave trade? Our hypothesis, substantiated by historical sources, is that FGC was connected to the Arab route of the slave trade, where women were sold as concubines and infibulation was used to ensure chastity. We next conjecture that the differential exposure of ethnic groups to the Arab route determined differential adoption of the practice, which later evolved into a marker for ethnic identity. We will combine individual level data from all DHS surveys in Africa with historical data on slavery by ethnic group and by trade route to estimate the effect of exposure to the Arab slave route on contemporary FGC prevalence, using various counterfactuals. Understanding the origins and the persistence of FGC is the first necessary step to take before designing policies capable to eradicate this practice.

● “Changing Social Norms in Developing Countries”. Ministero dell’ Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca, Italia, Bando FARE Ricerca in Italia. Coordinato dalla Prof.ssa Lucia Corno (con Eliana La Ferrara e Selim Gulesci)

Social norms are a crucial part of life in developing countries. They serve a fundamental economic role in compensating for market failures, but they can also be a serious impediment to economic progress. Effective development policy cannot abstract from the constraints posed by “bad social norms”. This project focuses on an extremely harmful norm, female genital cutting (FGC), and aims at answering at the following questions: Why does FGC persist? Can we design effective policy interventions to reduce its incidence?
FGC is the practice of removing part of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is present in 29 African and Middle Eastern countries. There is consensus that FGC is a harmful practice, a violation of women’s physical integrity with dramatic consequences for their health and general wellbeing. Despite this, policies capable of eradicating it are extremely hard to identify, and almost no rigorous evidence exists on their effectiveness.
This project will design and evaluate interventions aimed at (i) changing perceptions, beliefs and attitudes towards FGC; and (ii) reducing the incidence of this practice.

● Progetto Crisi dell'eurocentrismo e futuro dell'umanesimo europeo: prospettive storico-culturali, religiose, giuridiche ed economico-sociali” del Dipartimento di Scienze Religiose coordinato dal Prof. Gian Luca Potestà.
Website: http://progetti.unicatt.it/progetti-ateneo-eurocentrismo-home

● HALM - Healthy Ageing and the Labour Market: http://progetti.unicatt.it/progetti-ateneo-halm-home