The Institute of Economics carries out research and training activities in the field of empirical and theoretical economics with a special focus on the economics of innovation and technical change.
The main lines of research include:
- The economics of innovation studying how innovations are generated and their impact at the micro, meso and macro levels
- The empirics and theory of industrial dynamics, with emphasis on the relation between firm financial profiles and industrial performance
- Micro and macro agent-based models, with particular attention to the patterns of economic change driven by the introduction and diffusion of new technologies
- Empirical network analysis of micro and macroeconomic networks, especially finance, trade, foreign direct investment, migration and mobility
- The connection between intellectual property rights and inventive and creative activities
Other research areas include:
- Individual, organizational and collective decisions beyond the rational choice paradigm
- Evolutionary foundations of macro-economics
- Evolutionary finance
- Economic history with a special focus on long run growth and major economic discontinuities
- Industrial and technological policies in industrialized and developing countries
- Applied statistics and econometrics
- Political, social and economic consequences of climate change
Our Institute welcomes and favours dialogue between empirical investigations, theoretical developments and normative contributions - concerning both corporate management and public policies - offering an interdisciplinary environment in which different research interests and competencies, ranging from Economics and Economic History, to Statistics, Physics, Information Sciences and Management meet and can be fruitfully integrated.
Despite its small size, the Institute has achieved important results in terms of research output, which place it in second place in the ranking of Economics Departments of Italian universities according to the latest report published by the Italian Agency for Research Evaluation (ANVUR), and in the top 5% among European economic institutions (cf. The RePEc rankings).
Our researchers are active and broadly connected members of international research and policy networks, through participation in various national and international projects as well as policy initiatives.
In 2018 the Institute was also awarded the prestigious grant of “Department of Excellence” in the area of Economics by the Italian Ministry of University and Scientific Research. The overarching goal of this department – EmbeDS Economics and Management in the era of Data Science – is to bring Economics and Management in the era of Data Science, leveraging data and tools to bridge the gaps that still exist between complex models, their empirical validation, and their use in policy.
Historically, most of the research activities have been undertaken within the LEM - Laboratory of Economics and Management. Now all research and training activities have been taken over by the Institute, but LEM still keeps its brand name on a prestigious Working Paper Series.
New technologies raise wages without increasing gender or wage inequalities within the firms that adopt them. This is the main evidence of the scientific article entitled "For whom the bell tolls: the firm-level effects of automation on wage and gender inequality", co-authored by Daniele Moschella (Sant’Anna School), together with Giacomo Domini (Erasmus University College of Rotterdam), Marco Grazzi (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), Tania Treibich (Maastricht University), that received the best paper award at the international conference “CONCORDi 2021”
In Italy, the first wave of the pandemic unfolded with strikingly different mortality patterns across Italian regions; among the strongest statistical predictors of such patterns are mobility, positivity rates, availability of primary care, and the size of potential contagion hubs in schools, workplaces and hospitals. These are the main findings of a study, conducted by Francesca Chiaromonte, published in Scientific Reports, with a team of Italian researchers working at the Sant’Anna School (Italy), the Pennsylvania State University (USA) and the Université Laval (Canada)
“Case studies of Automation in Services” is an European project funded by the EU Joint Research Centre in Seville and with the participation of the Institute of Economics of the Sant'Anna School together with the University “Aldo Moro” of Bari - Department of Political Science and the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia - Department of Communication and Economics