Working Papers

Research Interests:

Applied Economics, Development Economics, Political Economy and Happiness Economics.

Working Papers

  • "The social value of health: amenable deaths and estimated the gap with the life expectancy frontier". Available at CEIS Working Paper No. 542

(with L. Becchetti, G. Trovato)


R&R at Health Policy

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We estimate the life expectancy gaps that can be bridged by improving the quality of public health and health care policies at the country level. Our model calculates the net effect of amenable deaths on life expectancy after controlling for time effects and factors affecting amenable deaths related to education, health policies (health expenditure to GDP and waiting lists), and per capita income in a two equation system. We further estimate the life expectancy gap that countries with lower quality health systems can bridge by catching up and reaching the existing health quality frontier and compute the social value of that upside potential.

  • "Resilience, social capital, active citizenship and subjective wellbeing: the contribution of generativity". Available at Cefims dp. 168

(with L. Becchetti)


R&R at Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics

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We define generativity as the combination of creativity and care for others wellbeing. Based on John Stuart Mill, Robert Kennedy and Antonio Genovesi quotes we test several research hypotheses on the available waves of the European Social Survey and find that generativity is associated positively and significantly with subjective wellbeing (under the different dimensions of life satisfaction and positive affect), resilience, interpersonal trust, active citizenship and participation to political elections. Our findings are robust across survey waves, gender, age, education splits and significant in estimates considering only individuals living in the same country. With an IV approach we provide evidence that the investigated nexus hides a direct causality link from all our the dependent variables.

  • "The Controversial Environmental Effects of COVID-19 Lockdown on Quality of Air: Evidence from Italian Municipalities". Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3932382

(with L. Becchetti, G. Beccari, P. Conzo, D. De Santis, F. Salustri)


R&R at Italian Economic Journal


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We test the effect of the first wave COVID-19 lockdown on quality of air across Italian municipalities. We show that lockdown measures, as expected, reduced outdoor (car transit and workplace) mobility, while increasing (indoor) residential stay. We expect the first effect to contribute to better quality of air, although counterbalanced by the second due to increased heating at home. Our findings are consistent with this hypothesis, since the combined effect of lockdown measures on particulate matter concentration is nonlinear and determined by the interplay of two exogenous shocks (the lockdown decision and the nonsynchronous centralised heating halt in Italian climatic zones). More specifically, in the first lockdown month the increase in house heating generated an abnormal rise in particulate matter concentration with respect to the corresponding months of the previous years. The effect was reversed in the following two months when centralized heating halted. Evidence of the lockdown effects on mobility is consistent with the lockdown effect on outdoor mobility since we observe a significant fall in nitrogen dioxide. Policy implications of our paper is that higher ecological sustainability of heating and mobility can reduce the trade-off between economic/social activity and environmental sustainability.

  • "Park municipality and air quality". Available at Cefims dp. 161

(with L. Becchetti, G. Beccari, P. Conzo, D. De Santis, F. Salustri)

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In Italy, 23 percent of the 7,903 municipalities include protected areas, while 6.4 percent (which we define as park municipalities) national parks. We investigate the relationship between park areas and quality of air and find that park municipalities experienced far lower levels of air pollution in the last three years, the gross difference ranging from 25 to 30 percent lower levels of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and three times lower levels of nitrogen dioxide. In our econometric analysis we find that part (but not all) of this difference depends on the lower population density and manufacturing activity in municipalities with national parks. We as well show that park municipalities have progressively reduced particulate matter over the last three years and that parks have a “green lung” function since, in non-park municipalities, air pollution grows in the distance from national parks. Based on our average of estimated parameters of the impact of the main air pollutants on mortality in the literature we calculate that living in park municipalities reduces mortality rates by around 10 percent.

Refereeing activity

Applied Economics; BMC Research Notes; International Review of Economics; Scientific Reports

Take a Look at my Google Scholar profile, here.