Current projects | Past projects

INSIDE Project (Insights on Immigration and Development)
INSIDE is an independent, non-partisan initiative launched by the Institute for Economic Analysis (IAE, CSIC). We aim at mobilizing and coordinating the research community contributing to the understanding of the causes and consequences of migrations. Special emphasis is also placed on the study of key aspects of economic development and growth of poor countries.

Our mission is to promote research and coordinate the efforts from researchers belonging to different institutions in view to contribute to the public debate on immigration and development issues.

Our interests include macro and microeconomic research, theory and empirics. We are committed to high standards of research.

"Conflict, refugees and stability"
PGC2018-096133-B-100, Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades
Laura Mayoral, Joan M. Esteban, Hannes Mueller, Timothy Besley, Andrea Canidio, Itzhak Gilboa, Andre Groeger, Massimo Morelli Dominic Rohner, Ola Olsson, Debraj Ray, Joan Serrat

Two areas are central to our project. The first block investigates the causes and consequences of social conflict. The second area involves a deeper inquiry into the link between political instability, state formation and fragility and long-run development. In our previous work we have focused on the role of ethnic divisions on social conflict. We now study class conflict; why we have seen less class conflict than what the intuition suggests. We shall also study some consequences of violent conflict, on the creation and persistence of gender roles as well as on population displacement. The second main block is on political instability. We examine the factors that contribute to early state formation and long-run economic development. We will also study social conflict and the design of political institutions, the conditions under which checks and balances spread, making systems (countries) robust to economic and political crisis. Yet they limit the capacity for a quick positive response to changes in the environment. The second subproject studies the optimal allocation of surplus among two competing selfish social groups. We focus on three sources of inefficiencies: (i) potential costly conflict; (ii) waste of resources to increase power; and (iii) encourage instead productive investments that increase the surplus to be shared.

"Innovation and policy intervention in social and economic issues"
PGC2018-097898-B-100, Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades
Sjaak Hurkens, Esther Hauk, Enriqueta Aragonès, Toke Aidt, Facundo Albornoz-Crespo, Antonio Cabrales, Doh-Shin Jeon, Andrea Lanteri, Albert Marcet, Javier Ortega, Clara Ponsatí, Orestis Troumpounis, Dimitrios Xefteris

In this project we propose an analysis of the optimality of different political interventions in a number of social and economic issues. We focus both on specific and currently relevant applications such as the mobile and automobile markets and crowdfunding, as well as on more general issues about the functioning and economic consequences of certain social and economic institutions. The ultimate goal of this project is to guarantee optimal levels of social welfare in all those environments where those social and economic institutions understudy play a relevant role. Therefore, our main interest would be to characterize the main efficiency problems caused by the characteristics of such institutions and to design specific measures of policy intervention and regulations that may overcome these shortcomings.

"Inequalities: the Crossroad of Labor, Education, and Finacial Markets"
PDI2019-108144GB-100, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Hugo Rodríguez, Ana Rute Cardoso, David Card, Paulo Guimaraes, Jose Jorge, Marta Lopes, Lous-Philippe Morin, David Rivero, Hugo Reis, Pedro Luis Silva, Jose Varejao

The initial alarm over a jobless world driven by robotization and digitalization has been displaced by concerns over the quality of jobs and their distribution among the population in working age (OECD 2019; Acemoglu and Restrepo 2018; Autor 2015). Indeed, technological progress has been redistributing the job and career opportunities in favor of workers with high levels of human capital in certain occupations, industries, and firms. Conversely, low pay, underemployment, unemployment or inactivity are concentrated in the young, the females, the low-educated, certain regions and industries. There is also concern over the rising share of national incomes going to capital to the detriment of labor. Therefore, there is widespread call for sustained investment in human capital, on the one hand, and better institutions to promote a more equitable access to resources, on the other hand.
This project focuses on the drivers of inequality in the labor market and their links to the tertiary education system and the financial market. It devotes particular attention to youngsters and females � their initial transition into the labor market and subsequent career progression. Throughout the project, we consider two-sided markets, mediated by institutions. For example, in the labor market, we analyze the interaction between workers' and firms' decisions, under collective bargaining and government regulations on minimum wages and worktime. In the education system, we analyze the interaction between the decisions of students and degree-awarding institutions, under a centralized student allocation system run by the government. In the financial market, we first analyze the impact of liquidity constraints on decisions by students and by firms, and subsequently model the decisions on credit production by banks, under the constraints imposed by the central banks.

"Matching markets, experimental economics, and subjective well-being"
PID2020-114251GB-I00, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Flip Klijn, Jordi Brandts, Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Q. Liu, P. Biró, D. Cooper, J. Costa-Font, E. Fatas, K. Gerxhani, H. Hamers, B. Klaus, K. Klimentova, C. López, Ch. Rott, S. Pápai, A. Schram, M. Slikk

This project is structured along three lines of research in microeconomics. All three lines have been developed strongly in recent years by international groups of researchers, including the members of the current research proposal. The first research line consists of a number of theoretical and experimental studies on various aspects of matching markets and allocation problems. The second research line consists of experimental studies on a number of applied issues. And finally, the third research line consists of a set of empirical studies that aim at contributing to a better understanding of individuals’ welfare, preferences and behavior, as well as its implications for policy making.

"Cooperation, coordination and loyalty: new developments in microeconomic theory"
PID2020-108144GB-I00, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Matthew Ellman, Ramon Caminal, Faruk Yasar, Roberto Burguet

This project will use tools from the field of microeconomics to develop new strategies for modeling cooperation, coordination and loyalty, in the digital economy and beyond. The project adopts a largely theoretical viewpoint but will test some of the ideas via a series of laboratory experiments and empirical analysis using real world data. The main applications include crowdfunding, where funders want to coordinate to invest in good projects and avoid wasted inspection costs, coalitions where members need to take account of externalities from and on other groups, coordination platforms that empower people to stand up for their rights, loyalty where firms seek to maintain customer loyalty but are unable to commit fully to the terms they want to promise.

"Institutional and Policy Design to Enhance Social Welfare (INPODE)"
PID2021-126209OB-I00, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
2022 - 2025
Enriqueta Aragonès, Esther Hauk, Alexander Krauss, Aidt Toke, Facundo Albornoz, Dmitrios Xefteris

The objective of this project is to analyze different political institutions according to their social and economic effects on the society. Its ultimate goal is to contribute to the innovative design of social and political institutions. With this aim we have structured the contents of the project in three main research lines:
1) What drives major breakthroughs in economics?
Major breakthroughs in economic research have had an important impact on our lives by shaping public policies. What conditions drive the major advances in the field of economics? We will assess which determinants of ground-breaking economic research are most important.
2) Political institutions
We analyze open issues on foreign influence in domestic policies and we analyze the role of leaders in magnifying the polarization of the society views through social networks in the context of coordination games.
3) Introducing female values in decision making.
This project proposes a theoretical approach to analyze different arguments about the reasons why a world in which males and females are found in equal shares in all professions and at all levels may be optimal.

"Common Ownership, Sustainability and Decentralized Finance"
PID2021-128430NB-I00, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Sjaak Hurkens, Ángel López

We propose two lines of research. In the first line we are interested in analyzing (i) the endogenous formation of common ownership structures, (ii) how common ownership affects the determination of the sequence of competition and the incentives for firms to adopt new technologies, and (iii) how different overlapping ownership structures in, on the one hand, producing companies that negatively affect the climate and the environment, and, on the other hand, companies that
rely on a protected climate and clean environments, affect the objectives and incentives of both industries and thereby affects sustainability. In the second line of research, we focus on the impact
of blockchain technologies on markets and finance, and on the recent uprise of new ways of financing companies and startups, by-passing standard institutions as venture capitalists and (central) banks. We are interested in decentralized finance as in investment-based crowdfunding, where many small investors finance a company or project, and also in cryptocurrencies (and blockchain technologies), where many so-called miners or validators (under proof of stake consensus algorithm) certify transactions and compete with traditional banks and registries.

"Resilient Societies: Poverty, Climate and Conflict"
PID2021-124256OB-I00, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Laura Mayoral, Hannes Mueller, Joan M. Esteban, Jaume Freire (Equipo Investigación) Andrea Canidio, Bruno Conte, Stefano Falcone, Thiemo Fetzer, Sophie Hatte, John Huber, Debraj Ray, Salif Jaiteh Benhamouche Zoubir

As societies around the world become more interconnected and globalized, hazards are and will be increasingly shared across the globe, and thus, will become more and more frequent. A resilient society is one that, after being exposed to hazards, is able to resist, absorb, accommodate, adapt, and bounce back from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner. Our departure point is that making societies more resilient should start with understanding economic exclusion, which in turn contributes to political instability and conflict. Thus, poverty, economic inequality, and political instability are seen as some of the main obstacles to achieving resilient societies.

To deepen our understanding of these issues, our research will be developed in two deeply interrelated areas. The first part of the analysis will identify who and where the most vulnerable individuals on the planet are located. To that effect, we will create two new datasets that will map with a high level of spatial resolution economic well-being, poverty and economic inequality on the one hand, and the degree of vulnerability of the population to climate change, on the other. The second major research line analyses social cleavages, their historical origins and persistence over time, as well as the existence of efficient institutions. Firstly, we will examine social cleavages along class and linguistic lines. Secondly, we will focus on the impact of technological progress. Finally, we'll examine the persistence of social cleavages and hence the eventual inability to design institutions that adapt to the new environments.