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.

"Experimental Economics, Two-sided Markets and Subjective Well-being"
ECO2014-59302-P, Ministerio Economa y Competitividad
Jordi Brandts, Flip Kliin, Ada Ferrer, Jose Mara Ortz, Joana Pais, Pter Bir, Markus Walzl, Bettina Klaus, Klarita Gerxhani, Arthur Schram, David Cooper, Enrique Fatas

The project brings together three research lines in the field of microeconomics:
1. Experimental studies on economic and social issues
2. Experimental and theoretical studies on two-sided matching markets.
3. Welfare and the social and economic context.

The studies in this project aim at world-class research that will contribute to the international literature by pushing forward on the frontier of knowledge. Both, the experimental and the questionnaire based evidence will allow us to obtain a more complete view of social life, as well as to establish bridges between economics and other social sciences like psychology and sociology.

"Frictions and Failures in Old and New Markets"
ECO2014-59959-P, Ministerio de Economa y Competitividad
Roberto Burguet, Ramon Caminal, Matthew Ellman, Vaiva Petrikaite, Ldia Farr

This project contributes to the analysis of interaction among individuals at a microeconomic level in the presence of frictions and group determinants. As such, it is part of the effort to bring the classical microeconomic model of a frictionless economy closer to the complexities of reality.
The project is divided in four sections:
- 1st section deals with open questions inside the classical framework of industrial economics.
- 2nd section focuses on online transactions and the issues specific to that vehicle of interaction.
- 3rd section will be devoted to the study of the effects of social determinants on individual choice and behavior
- 4th seciton will consider interactions not necessarily mediated by prices, subject to relational frictions. Issues pertaining to this category include the spillovers from intra-group decisions onto inter-group decisions, the design of procurement rules in front of corruption, the endogenous selection of members in problems of team formation, or the use and consequences of crowdfunding as a mechanism for financing new projects.
These four sections cover a wide thematic spectrum, and constitute a coherent research project organized around a unified methodological approach and the common theme of frictions in the economic interactions of individuals. The project includes theoretical and empirical work, and will help clarify open questions in the frontier of economic analysis

"Integrated Macro-Financial Modelling for Robust Policy Design"
MACFINROBODS, FP7-SSH-2013- 2 GA 612796, European Commission
Albert Marcet, Esther Hauk, Omar Licandro, Sarolta Laczo, Nezih Guner, Juan Carlos Conesa, Joan Llull y Francesc Obiols. Other institutions participant: University of Amsterdam (Project Coordinator), Centre Pour La Recherche Economique Et Ses Applications (CEP)

"Tecnologa, Capital Humano, Innovacin y Comercio"
ECO2013-48884-C3-1-P, Ministerio de Economa y Competitividad
Omar Licandro, Joachim Jungherr, Fernando Del Rio, Eduardo Gimnez, Miquel Prez-Nievas, Antonio Rodrguez Sampayo, Jos Ramn Ruiz
The aim of this project is to contribute to the understanding of the processes of technological innovation and capital accumulation in a global economy. Technology interacts with the investment decisions taken by households, firms and governments over the accumulation of physical and human capital, and the management of natural resources, the labor force and population growth. This interaction occurs in a global environment opened to international trade and international capital and labor flows. All of these processes are of interest for the Convocatoria de Excelencia del Plan Nacional de I+D, and at the core of some of the Challenges of the Spanish Strategy of Research 2013-16 (Challenge 6 and part of Challenge 5).
To better understand the aforementioned processes our goal is to construct economic models that incorporate those features, and test the models empirically. We target models of i) sustainable growth; ii) inequality, poverty and growth; iii) demography and fertility, iv) international trade and finance, v) competitive search and bargaining, vi) employment and business cycle, vii) technology adoption and vintage capital, viii) energy use and non-renewable resources. The results obtained with these models will allow us to make recommendations for macroeconomic policy. We will consider applications of many of these models not only to the global economy but also to the Spanish economy and the EU.

"The Macroeconomic Implications of Heterogenous Firms"
2014 SGR 1432, Generalitat de Catalunya
Omar Licandro, Joachim Jungherr, Francesco Cerigioni, Dmitry Matveev
Within the general framework of the empirical and theoretical literature on firm dynamics, its applications to trade, on firms' financing choice along the business cycle, the dynamics of employment and occupations, the history of longevity and migration, the welfare implications of output growth measurement and endogenous fertility, and on the relationship between bank opacity and financial stability, the research of the group will cover the following issues:

1. The dynamics of Spanish manufacturing firms
2. Real Exchange Rate and Export Behavior of Firms2
3. Dynamics of Firm Dynamics
4. Occupational Obsolescence
5. Longevity and Migration in Human History
6. The Welfare Implications of GDP Growth
7. Capital Structure, Uncertainty and Macroeconomic Fluctuations
8. Bank Opacity and Financial Stability

"Macroeconomia terica i aplicada"
2014 SGR 1446, Generalitat de Catalunya
Albert Marcet, Angel de la Fuente, Hugo Rodrguez, Sarolta Lacz, Albert Snchez
The research of the group will focus on five major topics:

1. Formation of expectations. Rational expectations (RE) are replaced by the Internal Rationality (IR) approach that includes a learning algorithm consistent with the optimal behavior of the agents.
2. Volatility of asset prices. IR models will be applied to explain the apparent excess variability in the price of certain assets.
3. Fiscal policy. The optimal portfolio of debt will be analyzed and the implications of consistent temporarily fiscal policy. We quantify the results of the regional financing system at a national level.
4. Monetary policy. We will employ the IR approach to this policy. We will analyze the implementation of monetary policy during financial crises.
5. Economic growth. The links between education and economic growth will be studied. We will analyze the statistical quality of education indicators and the impact of the quality and quantity of education on the level of income and productivity of countries.

"Microeconomia terica i aplicada"
2014 SGR 510, Generalitat de Catalunya
Roberto Burguet, Jordi Brandts, Ramon Caminal, Matthew Ellman, Sjaak Hurkens, Jose M Ortiz
The research will cover organizational economics. This includes transactions that take place inside the firm. We will pay particular attention to issues referring to manager-employee relationships, particularly the effects of several factors (legitimacy, employee assignment, group composition, etc.) on the feasibility of cooperation. It also includes transactions that take place outside the boundaries of the firm. We will study issues related to bilinguism, media subsidization, or service externalization.
The research will also cover topics on the economics of market mechanisms, with a focus on industries characterized by the need of coordination or centralization, typically due to the existence of externalities or an essential facility. This includes analysis of telecommunication or energy markets or the internet.
Finally, we will contribute to classical themes in industrial economics, with the study of issues like bundling, the dynamics of consumer preferences, or procurement.

"Social Unrest, Migration and Inequality"
2014 SGR 1414, Generalitat de Catalunya
Ada Ferrer, Ana Rute Cardoso, Joan Esteban, Laura Mayoral, Guillem Pons, Adrian Pino
This research proposal aims at contributing to the understanding of the causes of social unrest, focusing on economic and ethnicity diversity. The research will be based on both theory and empirics. The project can we divided into the six parts: (i) study how the economic conditions of a society and its ethnic composition may interact to precipitate internal conflict; (ii) examine the link between inequality and status seeking and how this affects individuals' welfare perceptions; (iii) assessing the inequalities in the labor market, in concrete, looking at the impact of firm dynamics and labor market institutions on the returns to education, the gender pay gap, and labor market inequality; (iv) explore further immigrant locations and native residential preferences in Spain; (v) build a theory of migration where in some development stages immigrants are an essential mean to increase the natives' welfare; and (vi) contribute to the econometric literature of instrumental variables.

"Economia Poltica"
2014 SGR 1064, Generalitat de Catalunya
Enriqueta Aragons, Josep M. Colomer, Hannes Mueller, Esther Hauk, Flip Klijn, Clara Ponsat, Jan Zapal, Benjamin Tello
This research group focuses on the relationship between economics and politics. On the one hand, we work on the application of economic analysis to political issues, that is, we use the analytical tools that have been developed mostly by economists that have been adopted to study issues that traditionally belong to other disciplines, specially political science. On the other hand, we study the relationship between economic structures and decisions with political and public institutions. In particular, we analyze the possibilities of reform for political and public institutions, for electoral and voting rules, federalism, institutional design, turnout, electoral strategies, economic growth, inequality. The aim of this research group is both theoretical and applied.

"Policy Intervention in Social and Economic Networks"
ECO2015-67171-P, Ministerio de Economa y Competitividad
Esther Hauk, Sjaak Hurkens, Enriqueta Aragons Orestis Troumpounis, Facudno Albornoz-Crespo, Doh-Shin Jeon, Dimitrios Xefteris, Andrea Lanteri
In this project we propose to analyse social and economic networks with the aim of studing how policy intervention may solve their shortcomings. We focus both on specific and currently relevant applications such as the digital markets, as well as on more general issues about the functioning and economic consequences of social and economic networks. The ultimate goal of this project is to guarantee optimal levels of social welfare in all those environments where social or economic networks play a role. Therefore, our main interest would be to characterize the main efficiency problems caused by the existence of networks, to design specific measures of policy intervention and regulations that may overcome this shortcomings, and finally to characterize the features of the political instutions that may guarantee the correct implementation of the designed policies.
With this aim we have structured the contents of the project in two research lines:
1) Social and economic networks, where we analyze its functioning and detect its possible inefficiencies
2) Political institutions and optimal policies, where we design policy intervention and its strategic implementation
Both research lines consist of several subprojects. The first research line attempts to integrate the social preference literature with the social network literature with the aim of understanding the effects of the networks features on social welfare. It also studies market competition with strong network effects in a particular application: the digital market. The second research line proposes a new equilibrium concept in order to study optimal policy, examines the effect of corruption on the society's policy preferences and analyzes a number of political institutions according to their social and economic effects on society's welfare

"Culture and Social Conflict"
ECO2015-66883-P , Ministerio de Economa y Competitividad
Laura Mayoral, Joan M. Esteban, Hannes Mueller Timothy Besley, Massimo Morelli, Joachim Voth, Gilat Levy, Dominic Rohner, Christopher Rauh, Debraj Ray
The general research theme of our project is the interaction between culture/religiosity, social conflict and political instability. We have set to ourselves three goals: (i) to study in greater depth the two-way relationship between culture and conflict, (ii) to have a richer understanding of the drivers of conflict, with emphasis on the difficulties to reach prior agreements, and (iii) to obtain measures of political risk that allow us to anticipate the onset of violence.
Our first research line focuses on the bidirectional relationship between culture and conflict. Culture is a mechanism that transmits behavioral norms from generation to generation. As situations of extreme violence can alter these norms, the effect of conflict in a society can be perpetuated through cultural transmision.
The second set of issues studies the determinants of conflict onset. First, we consider two independent sets of reasons of why it turns out to often be imposible to reach an agreement. One explanation we offer is that it might me imposible to satisfy the participation constraints of all the potential coalitions threatening peace. Our second explanation wants to develop a model in which 'just' agreements turn out to be an incentive for an even more violent conflict. We characterize sharing rules that lead to peaceful agreements.
In the third set of issues considered we turn to the economic consequences of conflict and weak political institutions. This line of research first aim to develop an empirical method to predict civil wars. The prediction uses several hundred thousand articles from English-speaking newspapers and an unsupervised learning algorithm to generate topics from these texts. These topics are then used to predict instability out of sample. Finally, the project analyses the effect of weak law and order enforcement, which is often found in fragile countries.