Research

PUBLICATIONS

NEW! Discretion and Supplier Selection in Public Procurement (2020), with C.Giorgiantonio, S.Mocetti and T.Orlando, accepted at the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization (working paper version here) 

Media: “Appalti: la discrezionalità può avere un limite”, lavoce.info,  (article in Italian)

Let the Voters Choose Women (2020),  with Alessandra Casarico, Paola Profeta, and Giulia Savio, Journal of Public Economics, forthcoming.

Media: “Se il nuovo Senato è per soli uomini”, lavoce.info, (article in Italian)

Political Contributions and Public Procurement: Evidence from Lithuania (2019), Journal of the European Economic Association, 18(2), 541-582. Working paper version here.

MediaDraudimas įmonėms finansuoti partijas sutaupo šimtus milijonų“, Veidas.lt (article in Lithuanian); “Tu man, aš tau: politinių aukų analizė”, Verslo Zinios (article in Lithuanian);  “Tyrimas: labiausiai partijas remti apsimokėjo PST, Panevėžio keliams, Mitnijai”, Verslo Zinios, (article in Lithuanian); “Finanziamento ai partiti: meglio pubblico o privato?, lavoce.info (article in Italian).

Gender Quotas and the Quality of Politicians (2014), with Piera Bello, Alessandra Casarico and Paola Profeta, Journal of Public Economics, 118: 62-74.

Media: Quote di genere per le candidature migliori”, InGenere,  (article in Italian).

Affirmative Action and the Power of the Elderly (2015), with Alessandra Casarico and Paola Profeta, CESifo Economic Studies, 61(1): 148-164.

WORK IN PROGRESS

NEW! Opening the Black-Box of Managerial Talent, with Giulia Bovini and Sauro Mocetti.

This paper studies the role of managerial talent in determining corporate performance. For this purpose, we build a matched firm-director panel dataset for the universe of limited liability companies in Italy, tracking directors across different firms over time. We measure managerial talent by their ability to boost firms’ total factor productivity, estimated with a two-way fixed effects model. First, we find that managerial talent influences a number of corporate features conducive to positive firm performance. Namely, we show that talented managers are better able to forecast the firm performance; they diminish their middle-management layers and move towards highly-skilled workers at all organization levels; they are also associated with the adoption of good managerial practices and advanced technology. Second, and more importantly, we find complementarities between managerial ability and the other key internal drivers of productivity. While the workforce human capital, the use of good managerial practices and the adoption of new technologies do boost firm productivity on their own, there are synergies between each of them and the presence of talented management. Overall, our results indicate that able leaders are valuable to the firm not only because of good decisions they make, but also because of how such decisions are put in practice.

NEW! Trainspotting: Board Appointments in Private Firms, with Egle Karmaziene, in progress.

We examine how the size of the corporate directors’ labor market affects the quality of board appointments in Italian private firms. To establish the causality of the relationship, we exploit exogenous variation in a firm’s access to non-local potential directors induced by the gradual introduction of a high-speed train, which improved the connection between cities. Using administrative data on board members of the universe of limited liability companies and a two-way fixed effects model, we obtain time-invariant measures of the firm and director quality. We demonstrate that a positive shock to the non-local director supply increases the extent of positive assortative matching between firms and directors. High-quality firms improve the quality of their boards, while lower quality firms attract lower quality directors. The effect arises from a more active re-matching along the high-speed train line. Our results further suggest that the private firms’ boards with better “quality” directors are associated with higher firm growth and productivity, and lower probability of default.

Media: MAKING GOOD CORPORATE BOARD APPOINTMENTS: Evidence from Italy of the productivity advantages for firms in bigger and better-connected cities“, EEA media briefing; “The unexpected effect of high-speed trains on board talent”, LSE Business Review.

Board composition and performance of state-owned enterprises: Evidence from a natural experiment, with Mario Cannella, Sauro Mocetti and Giacomo Roma, in progress.

Corporate governance and firm crisis management, with Giacomo Rodano, in progress.

POLICY PAPERS

NEW! Ownership structure and governance of Italian companies: new evidence and effects on performance, with Elisa Brodi and Sauro Mocetti, Bank of Italy Occasional Papers, No. 514.