Archivi categoria: Ricerca

Is it possible to quantify, using economic variables, what is in principle not subject to economic evaluation? A recent Harvard research seems to have achieved such an ambitious goal, but this inevitably makes ethical issues arise.


In the last few years, an increasing concern has developed with regard to the externalities of firms. An externality is the cost or benefit implied by an economic activity that affects a third party who did not choose to incur that cost or benefit and without this being reflected in market prices. They are one of the main justifications for public intervention in the economic sphere. On one hand, governments should reduce negative externalities through mindful regulation. On the other, they should incentivize positive externalities, which usually are not the firms’ most pressing priorities, since they do not directly result in any monetary advantage.

The profitability of a company stays unaltered both if the air of our neighborhood becomes unbreathable due to industrial waste and if we enjoy the benefits of gentrification brought about by a successful commercial activity. Can businesses, in principle, be ethical? If so, how to apply analytical tools to ethics and to subsume what is qualitative par excellence under the scope of the queen of  social sciences, namely economics? The former is a philosophical interrogation, the latter a methodological one. The consequence is that they are respectively dealt with by two different research approaches, which urge us to find a common synthesis in order to successfully coordinate and inspire our practical response. [Read More]


Rethinking Economics si pone come obiettivo il ripensamento dell’insegnamento dell’economia nelle università di tutto il mondo. Eppure uno tra i sistemi di educazione superiore considerato tra i migliori e che vanta affiliazione con 45 premi Nobel dell’economia potrebbe arrivare a crollare sotto il suo stesso peso.


Il sistema educativo degli Stati Uniti si divide essenzialmente in due parti: “education” (o K-12) e “higher education”. Dopo aver completato la scuola superiore, i giovani americani possono decidere se lanciarsi direttamente nel mondo del lavoro o se affinare i loro interessi e abilità, andando a frequentare una “vocational school” o un college. La prima darà loro un “associate degree”, mentre il college, dopo quattro (in alcuni casi due, ma sono rari) anni rilascerà un attestato, il “bachelor’s degree”, di fatti equivalente alla nostra laurea triennale. Al termine del quarto anno si potrà decidere se continuare gli studi specializzandosi in una certa area, fino ad arrivare al post-doc. [Read More]



DOWNLOAD: “Reinforcing Sustainability through the Generation Gap Tax” by Luciano Monti


We are used to linking policies addressed to young people together with education issues and policies. On the other hand, we are used to connecting the value of redistribution with problems such as poverty, Third World and retirement funds, which are still very critical issues today.   However, the originality of the brief paper (6 pages)  we have uploaded on this page lies in the strong bond between these two matters: intergenerational gap and fiscal redistribution.


Prof. Luciano Monti (LUISS University) explains in a specific and impartial analysis that the welfare systems in Europe are not sustainable anymore, as they are creating a non-indifferent intergenerational gap. From this dilemma rises his proposal of a Generational Gap Tax (GGT) in Europe, based on three principles: 1) accompanying to adjustment, 2) support to the mitigation of the impact of the ecological footprint and 3) intergenerational distribution. The GGT is based on a progressive withdrawal, depending not only on the pension system contribution, but also on the year of entry into the pensioning period.


I suggest you read this short, yet helpful paper, and I thank professor Luciano Monti for forwarding it to Rethinking Economics Italia.