Research

Publications

Early kindergarten, maternal labor supply and children's outcomes: evidence from Italy (with L. Rizzica), Journal of Public Economics, 158, 79-102, February 2018, doi:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2017.12.012.
Previously circulated as Female employment and pre-kindergarten: on the unintended effects of an Italian reform. Previous versions: Bank of Italy, Working Papers, No. 1030, Dondena Working Paper Series, No. 91.
Awarded with the Etta Chiuri Prize 2015 and the IIPF Young Economists Award 2015.
Abstract
. We analyze a reform that introduced early access to  subsidized childcare for 2-year-old children in Italy, exploring the effects on several measures of maternal labor supply and on children's cognitive outcomes. Our identification strategy exploits discontinuities in the eligibility rules and the staggered implementation of the reform. We find that the policy increased mothers' participation in the labor market and lowered the reservation wage of the unemployed, thus increasing their likelihood of finding a job. At the same time, the newly introduced childcare arrangement did not affect children's cognitive development, irrespective of their family background.
- Featured in Lavoce.info and VoxEU
         
You've come a long way, baby. Husbands' commuting time and family labour supply (with M. De Philippis), Regional Science and Urban Economics, 69, 25-37, March 2018. doi:10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2017.12.004.
Previous version: Bank of Italy, Working Papers, No. 1003.
Abstract
. This paper explores the effects of husbands' commuting time on wives' employment and family time allocation. We develop a unitary family model, and we show that in the presence of household production, a longer husband's commuting time might decrease his wife's employment and increase his own working hours. We estimate these effects using employer-induced changes in home-to-work distances. We find that a 1% increase in the husband's commuting distance reduces his wife's employment probability by 0.016 percentage points and has a slight positive effect on his own working hours. The effects are stronger for couples with children and for highly educated husbands.
- Featured in The Atlantic-CITYLAB, VoxEU, Lavoce.info and Il Sole 24 ore

A feasible unemployment-based shock absorber for the euro area (with A. Brandolini and F. D'Amuri), Journal of Common Market Studies, 54(5), 1123-1141, 2016.
Previous versions: Bank of Italy, Occasional Papers, No. 254 and IZA Policy Paper No.97.
Abstract. This paper contributes to the debate on the design of a centralised fiscal tool absorbing country-specific negative shocks in the euro area. Based on theoretical insights, it identifies the broad characteristics that a shock absorber based on unemployment should have in order to be incentive-compatible and politically feasible. It then derives empirically the combination of activation thresholds, experience rating, eligibility criteria, and benefit generosity which define the systems offering the highest stabilisation for given levels of redistribution, accounting for the large variation in benefit take-up rates across European countries. The analysis suggests that the shock absorber should: i) give rise to macro cross-national transfers, mimicking those that would be generated by a notional euro-wide unemployment benefit scheme of minimal coverage and generosity; ii) be activated by a trigger; and iii) feature partial experience rating. The simulation results, confirmed by robustness checks, show that even systems that do not redistribute resources between countries can have a non-negligible stabilisation impact in the medium run. Low benefit take-up rates in Southern Europe substantially reduce the stabilisation properties and the size of the scheme.
Abstract. This paper examines the social welfare bases of the measurement of income inequality among the inhabitants of the world. We develop a general family of global inequality indices which ecompasses different concepts of global equity, from the Cosmopolitan to the Nationalist view. The analysis also provides an interpretation of the EU-wide inequality measures adopted in European statistics.

Working papers

Working Horizon and  Labour Supply: the Effect of Raising Minimum Retirement Age on Middle-aged Individuals (with M. De Philippis). To be presented at the NBER Summer Institute 2019, "Aging and Social Security" Session.
Abstract. This paper analyzes the effects of raising the minimum retirement age on the labour force participation of middle-aged individuals and their partners. Identification relies on a difference-in-differences setting that exploits the large heterogeneous increase in the minimum retirement age induced by an unexpected Italian pension reform. We detect a sizable increase in the participation rate of middle-aged women which spills over into their their husbands' labour supply mainly by postponing the retirement decision.

Workforce Aging, Pension Reforms, and Firm Dynamics (with F. D'Amuri and T. von Wachter). Presented at the NBER Summer Institute 2017, "Aging and Social Security" Session.

Works in progress


Catching them young: early childhood care, human capital and tax policy (with H. Cremer and J.M. Lozachmeur).

Culture and intergenerational welfare programs (with P. Profeta).


Policy papers

Timely indicators for inequality and poverty: the use of the Labour Force Survey. Submitted
Abstract. I propose a methodology to recover timely indicators for income inequality and poverty using the Italian Labour Force Survey (ILFS). Income distribution measures obtained from standard household income surveys are usually published with a significant delay, up to two years relative to the survey date; in some cases, they are not even available every year. By exploiting the detailed ILFS information on individual wages, labour market status and family characteristics, I develop a framework to estimate labour income at the household level and use it to construct distributional indicators on a timely basis. I discuss the assumptions and measurement issues underlying the proposed methodology and show that ILFS-based indicators closely track standard household income survey-based measures. The suggested indicators are not meant to substitute standard income measures but can offer up-to-date information, in line with the growing need of nowcasting key economic variables which are typically collected at low frequency and published with long delays.