The research group on Living standards and economic development can provide context and supporting information on a variety of features linked to economic as well as human and biological development in a broad comparative and regional perspective. Solid knowledge and analytical skills concerning the economic and institutional environment have been consolidated by focusing on the development of European regions in the long run – mainly the last two centuries. Fresh insights into the determinants of Italy’s economic path in the last thirty years that were provided by members to this research group – for example – have resonated in Italian media and debates concerning policy-making and the economy.
The three scholars that are part of this group are based at the University of Siena: Michelangelo Vasta (Professor of Economic History) has mainly – but not exclusively – focused on the evolution of living standards, innovation and technology in Italy, through the analysis of the evolution of institutional set up, real wages and innovation measures (patents); Gabriele Cappelli (Assistant Professor of Economic History) studies the relationship between regional development and human capital formation (education) focusing on the regions of France, Italy and Spain, as well as Africa; Leonardo Ridolfi (Postdoc in Economic History) investigates the evolution of living standards within France and across its departments, by relying on real wages and heights to measure the evolution of well-being and health.
DESCRIPTION OF YOUR ORGANISATION:
The research carried out by the group relates mainly to the topics 1.1.1 (IA) and 1.3.1 (IA): the impact of climate change conditions on the management of water resources will be mediated by the level of economic and human development, the quality of institutions, human-capital endowments (available skills) and the capacity to produce innovations and/or adapt existing available technology. We argue that a solid analysis of the link between climate change and water management cannot prescind from a more comprehensive analysis of the contextual environment and socioeconomic – as well as institutional – features that affect both aspects constituting the core of the analysis.
Likewise, to provide a comprehensive picture of food products on health and well-being in the Mediterranean basin, it is crucial to understand to what extent the food-health nexus is influenced by contextual features, including pollution (e.g. via industrial activity and urbanization), policies (public expenditure, tax system, etc), demography etc. Furthermore, the use of heights as an indicator of human development, embracing individual well-being and health, can ensure a relatively straightforward – yet precise – identification of the relationship between food products, health and economic development once other factors are taken into consideration.
We are proposing our institution/department as partner for a PRIMA proposal to add value to the understanding of the socioeconomic and institutional context in which farming systems and water management are investigated and take place. We believe that a thorough understanding of the relationships highlighted by the proposed topics cannot be offered without providing a comprehensive picture of all the dimensions and actors affected – and affecting – such developments. Moreover, recent important publications in the field of economic development stress the crucial role played by long term factors in a path-dependent evolution of institutional and economic systems. We draw on our expertise to provide this kind of information and analysis.
The Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area will devise new R&I approaches to improve water availability and sustainable agriculture production in a region heavily distressed by climate change, urbanisation and population growth
The PRIMA programme is an Art.185 initiative supported and funded under Horizon 2020, the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.