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Regular version of the site

Francesco Sarracino

Senior Associate Researcher

Adress: Bacharage, Luxembourg
 
E-mail: f.sarracino@gmail.com

CV| Personal Page

Education and academic positions:

  • 2006 - 2010- Ph.D. in “Policy and Economics for Developing Countries” at the Department of Economic Sciences of the Faculty of Economics - University of Florence (Italy). Supervisor of doctoral work: prof. Stefano Bartolini. Title of PhD thesis: “social capital, economic growth and well-being”;
  • 1999 - 2005- Diploma of Laurea in Environmental Economics at the University of Siena (Italy) - Faculty of Economics, score 110/110. Supervisors: prof. Stefano Bartolini and prof. Riccardo Basosi. Title of the dissertation: “Energy, positional goods and social conflicts”.

Research projects:   

"What was all that Growth for?  Explaining Chinese and Indian Decreasing Well-being in Times of Economic Growth" (ongoing)

Abstract 

China is one of the countries that experienced the most impressive and sustained rate of  economic growth. Since 1990s its economy has been increasing on average by 9.7% each year. Arguably, economic growth allowed a general improvement of several social, economic and sanitary dimensions of people’s life. However, in the same period people’s satisfaction with their life decreased. What does explain this outcome? And who are the winners and the losers from economic growth? Finally, if economic growth didn’t improve the human lot, did it at least reduce well-being inequalities? Using data from the World Values Survey, this paper identifies the determinants that shaped people’s life satisfaction in China between 1990 and 2007. Results suggest that the erosion of social capital and social comparisons are the two main factors explaining why economic growth didn’t turn into higher people’s well-being. Moreover, economic growth resulted in higher well-being disparities among people: those in the lowest three deciles and the middle-class experienced a significant reduction in well-being, whereas richer people substantially improved their conditions

Research Progress:

 
Does economic growth erode social capital and subjective well-being (ongoing; together with Małgorzata Mikucka)

The so-called “Easterlin paradox” (Easterlin, 1974) contrasts the American long-termgrowth of GDP withits stagnating subjective well-being. Although the debate on the paradox is still open (Inglehart et al.,2008, Sacks et al., 2010, Veenhoven and Vergunst, 2013), it suggests that economic growth per semaynot keep the promise of improving people’s quality of life; at least some additional conditions have tobe met in order to achieve this goal. According to the Negative Externalities Growth (NEG) model(Bartolini and Bonatti, 2003), economic growth may erode free goods (such as clean environment,social relationships et.c.) which negatively affects well-being. Moreover, it may also increase incomeinequalities and social divisions, which also have negative well-being consequences (Alesina et al.,2004). Although the literature provided some support for this theoretical model, it suffers from severalweaknesses. In particular, the statistical methods used frequently do not distinguish between theeffects of individual-level and contextual factors, creating a risk of ecological fallacy. Moreover, studiesusing individual-level data fail to provide a clear conceptual distinction between levels and trends ofGDP and social capital, as well as they do not differentiate between the long-term trends and short-termvariations. Both these distinctions are important for theoretical and empirical reasons (Bartolini andSarracino, 2011).This project attempts to provide evidence on the NEG model overcoming the methodological limitationsof previous studies. We use multilevel regression analysis of a broad set of data from the WVS and EVS.The data provide large variation of contextual factors (inequality, GDP, social capital) and the long timespanof observation allows estimating long-term trends and distinguishing them from the short-termvariations.We expect that the paper resulting from the project will contribute to the literature on economic growth,social capital and well-being. The innovative aspect is the use of multilevel regression, a statisticalmethod largely ignored by the literature of the subject, which however is currently the state of arttechnique of analysing hierarchical data. Using this technique may allow overcoming some of thelimitations of the current literature on the Easterlin paradox.

 

 

 

 


 

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