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As part of its educational mission, EMbeDS supports PhD scholarships in Economics, Management and Data Science. Three doctoral students joned us in the 2018/19 academic cycle.

Marco Martinez joined the Economics PhD Program of the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies. Prior to this he received a Master in Economics from the University of Pisa; for his thesis he considered a set of industrialized countries and assessed the feasibility of a reduction in energy consumption that would not affect their economic growth. Right after high school, Marco worked as a research assistant in a South African non-profit organization and became interested in health and development issues. He then visited the Erasmus University (Rotterdam) and the University of Mannheim, where he worked with the World Food Programme for a satellite-based impact evaluation in Ethiopia. Marco grew up in Pisa, but spent his summers exploring the coast of Southern Italy with a small boat, falling in love with the ocean. He is also a sailor and passionate surfer.

What are Marco's plans for his doctoral research, in connection with the objectives of EMbeDS? "My plan is to apply econometric methods to causal questions concerning development, climate, and innovation. I am particularly interested in environmental justice and in the distributional impacts of climate change. I am also looking forward to learning in economic history and exploring fundamental issues in the methodology of economics, as well as the role of statistics in economics."

Roberta Iovino joined the Management PhD Program at the Sant'Anna School. Prior to this she received a Master in Business Economics (cum laude) from the University Federico II of Naples in 2016, and a Second Level Master in Environmental Management from the Sant’Anna School in 2017. For her thesis at Federico II University she investigated topics related to waste management, such as "Pay As You Throw" systems and other economic instruments. Between 2017 and 2018 she worked on the development of a model to analyse and improve the economic and environmental performance of a waste recovery plant in the Rome area. Her research interest in the field of sustainability brought her back to Sant’Anna for her doctoral studies. She is investigating green consumer behaviour and the determinants of sustainable purchases, and she started to work with survey design and questionnaire methods to collect and analyse data on circular economies and consumer perceptions about the environmental performance of products.

What are Roberta's plans for his doctoral research, in connection with the objectives of EMbeDS? “I will investigate the most effective forms of communicating information about the environmental footprint of consumer products -- using data gathered by surveys and through experiments. Consumer choice is critical for enabling the development of a circular economy; it is not enough to produce high quality recyclable products, products from recycled materials, etc. Consumers have to understand the context, trust the manufacturer, and ultimately buy such products; thus, circular producers need to effectively communicate their commitment and efforts. To survive and be recognisable in a sea of scepticism and ‘greenwashing’, circular producers need to develop strategies to ensure their claims based on scientific data are believed and acted upon by consumers”.


German Rodikov joined the Data Science PhD Program (a consortium of Scuola Normale Superiore, the University of Pisa, Scuola Sant'Anna, the IMT of Lucca and CNR). Prior to this he received a Master in Analysis and Policy in Economics from the Paris School of Economics/Université and a Master in Quantitative Economics from the Novosibirsk State University. In his Master thesis German showed how to increase predictability of the dynamics of stock prices based on the analysis of information in search engines. This approach builds upon the Efficient market hypothesis; that is, that stock market efficiency causes existing share prices to incorporate and reflect all relevant information. Changes in stock prices comprise decisions made by many market participants who, nowadays, collect information searching the Internet. Users queries to search engines can be analyzed and linked to the decisions of market participants. German also worked for Sberbank CIB Financial Sector/ Invest-banking, and loves to travel exploring the world and discovering new things.

What are Germans's plans for his doctoral research, in connection with the objectives of EMbeDS? "My main interest is increasing predictability in different fields of the social sciences. Standard forecasting models can be expanded to comprise predictors capturing different social sentiments -- leading to a substantial gain in prediction accuracy. This goal requires the design and implementation of "Text as Data" approaches, allowing one to characterize and discriminate different sentiments."