I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Tax Administration Research Centre of the University of Exeter. I worked in the ICES (Institutional Change, Economics, Society) research unit during my PhD and at Brunel University London as a Visiting Researcher.
I apply microeconomic theory to investigate how psychological, social and cognitive factors affect tax compliance: Tax evasion, tax avoidance and optimal deterrence policies.
In recent research projects I have analyzed how tax avoidance and evasion impact on the self-declaration of liabilities made by taxpayers and on optimal enforcement of tax laws made by the tax agencies. To provide a realistic representation of the choice mechanism of economic agents, the models developed build on insights from psychology and behavioral economics.
In a current research project I am studying the tax evasion decision when taxpayers compare their consumption with others in their social network, and also to their own consumption in the recent past. In this setting, engaging in tax evasion is a tool by which taxpayers can improve their relative standing. In this exercise, formal comparative statics for optimal evasion is derived and a role for self comparison in explaining persistent post-audit behavioural effects is uncovered. From the policy perspective, results show that there are objective grounds for tax authorities to target taxpayers who are most central in the social network.
My current empirical research is mainly dealing with the estimation of the performance of local government. Local governments provide for a sizeable part of the public goods and services supply. The considerable amount of public spending and decision making attributed to local governments calls for an evaluation of their performances. Indeed, efficiency assessment of local governments may provide meaningful information to numerous agents (e.g. the central government, local politicians, voters and firms). My research uses non-parametric frontier methods to estimate managerial efficiency, their spatio-temporal evolution, to evaluate the impact of exogenous and endogenous conditions and to investigate the characteristics of production activity.
PhD in Economics, 2017
IMT - School for Advanced Studies
Msc in Economics, 2012
University of Florence
BSc Economics, 2008
University of Florence
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