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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2021/22 Prof. Dr. Riccardo Leoncini

Prof. Dr. Riccardo Leoncini

Alma Mater University Bologna
External Senior Fellow (Marie S. Curie, FCFP)
October 2015 - February 2016/June - July 2016


Riccardo Leoncini is Professor of Economics at the University of Bologna and Research Associate at IRCrES (Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth) of the National Research Council of Italy. He is a faculty member of the Doctoral Programme in European Law and Economics, of which he was formerly the Co-Ordinator. He was also former Director of the Master in Development Innovation and Change (MiDIC), and President of the undergraduate  course in Development and International Co-Operation (Svic), both at the University of Bologna. His main fields of interest are the analysis of technological change and innovation, of local systems of production, the theory of the firm, and the evolutionary theory.


Selected Publications

  • Antonietti R., Ferrante M., Leoncini R. (2015), Infrastructure Endowment, Social Capital and Outsourcing: Evidence from Emilia Romagna, Italy, in Karlsson C., Johansson B. and Stough R. (eds.), Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy: Knowledge, Technology and Internationalization, Edward Elgar.
  • De Liso N. and Leoncini R. (eds.) (2010), Internationalization, Technological Change and the Theory of the Firm, Routledge, London (New 2014 Paperback Edition).
  • Antonietti R., Ferrante M., Leoncini R. (2014), Spatial agglomeration, production technology and the choice to make and/or buy. Empirical evidence from the Emilia Romagna machine tool industry, Regional Studies, Vol. 48, n. 2, pp. 284-300,
  • Franco C., Leoncini R. (2013), Measuring China’s innovative capacity. A stochastic frontier exercise, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Vol. 22, n. 2, pp. 199-217,
  • Leoncini R., Rentocchini F. (2012), Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! Estimating cocaine production using a novel dataset based on reported seizures of laboratories, International Journal of Drug Policy, vol. 23, pp. 449-457,


FRIAS Research Project

Innovation and inequality

This research project aims to analyse the relationships between innovation and inequality from an evolutionary economics viewpoint. As innovation is the engine through which economic systems progress, it is the main determinant of the structural dynamics of the economies, and in turn is one of the main elements to determine the patterns of income distribution. However, as the institutional set-up is one of the main elements determining the rate and direction of technological learning in the economy, the relationships between innovation and inequality implies the analysis of the fundamental role of different institutional settings.

Moreover, the results of structural change on inequality are to be evaluated within a multidisciplinary perspective. Therefore, the evaluation of the impact of innovative activity on inequality must also consider how it impacts on the social fabric of the economy at large, thus giving rise to a set of dynamics related to the societal positions of the agents involved. Different social groups are affected in different ways, according to their capacity to embed structural modification within their preferences and lifestyles. Hence, social groups, and the individuals within them, share common elements that form persistent structures in their behaviour and that are conditioned by a set of institutions and practices.