We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
A key responsibility of the Regional Economic Modelling team (JRC Seville) is the development, maintenance and use of the RHOMOLO model, a spatial computable general equilibrium model with a focus on EU regions and sectors developed in cooperation with Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) and used for policy impact assessment. A web tool has been developed to allow users to better understand how the model works by running simple simulations of structural changes (in labour productivity, total factor productivity, and transport costs) on a simplified version of RHOMOLO. Starting from 2018, the analyses carried out by the Regional Economic Modelling team are published in the JRC Working Papers series on Territorial Modelling.
In addition, the team provides analytical support to EU policy making by developing regional models and tools to address the needs of different stakeholders, including various DGs of the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB), and local authorities. A list of publications related to such activity is available here. In order to run the model, the team has developed, and constantly updates, a dataset including a consistent set of EU NUTS2-level economic variables, such as value added, employment, production and consumption for NACE Rev.2 sectors, in addition to information on bilateral trace costs and flows.
The economic impact assessment of regional policies is a complex task because it affects a wide range of macroeconomic variables such as GDP, employment, productivity, and the trade balance, which are interrelated and affected by a large number of external factors. The use of a general equilibrium model such as RHOMOLO, which accounts for inter-regional and spatial connections, is thus needed to ensure a balanced assessment of the overall consequences of a given policy not only on the regions and sectors targeted, but also on the rest of the economy. Our main contribution to policy making is therefore to create awareness on secondary effects of policies, on their unintended consequences and on their positive spillovers.
For more information, please use this contact form, or have a look at the following personal pages to contact a specific team member.
Javier Barbero joined the JRC in 2016. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, an MSc in International Economics and a PhD in economics from the same university. His main fields of interest are: Economic Theory, Location Theory, Spatial Economics, New Economic Geography, International Economics, Regional and Urban Economics, Econometrics, Networks, Computational Economics.
Martin Aarøe Christensen joined the JRC in 2013 as Research Fellow at the Information Society Unit where he developed a CGE model for the analysis of the economic impact of public ICT R&D subsidies. In 2016 he moved to the REMO team. Prior to joining JRC, Martin worked as Senior Economist at the Danish Rational Economic Agent Model (DREAM), an independent research unit under the Danish Ministry of Finance. Martin has an MSc in Corporate and International Finance from Durham University and a MA in Economics and Public Administration from Roskilde University. His current work in the REMO team focusses on the modelling of labour market participation, welfare and the modelling of R&D and technological spill-overs.
Andrea Conte is currently the project leader of the REMO team. He holds a PhD and MSc in Economics from CORIPE and the Economics Department of the University of Turin, Italy. He was a visiting research fellow at the CNR (Italian National Research Council), ISTAT (Italian National Statistical Office), ILO (International Labour Organization) and Birkbeck College (London). He was Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Economics (Jena, Germany) from 2005 to 2007. He joined the European Commission in 2008 in the Directorate General for Economic & Financial Affairs (ECFIN), Brussels, Belgium before moving to the Joint Research Centre in the Directorate "Growth and Innovation" (Seville, Spain). He is a specialist in innovation, public finance and regional policy, and has authored or co-authored a number of articles and policy notes on these issues.
Filippo Di Pietro joined the JRC in 2018. He is Professor of derivatives financial markets and financial markets and systems. He obtained a Master in Finance at the University of Bologna and a PhD in Business Administration (specializing in finance) at the University of Seville. His current research interests include corporate finance, SMEs, risk management, innovation, and the regional financial system.
Jorge Díaz Lanchas is an economist at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission since 2017. He holds a PhD in Economics and Msc in International Economics from Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain), and a Bachelor in Economics from Rey Juan Carlos University (Madrid). Before joining the European Commission, he was postdoc researcher in the Center for International Development at Harvard University (Boston, USA). Previously, we has visiting researcher at the Free University of Amsterdam, Deusto Business School, Purdue University and the Kiel University and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. He is a specialist in international trade, regional and urban economics, and has published papers in journals such as Transportation Research Part A, Spatial Economic Analysis and Applied Economic Letters. Within the Regional Modelling (REMO) team, he focuses on transport costs and trade flows analysis, and the development of the RHOMOLO model resorting to econometric techniques.
Olga Diukanova joined the JRC in 2013. She holds Bachelor and Master Degrees in Applied Mathematics and a PhD in Economics. Olga has 9 years of experience in developing computable general equilibrium models. She works with static, recursive-dynamic, forward-looking and overlapping generations models written in GAMS, GAMS/MPSGE and GEMPACK software. Olga specializes in modelling regional, trade, transport, energy and environmental policies. Her current work with the REMO team includes RHOMOLO model development, policy impact assessment and sensitivity analysis.
Patrizio Lecca joined the JRC in 2015. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Cagliari and a PhD in economics from the same university. Before joining the European Commission, Patrizio worked at the University of Strathclyde and at the Fraser of Allander Institute in Scotland. His main research interests include regional economics, environmental and energy economics. His current work in the REMO team focuses mainly on general modelling development.
Giovanni Mandras joined the JRC in 2016. He graduated in Political Science at the University of Sassari, attended the MSc in Economic management and Policy-International Financial Markets at the Strathclyde Business School (UK) and holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Cagliari. Giovanni's research focuses mainly on economic impact analysis with a specific focus on regional economics and macroeconomic modelling. His current work in the REMO team regards the organization of the model data base, and Input Output modelling.
Damiaan Persyn joined the JRC in 2012. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the Humboldt University in Berlin, separate MSc degrees in economics and statistics from the University of Leuven, and a PhD in economics from the same university. His research centres around labour and capital mobility and labour market imperfections. His current work in the REMO team focusses on the modelling of migration and labour market rigidities, and data visualisation.
Stylianos Sakkas joined the JRC in September 2016. He holds an undergraduate degree (BSc) in Economic and Regional Development from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, an MSc in Economics from Athens University of Economics and Business and a PhD in Economics from the same university. During September 2015 - December he was a Visiting Research Student at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). During the same period he worked as a Research Intern at the Hellenic Observatory of LSE. His research interests include fiscal Policy and public finance , DSGE models and regional development. His current work on the REMO team focuses on the modelling of human capital, and fiscal policy extensions of the RHOMOLO model.
Simone Salotti has a Phd and a MSc in Economics obtained at the University of Siena, Italy. Prior to coming to the JRC, he worked at the University of Firenze (Italy), the National University of Ireland Galway (Ireland), and Oxford Brookes University (UK). He joined the JRC in 2014 in the Sustainable Production and Consumption unit, now called Circular Economy and Industrial Leadership, where he was responsible for the maintenance and development of the FIDELIO macro-econometric model. In 2018 he joined the REMO team. His research interests include applied macroeconomics, fiscal policy analysis, and regional economics, and he has authored and co-authored a number of scientific articles and reports dealing with these themes.
The REMO team is part of the Territorial Development Unit of the Growth & Innovation Directorate in the Joint Research Centre (in short, JRC.B.3), located in Seville, Spain.