Call for papers


The Italian Society of Public Economics announces its XXIX Annual Conference, to be held in Catania, Italy, September 21st and 22nd, 2017 on the topic:


Public Economics and Behavioural Economics


For most of the twentieth century, positive and normative analyses of the public economic sector have developed starting from simple assumptions about individual behaviour.


Following neoclassical economics, agents have been assumed with stable preferences, selfish enough to satisfy the hypothesis that private resources are used to promote self-interest, that people are endowed with adequate computational skills or at least are able to revise mistakes in decision making through learning and market discipline, and that make expectations which are correct at least in the long run.

This view of a fully rational homo oeconomicus has been increasingly criticised in the last decades by the field of behavioral economics, which lays at the border between economics and psychology and conducts studies that have identified, and in some cases rediscovered, contradictions to classical theory. Many empirical analyses, experimental and from the field, sometimes conducted with other disciplines as in the areas of neuroeconomics and physioeconomics, have shown how easily individuals commit mistakes that are not self-corrected; have indicated that feelings and psychological emotions play a crucial role in determining people economic decisions which don't respond only to purely selfish motivations; have shown that psychological and moral sentiments affect people preferences and welfare, in some cases even their happiness; have challenged the traditional theory of revealed preferences as a basis for welfare analysis.

In addition to criticism, the work on the foundations of economic behaviour has led to more constructive research, including specifically in public economics. The variety of behaviours of individual and groups highlighted by behavioral economics has opened new challenges in the study of the role of the pubic sector in the economy, requiring renewed efforts by economics and other social scientists to understand the motivations and justifications of public intervention, to sharpen the instruments that the public sector can use, and the effects of its decisions.

A list of topics for the Conference is the following:

1      Public goods, externalities and pro-social behaviour

2      Welfare economics without revealed preferences

3      Taxation and behavioral economics

4      Neo-utilitarianism and happiness research: measures and implications for public intervention

5      Social preferences, moral behaviour and theories of inequality and poverty

6      Myopia, addiction and impatience

7      Asymmetric paternalism, nudging and new policy instruments

8      Public choice and political economy with non-standard economic agents

9      The evaluation of public policies and behavioral economics

10   How neuroeconomics and physiological economics can inform public sector economics

11   Behavioral public economics in the history of economic thoughts

The keynote speakers will be Valentino Dardanoni, University of Palermo, Italy and Arthur Schram, Amsterdam School of Economics.

Papers on issues that do not fall within the main topic of the Conference will also be considered for submission. A first draft of the paper must be submitted before June, 10th 2017 through the following link:

Submitted papers should include abstract, JEL codes and keywords.


By June 25th 2017, the Conference Scientific Committee, composed by Michele Bernasconi (Università Ca' Foscari Venice), Isidoro Mazza (Università di Catania), Massimo Paradiso (Università di Bari) will inform Authors about the acceptance of their paper. The Scientific Committee will be assisted by scholars who kindly accepted to collaborate to select papers and organize contributed and invited sessions in special areas. They are: Massimo Finocchiaro Castro (University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria), Luca Corazzini (University Ca' Foscari Venice), Paolo Di Caro (Italian Minister of Economics and Finance), Cinzia Di Novi (University of Pavia), Edoardo di Porto (University of Naples - "Federico II"), Francesco Drago (University of Messina), Matteo Maria Galizzi (London School of Economics and Political Science), Emma Galli (University of Rome -  "La Sapienza"), Giuseppe Migali (Lancaster University Management School), Luigi Mittone (University of Trento), Maria Teresa Monteduro (Italian Minister of Economics and Finance), Massimiliano Piacenza (University of  Turin), Riccardo Puglisi (University of Pavia), Chiara Rapallini (University of  Florence), Roberto Ricciuti (University of Verona), Fabio Tufano (University of Nottingham).

Proposals of invited sessions are also welcome by the Scientific Committee.

Final papers should be submitted to the previous link (as an update of the early submission) no later than September 1st, 2017. The final program of the Conference will be posted by September 12th, 2017. The submission of a paper implies the acceptance to discuss other papers presented at the Conference (or at the same session).

The authors of accepted papers will become members of the SIEP (Italian Society of Public Economics) and will be asked to confirm their presentation by registering to the Conference before September 6th, 2017. The membership fee - which corresponds to the conference fee – is 120 euros. Registration form and fee payment instructions will be available at the following link:

The 2017 edition of the SIEP prize is open to authors under the age of thirty-five. All authors of the paper must satisfy this requirement. To compete for the prize, authors must declare their intention at the time of submission.


The Conference will also host the granting of the Etta Chiuri prize: this prize is reserved to economists under forty years of age who have submitted papers on household decision-making process, housing market imperfections, illegal migration. All the details about the prize will be available at:


SIEP members are invited to circulate the call for papers to all potentially interested colleagues. Further announcements about the Conference will be published on the SIEP website:

Michele Bernasconi

SIEP President 

Pavia, February 2017