I am an Associate Professor in Political Economy. Since my arrival in Iceland, I have been employed as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Bifröst University. Since August 2014, I have taught diverse students enrolled in Business as well as Philosophy, Politics and Economics programs offered by Bifröst University, both at Master and Bachelor level. More specifically, I have been teaching the courses of ‘International political economy’, ‘Philosophy of economics’, ‘Economic growth and development’ and ‘Institutional economics’ for the last two academic years.
In designing my academic courses I start from the assumption that economic reality is extremely complex. Therefore, its understanding requires examining it from numerous points of view. This means that if we want economics to be relevant and if we want to understand how the economy works, then economics needs other social sciences. Thus, when confronted with competing explanations for the same phenomenon, students are invited to investigate what leads to different conclusions. Following the great Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal’s insights, the main goal of my courses is to re-introduce concrete realities (historical facts, functioning of institutions, cultural diversities, study of the behaviors and strategies of the agents, and so on) into the economic analysis through a critical evaluation of the logic and practical significance of leading economists and economic philosophers’ ideas.
Before moving to Iceland, I had defended my Ph.D. thesis at the Faculty of Economics, Marche Polytechnic University, Italy. In my doctoral dissertation, I discussed the rise of pension funds as a major economic and political actor in a phase of market development based on ‘competitive austerity.’ It provided two main contributions. Firstly, it analytically characterizes the role of trade unions and employers’ associations in the actual process of pension privatization. Secondly, it sheds light on the process through which interest associations express their influence on the allocation of pension savings in order to pursue long-term investments and sustainable economic growth.
I have also accumulated a deep knowledge of the Icelandic economy in the last ten years. Since 2006, I have been routinely spending time in Iceland in order to study the economic and social context of the country. The material that I collected was utilized for my Master thesis which focused on the economic structure, the evolution of employment relations as well as the transformations of bargaining structure in Iceland. This research has provided me with a good understanding of the economic phenomena with which the Icelandic social actors and policy makers are today confronted.
In addition to my expertise in labor economics, international economics, and analysis of financial institutions, I have also extensive experience in the area of political economy, macroeconomics, economic history, and economic theories of globalization. During my graduate training I was fortunate enough to serve as a teaching assistant for undergraduate level courses in of all of the aforementioned fields.
I had also the chance to supplement my theoretical knowledge of development economics with field-experience gained at the International Labour Organization (ILO), researching on pension systems, industrial relations, and labor migration in Southeast Asian Countries during the period October 2014 to February 2015.