The Center for Research and Social Progress is a non-partisan and non-profit organization, which conducts research that provides the basis for thoughtful consideration to improve the role and performance of both the political and economic systems. The aim is to develop a compendium of empirical evidence that indicates a positive direction for both politics and economics.


  • Economics: Labour and Development Economics; Health Economics; Economics of Education; Applied Micro Econometrics; Policy Evaluation.
  • Political Science: Political Behavior, Political Values and Attitudes; European Union; Inequality; Mass Media; Quantitative Methodology (incl. Econometrics and Multi-level Modeling).

RESEARCH PROJECTS: Ongoing, funded projects

Health care in Italy

We are working with one major Italian consumers’ protection association (Federconsumatori Emilia Romagna) to develop and original survey instrument to collect innovative data on access to and perceived quality of the national health care system in Emilia Romagna. Together with a battery of standard questions on health care’s access, use, and quality, the survey includes orginial questions on subjective earnings’ expectations and future prospects of health care needs and responses elicited using the quantitative expectations data methodology

Italian Youth Unemployment: This project investigates the effects of  unemployment on life prospects and behaviors.

What are the employment and earnings expectations of jobless young skilled? [Binelli] In a labor market that is characterized by a record high unemployment rate and growing instability, which employment and earnings’ prospects do young adults expect to have? And what are the consequences of these expectations on their life choices and behaviors? By answering these questions, the goal of this project is twofold: first, to measure the amount of job insecurity and earnings risk that young unemployed expect to face, and, second, to assess the impact of this perceived job insecurity and earnings risk on several important choices and behaviors such as looking for a job (and which type of job), having a child, getting married, being politically active, as well as aspects of well being such as feelings of insecurity and lack of self-confidence. In order to reach these goals, I have developed an innovative questionnaire that, for the first time for a sample of young unemployed, collects a rich set of quantitative expectations data on future expected earnings and employment prospects.

See: CeRSP Working Papers Series: WP15/01: Binelli, Chiara “Employment and Earnings Expectations of Jobless Young Skilled: Evidence from Italy

What are the significant political and economic effects of job insecurity and instability? [Loveless and Binelli] Using a new measure of perceived potential job insecurity and instability effect; we estimate individuals’ expectations about job prospects as it impacts their political behaviors. Access to the INPS database on Italian households allows us to reconstruct variation in meso- and macro-level contexts to help in explaining observed variation in political orientation; engagement; and attitudes.

This project is currently funded by the INPS Visiting Scholars program

See: CeRSP Working Papers Series: WP17/01: Loveless, Matthew and Chiara Binelli. “Expectations of Future Economic Security and National System Support: Evidence from Italy

Individuals’ Perceptions of National-level Income Inequality in the UK: What drives individuals’ perceptions of national-level income inequality? [Loveless and Binelli]

This investigation comes from having won an international competition to add survey questions to the British Election Study Internet Panel (2014-2017).

See: CeRSP Working Papers Series: WP15/02: Loveless, Matthew and Chiara Binelli. “Explaining Individuals’ Perceptions of National-level Income Inequality in the United Kingdom

RESEARCH PROJECTS: Projects seeking funding

Youth Unemployment

This 3-year project would expand and replicate the ongoing, funded project ‘Italian Youth Unemployment. The project would field the original surveys to create a panel (i.e.: the same respondents over time) in order to capture the longitudinal effects of youth unemployment. The project would also include randomized samples from every region in Italy (to be surveyed every year for three years).

Total 3-year Budget: €236,800 [1 Academic Researcher (€195,000); Institutional Support (€10,500); Data Collection (€31,300)]

What is Social Inequality?

This 2 year project would expand and update the data collection and analysis of previously published work to include all 28 countries of the European Union. Binelli, Chiara, Matthew Loveless, and Stephen Whitefield. 2015. “What Is Social Inequality and Why Does it Matter? Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe” World Development 70: 239–248.

Abstract: We propose a comprehensive new framework to study social inequality which has enormous potential value for better understanding the life chances of individuals and the trajectories of states. We merge Amartya Sen’s capability approach – which provides a unified theory to conceptualize inequality in many dimensions – with Charles Manski’s innovative data collection methods that elicit expectations on future outcomes along these dimensions. Allying this theory and these data provides a much needed coherence in the study of inequality. This truly novel approach develops the first cross-nationally consistent, multidimensional ‘social inequality index’ that comprises a package of inequalities and that explicitly captures disparities not only in how individuals currently function but in their capacities to function in important ways, if they so wish. As an intuitive way to ‘think about’ inequality, the index will also allow for better identification of the causes and political consequences of social inequality – in the national conditions and institutions that reinforce or alleviate social inequality and in the impact of social inequality on a range of individual political attitudes and behaviors in different national contexts. We propose to collect data in in all EU countries. The project will provide for the first time an empirical and formal measure of the relationship among a variety of related inequalities which will deepen our theoretical knowledge of the nature of social inequality and will allow us properly to evaluate the relationship of social inequality to political and economic conditions and to individuals’ political orientations.

Total 2- year Budget: €1,075,000 [2 Academic Researchers (€280,000); Institutional Support (€45,000); Data Collection (€750,000)]

Quantitative Subjective Expectations and Support for National and European Union Governments

Abstract: The continuing crisis over sovereignty at the national and European Union (EU) levels has introduced a deeper uncertainty in regime evaluations; thus, there is a need to more accurately build this increase in uncertainty into our estimates about regime support. Who’s going to win the next election? How’s the economy going to be doing next year? Will there be another terrorist attack? The answers to all these questions depend on individuals’ subjective expectations about the future and bear on the way they think about the present. Yet, despite their intuitive appeal, these subjective expectations are either excluded from models of national and EU system support or assessed in outmoded and rudimentary forms. This project exploits recent methodological advances – Quantitative Expectations Data (QED) methodology to elicit individuals’ subjective expectations about uncertain futures – allowing us to build empirically testable models. The QED methodology offers the appropriate means to incorporate individuals’ prospects about uncertain future circumstances into models of support for national and EU governments’ performance and principles. The project will collect panel data sets in all 28 European member states in both 2018 and 2019 – exploiting the exogenous shock due to national elections in 16 countries and EU Parliamentary elections in all countries.

Total 4- year Budget: €1,357,000 [2 Academic Researchers (€560,000); Institutional Support (€65,000); Data Collection (€732,000)]

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We would like to host 1 to 3 graduate student interns from the fields of Economics and Political Science from regional universities per year. The program is entirely funded by contributions to the Center and is designed to put graduate students on active projects. The 3-month internships offer opportunities to do real research: to  engage the challenges of research design and implementation, to participate in data collection, to use their empirical research skills, to develop academic publications, and to work with a variety of academics. This is part of our outreach profile and as an opportunity to develop the capacities of Economics and Political Science graduate students in Italy.


See what we did in 2016: 2016 CeRSP Newsletter