Institute for Economic Research: new organisational structure, serving the regional economy
Institutional Communication Service
Prof. Mario Jametti is the new Director of the Institute for Economic Research (IRE) from 1 January 2022. He is joined by Deputy Director Prof. Barbara Antonioli Mantegazzini and a team of researchers to ensure the continuity of the activities at the landmark institute of USI, which has recently celebrated its 60th anniversary. The new managers of IRE thus continue on the consolidation path of the Institute set by their predecessors, Prof. Remigio Ratti and Prof. Rico Maggi.
The new Director Mario Jametti is, since 2017, Full professor at the USI Faculty of Economics: his main research interests are in public finance, applied microeconomics and applied econometrics. Prof. Jametti will be in charge of managing the Institute, of the collaboration agreement with the Canton, and for academic research: "IRE performs applied research in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland by mandate of the Canton Ticino, for which we are probably best known, but it also offers training and academic research, thanks to competitive funds obtained from the Swiss National Science Foundation. One of my objectives is to further consolidate the synergies with other professors in the Faculty of Economics, by integrating academic research even more closely with the concrete vision of the region to the benefit of the community".
Deputy Director Barbara Antonioli Mantegazzini is, since 2021, Adjunct professor at the USI Faculty of Economics: her research interests mainly concern public economics, focusing on the economics, management and regulation of public utilities (traditional and renewable energies, environment, water and waste). In the new organisational structure of IRE, she is the reference person responsible for the services the Institute provides to the region: "My goal is to continue to foster applied research that can generate a positive impact on businesses and social welfare. In this sense, it is important to continue to share and discuss the results with our stakeholders, in a logic of mutual cooperation and constant interaction".
The IRE is an academic institute that focuses on analysing topics such as economic dynamics and regional economic competitiveness, the labour market, tourism, public finance, energy policies, mobility and transport in a regional context. The Institute, which is mandated by the Department of Finances and Economy (DFE) of the Canton of Ticino, traditionally represents a point of reference in applied economic research, while providing services to the economy and institutions (public and private) in the Canton. IRE performs research and delivers its services via three Observatories, each of which responds to specific needs expressed by institutional and entrepreneurial, public and private stakeholders: the Tourism Observatory (O-Tur) – which investigates and shares knowledge in the tourism sector – the Observatory for Economic Dynamics (O-De) – a research, analysis and monitoring tool for local economic competitiveness – and the Observatory for Public Finance and Energy (O-FpE) - which monitors and analyes public finances and the competitiveness of the energy market in Ticino. Several researchers at the Institute take part in important working groups and commissions, such as the Tripartite Commission and Regio Insubrica, to support public decision-makers.
Established in 1961 as an administrative unit of the Cantonal administration as the Bureau of Economic Research (URE) with the task of observing trends in the regional economy, in 1990 the Office became the Institute for Economic Research (IRE). In 1996, IRE relocated to Lugano, at the newly established Università della Svizzera italiana and soon after integrated in the Institute of the Faculty of Economics, where it performed its research activities according to a more strictly academic logic with the recruitment of doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers. From 1972 to 1999, the Institute was led by Prof. Remigio Ratti, followed by Prof. Rico Maggi from 2000 to 2021.