Foto del docente

Daniela Iorio

Associate Professor

Department of Economics

Academic discipline: SECS-P/01 Economics


Keywords: political economy, health economics, human capital


  • A. Gandhi, D. Iorio, C. Urban “Negative Advertising and Political Competition”, Journal of Law Economics and Organization, 2016, Vol 32(3).

Winner of the sixth Oliver E. Williamson Prize for Best Article in JLEO

Press reactions: LSE US Centre Coverage, Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg, Northwest Herald, Hartford Courant.

  • The Fiscal Effect of Political Tenure, joint with A. Cintolesi and A. Mattozzi (2022) CEPR Discussion Paper No.17709

Abstract: We assemble a comprehensive dataset covering a large set of old and new democracies over four decades to document the dynamics of rulers alternating in office. We construct a measure of the tenure accumulated in office by the ruling party (or a coalition of parties) since the establishment of a democracy. Our measure reveals a large variation in the political tenure of rulers alternating in office and uncovers an important fiscal effect of political tenure. A ten percent increase in tenure rises government expenditure, measured as percentage of GDP, of 0.23 percentage points, and deficit of 0.21 percentage points over the period 1972-2014. We outline a conceptual framework that accounts for the uncovered empirical relationship and suggest the relevance of a fading 'honeymoon effect", which revisits Olson (1984) argument on the dynamic effect of distributional coalitions. The older the ruling group, the more divisive the available policies that can be implemented, which require costly transfers in the form of public expenditure to keep the group together.


  • Who turns out to vote? A Fresh Look to an Old Question, joint with G. Bellettini, C. Berti-Ceroni, G. Prarolo, and C. Monfardini (2023) CEPR Discussion Paper No.17819

Abstract: Exploiting an individual-level administrative dataset in a large Italian municipality, we investigate the impact of income shocks and exposure to ethnic diversity on electoral turnout. A large positive income shock increases turnout only among the poor, while both adverse income and diversity shocks tend to dampen turnout. Estimates are larger at the lower tail of the income distribution, where a large negative income shock reduces turnout by 7.9%, and among poor elderly people whose turnout drops by 13.5%. The entry of a populist party induces a relative increase (decrease) in turnout among the poor (rich) who suffered an income loss.



  • "Mindful Parenting Intervention MinUTo App for Parents of Preschool Children: Study Protocol of a Radomised Control Trial," 2022, joint with A. Guarini, A. Sansavini, C. Suttora, S. Bortolotti, M. Fort, C. Monfardini,. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 19(7564).

  • "Health Outcomes, Personality Traits, and Eating Disorders," 2021, joint with J. Ham and M. Sovinski, Economic Policy, Vol. 36(105).
  • T. Arduini. D. Iorio, E. Patacchini "Weight, Reference Points and the Onset of Eating Disorders", 2019, Journal of Health Economics, Vol.65.
  • J. Ham, D. Iorio, M. Sovinsky “Disparities in Bulimia Nervosa: Who is left behind?”, Economics Letters, 2015, 136, pp. 147 - 150

Press Reactions: Chicago-Sun Times ; Guardian; Science Update (radio feature for Science); PBS, Tavis Smiley; Washington Post, The Root; Teen Vogue.

  • J. C. Ham, D. Iorio, M. Sovinsky “Caught in the Bulimic Trap?: Persistence and State Dependence of Bulimia Among Young Women”, Journal of Human Resources, 2013, 48, pp. 736 - 767

Working Papers

  • A Quantitative Theory of the HIV Epidemic: Education, Risky Sex and Asymmetric Learning‘ Alemán, C, D Iorio and R Santaeulàlia-Llopis (2024) , CEPR Discussion Paper No. 18733.

Abstract: We explore learning about HIV infection odds from risky sex as a new mechanism explaining the Sub-Saharan Africa HIV epidemic. Our novel empirical evidence reveals a U-shaped relationship between education and being HIV positive across epidemic stages, which prompts the idea of asymmetric learning: more educated individuals potentially learn faster and update their (latent) beliefs about infection odds more accurately than less educated individuals, inducing earlier sexual behavioral change among the more educated. Our nonstationary model incorporates three HIV epidemic stages, chronologically: a myopic stage where agents are unaware of how risky sex causes infections, a learning stage where agents update beliefs on infection odds, and an ARV stage reflecting treatment introduction. Anchored in the micro evidence---explaining the HIV-education gradient---we find that our learning mechanism is powerful: a 5-year earlier learning reduces new AIDS deaths by almost 45%, and a 10-year earlier learning results in a 60% drop.

  • The Unequal Battle against Infertility: Theory and Evidence from IVF Success, joint with F. Groes, A. Houstecka, and R. Santaeulalia-Llopis, (2024), BSE WP 1421.

Abstract: Using Danish administrative data, we show that IVF success is associated with maternal education: College-educated women have a 9% higher live birth chance than high schooleducated women and 25% higher than dropouts. We exclude infertility causes, health, clinics, finances, and partner attributes as drivers. Instead, we focus on latent factors like ability and psychological traits. First, we show how proxies for these factors like Grade Point Average (GPA) shape IVF success. Second, we build a dynamic model of post-IVFfailure dropout where women differ in latent ability and psychological costs. Our model counterfactuals imply that ability explains 87% of the education gradient in IVF success. We discuss policy implications.



  • A New Time-Use Diary App to Measure Parental Investments, joint with M. Bigoni, S. Bortolotti, M. Fort, A. Guarini, C. Monfardini, A. Sansavini, D. Sansone, C. Suttora (2023), IZA Discussion Paper No. 16661

Abstract: We introduce a new app that collects 24-hour parental time diaries. To assess its validity, we leverage data from a sample of more than 500 parents with pre-school aged children. Our findings show that our tool is reliable and delivers high-quality data. By exploiting contextual information on the child's involvement and feelings during each activity performed with the parent, we construct new measures of parental investments that capture the quality of daily parent-child interactions. We analyse how these novel measures relate to alternative definitions and discuss the potential advantages of the adoption of our approach to time-use measurement in the rapidly growing field of research on the role of parental investments in child development.


  • Parental beliefs, behaviours and time-use investments towards pre-schoolers, joint with M. Fort, M. Bigoni, C. Monfardini, A. Guarini, A. Sansavini, R. Caputo, S. Bortolotti, C. Suttora (2023)

Abstract: Parental time investments and parenting styles are aspects of parenting that can have important effects on child development in the early years; yet, we have limited knowledge about their determinants. This paper reports on the development and initial validation of a parental beliefs survey, aimed at measuring general parental beliefs. The survey focuses explicitly on parental time investments in preschoolers and takes into account the differential role of the type of activity performed, as well as the role of parental engagement with the child. Using two distinct samples from the same population, we demonstrate that the parental belief indicators we propose have good internal validity and consistency. Most importantly, they correlate in the expected direction with parental behavior, specifically the time parents spend with the child.

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