I am Professor of Empirical Economics at the University of Regensburg, in Germany. I grew up in Rome, where I studied Business Administration (BA) and Economics and Finance (Msc) at LUISS. During my early studies, I realized that my professional aspiration was to use the tools of Economics to address social problems and make the world a better place. This aspiration led me to pursue an MPhil in Economics at the University of Oxford (2007-2009) and then a PhD in Economics at the University of Zurich (2010-2015).
During my first coursework at Oxford, I was struck by the narrow vision that mainstream economics had about human motivation in the workplace. Most economic models were based on the assumption that workers are purely driven by financial motives. Very little attention was devoted to intrinsic motivation. However, I had a different picture of the working life. I always thought that a job is, can be (and perhaps “should be”), so much more than just a paycheck. Therefore, I decided to devote my research to deepen our understanding of the meaning of work, focusing on both its monetary and non-monetary dimension, and to develop a richer, more human, economic framework of work motivation.
In Zurich, I learned to appreciate a multidisciplinary academic environment, the empirical strength of cleverly designed laboratory and field experiments and, more importantly, I met Roberto Weber. Under his amazing supervision, I completed my PhD dissertation — consisting of both theoretical and experimental studies — on the role of the job mission as a tool to attract, motivate and screen workers.
I went to the job market in January 2015 and received several offers. I decided to accept a tenure-track position at the University of Cologne. But before starting in Cologne, I had the unique opportunity to visit Stephan Meier at Columbia Business School. Together with this inspiring and extremely clever scholar, I dug deeper into the topics I was so passionate about, such as corporate social responsibility and the meaning of work. While it was hard to leave New York, my four years in Cologne were very formative as I started to fill increasingly at ease in the shoes of a (junior) professor. My academic profile was taking more and more shape. I had a clear research agenda and could align my teaching with my research interests by developing new courses on social entrepreneurship and on intrinsic motivation and leadership. It was such a blessing to be able to convey the students my enthusiasm about these topics! Furthermore, during these four years I could finally harvest the products of the long and hard labor of my PhD by seeing my papers finally being published. But most importantly, during this time, I gave birth to my two adorable sons, Lorenz and Julian. In June 2019, around the same date of Julian’s birth, I received the official offer for the position at the University of Regensburg.
So now, here I am… living in a small old farm in the Bavarian country-side in the north-east of Munich with my family… and all the little big wonders of nature.