ERC grants awarded to Isaac Baley and Sandro Shelegia

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Professor Shelegia will study digital platforms, while Professor Baley will conduct research on corporate tax reforms. Their projects expand the list of ERC grants obtained by BSE Affiliated Professors.

ERC grants are among the most prestigious and competitive research funding schemes available to European researchers. The grants were created by the European Research Council (ERC) in order to support the most promising and top researchers across all areas of science, engineering and scholarship.

Two new ERC grants have recently been awarded to Barcelona School of Economics Affiliated Professors Isaac Baley (UPF and BSE) and Sandro Shelegia (UPF and BSE).

Professor Shelegia has received an ERC Consolidator Grant for his project, “The Foundations of Antitrust and Policy on Digital Platforms.” Consolidator Grants fund talented researchers with an excellent track record, helping them establish and consolidate a research team to continue their career in Europe, awarding up to two million euros for a period of five years.

Professor Baley has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant for his project, “The Macroeconomic Effects of Corporate Tax Reforms.” Starting Grants fund excellent early-career researchers helping then work more independently, and nurturing their potential to become research leaders. These projects receive up to 1.5 million euros in funding over five years.

In the 2021 call, the success rate of applications according to open data provided by ERC were close to 12% for both grant schemes. With the new ERC Consolidator and Starting Grants for Professors Baley and Shelegia, a total of 32 competitive ERC grants have been awarded to current BSE Affiliated Professors and Research Fellows.

About the new ERC projects

“The Macroeconomic Effects of Corporate Tax Reforms”
Isaac Baley (UPF and BSE)

European Research Council Starting Grant

Professor Baley will focus his ERC Starting Grant on the impact of corporate tax reforms on the economy. Corporate taxes have large economic effects via their impact on private investment, making them key drivers of both short-term economic fluctuations and long-run growth. Corporate taxation appears to be a key component of the fiscal policy in the years to come, in connection to several economic challenges: the massive government debts accumulated during the pandemic, the secular increase in business profits, and the exhaustion of monetary policy.

The project aims to understand the macroeconomic effects of corporate taxation and determine the trade-offs associated with the possible corporate tax reforms. The project will examine aggregate productivity, firm valuation, and business cycle dynamics by means of new structural frameworks. Using a combination of theory and cross-country firm-level investment data, new systematic evidence on the macroeconomic impact of reforms will be collected. Policywise, the project will provide novel perspectives for the design and evaluation of corporate tax reforms with a long-run macroeconomic perspective considering the interaction with monetary policy.

“The Foundations for Antitrust and Policy on Digital Platforms”
Sandro Shelegia (UPF and BSE)

European Research Council Consolidator Grant

The ERC Consolidator Grant awarded to Professor Shelegia will develop his research focusing on digital platforms. As Internet markets tend to concentrate in the hands of a handful of large platforms, those have sometimes been accused of abusing their monopoly power vis-a-vis their users, including consumers, sellers and advertisers. These companies could in some cases harm users by ‘self-preferencing’ their own products or services, harvesting certain data or creating 'monopoly positions'. In turn, they would be extracting resulting rents with high fees also avoiding competition by acquiring, copying or otherwise putting potential competitors at a disadvantage.

Shelegia will study the dual role of online marketplaces, where the platform both runs the marketplace and acts as a seller on it. How do such hybrid marketplaces conduct themselves toward consumers and third party sellers? How do platforms steer consumers to sellers? What is the nature of recommendation algorithms? Could it make them self-fulfilling and self-defeating, altering the resulting allocations marketplace performance? Under what circumstances may one such company acquire an upstart (potential future competitor) platform?

Read about all the ERC projects in the BSE research community

Media coverage

UPF Press Release

Spanish Embassy in London Interview

ERC Press Release (2021 Consolidator Grants)

ERC Press Release (2021 Starting Grants)