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Four IEB projects, selected as part of the Spanish programme to promote scientific and technical research and transfer

Four projects led by researchers from the Barcelona Institute of Economics have won funding under the Spanish national Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2021-2023, part of the Spanish Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2021- 2027. These grants seek to promote the generation of scientific and technological knowledge of excellence through the financing of research projects designed to meet current social challenges.

The projects promoted by IEB researchers (and UB professors) are: “Taxation and redistribution between globalization and decentralization”, by Dirk Foremny; “The local political economy of the Government’s response to shocks: climate change, access to housing, immigration, and pandemics”, by Professor Albert Solé; “Social policies and taxation in times of pandemic”, by Judit Vall, and “The political economy of environmental and gender equality policies”, by Pilar Sorribas.

The project led by Professor Foremny starts from the premise that, despite the increase in inequalities, the tax systems of countries have not really become more progressive – in part in order to avoid the negative secondary effects deriving from the inefficiencies caused by tax systems and the risk of tax evasion or avoidance. His research will analyse several aspects of this question.

For his part, UB professor Albert Solé is leading a project that will study the specific political effects of different types of crisis: climate, access to housing, migration and pandemics. In the case of the climate crisis, the project studies the political reaction (in terms of voters’ choices, or protests) to the location of renewable energy installations in Spain. In the case of the housing crisis, the focus is on effect of the involvement in politics of developers and builders on local housing policies and housing prices, taking data from California as a reference. In the case of the migration crisis, the project analyses the effect of living near refugee centres on voters’ decisions to support far-right parties. And, in the case of pandemics, the effect of COVID-19 on electoral support for populist parties, and on popular trust in the government, will be assessed.

The social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the social and fiscal policies that might help boost social and economic recovery are the focus of the project led by Professor Judit Vall. The idea is that the results of the project will be relevant on a social scale, providing significant new information on the impact of the pandemic on a range of social and health dimensions such as domestic violence, disease detection, general and mental health, and access and use of the health system. The project provides data that may help to improve the future management of health resources, and at the same time assesses fiscal changes necessary to promote a stable economic recovery.

Finally, Professor Sorribas’s research will focus on two topics of great importance in global political agendas: gender equality, and climate change. The project will provide evidence of the ways in which characteristics of the political environment can affect the public policies implemented with a view to encouraging attitudes and behaviours that can help mitigate gender inequality and climate change.