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ERSA/RSAI Workshop 2015 Barcelona Workshop on Regional and Urban Economics: Spatial Perspectives of Human Capital

ERSA/RSAI Workshop 2015 Barcelona Workshop on Regional and Urban Economics:

Spatial Perspectives of Human Capital

November 26th-27th 2015, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Barcelona,



On November, 26th and 27th 2015, AQR-IREA hosted the ERSA/RSAI Workshop 2015 Barcelona Workshop on Regional and Urban Economics on Spatial Perspectives of Human Capital at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Barcelona. The workshop benefited from the support of the Regional Science Association International (RSAI) and the European Regional Science Association (ERSA).



Several cutting-edge research papers focused on the interconnections between Space and Human Capital were presented in Barcelona by both Senior and Young researchers. Overall, around 60 scholars and researchers attended the workshop. Its aim was to bring together researchers in urban and regional economics, as well as in other interrelated disciplines such as labour and education economics. This year the AQR’s workshop was focused on the broad concept of human capital and its interrelations with space play a fundamental role.


In the sixth edition of the AQR’s workshop, among the presenters, we had the pleasure to host up to six PhD students from different European Institutions. They presented and discussed their works with senior researchers in the field. Thanks to the financial support of the RSAI’s “Nurturing New Talent Initiative”, the workshop covered all expenses of talented young researchers and fostered their participation in this unique international scientific meeting.


Over two days twelve exciting and high quality papers were scheduled. Together with researchers from several countries, Stephen Gibbons (Department of Geography and Environment, SERC and CEP, LSE) contributed to the workshop with a Keynote Speech where he showed his worldwide recognized expertise on the topic.


On the 26th, the agenda of the event started with an opening ceremony, chaired by the vice-dean of research of the University of Barcelona, Dr. Jesús Marín. The Director of the AQR Research Group, Dr. Enrique López-Bazo and the coordinator of the workshop, Dr. Antonio Di Paolo, introduced the workshop to all attendants.


The first contributed session was focused on “schools and neighbourhoods” and included two presentations, by Marco Bertoni (Università degli Studi di Padova) and Konstantinos Tatsiramos (University of Nottingham), respectively. Next, the second contributed session was centred on the issue of mobility of human capital and comprised three works on the topic, which were presented by Massimiliano Bratti Università degli Studi di Milano), Umut Turk (a PhD student at the University of Verona) and Elise Brezis (Bar-Ilan University).

In the third session we had two papers on the strictly related issue of migration, which were presented by a PhD candidate at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute, Zhiling Wang, and by a very recent PhD graduated from Università degli Studi Sapienza, Dr. Stefania Borelli. The fourth and last contributed session of the day covered research issue that go beyond the labour market. Specifically, Ylenia Brilli (University of Gothenburg) presented a paper on the relationship between education and crime across Italian regions, while Rui Dang (a PhD student at RWI) presented a work on the effect of education on health.


On the 27th, the workshop started with the presentation of the 2015 Keynote Speaker, Stephen Gibbons (Department of Geography and Environment, SERC and CEP, LSE), who gave a very interesting talk about one of the many issues that he covered in his research activities: the estimation of neighbourhood effects on education and human capital formation. After reviewing some of the existing evidence on the issue that was presented in his previous works, Professor Gibbons highlighted the main empirical challenging in the estimation of neighbourhood effects and then concluded discussing some recent results obtained by other researchers. The fifth and last contributed session contained three papers related to issues of agglomeration and spatial sorting, which were presented by Joan Monràs (Sciences Po), Francesco Berlingeri (PhD student at ZEW) and Anja Rossen (PhD student at HWWI).


The ERSA/RSAI 2015 Barcelona Workshop on Regional and Urban Economics has been, in our view, not only a success but also a further step towards the expansion of high impact activities of Regional Science. This year’s meeting has also achieved the key objective of Nurturing Talent by investing in the next generation of Regional Scientists.


More detailed information about this last edition of the workshop is available at the website: .


We hope to meet you again in Barcelona for the 2016 edition, which will be focused on another hot topic related with Urban and Regional Economics.    


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The Regional Science Association International (RSAI), founded in 1954, is an international community of scholars interested in the regional impacts of national or global processes of economic and social change.

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