Mercoledì 30 maggio 2018 dalle 16 alle 18 nell’Aula Seminari del Dipartimento di Economia Marco Biagi (Via Berengario 51 – Modena) il gruppo PUMA organizza la Tavola Rotonda: “Le società partecipate: al servizio del pubblico? La supervisione ed il controllo dei Comuni sulle performance delle partecipate”.


  • Andrea Bosi, Assessore al Bilancio, Comune di Modena;
  • Vittorio Boccaletti, Direttore del Servizio Risorse economiche del Comune di Piacenza;
  • Johan de Kruijf, Professore presso Radboud University (Paesi Bassi) e Visiting professor di Public Management, Dipartimento di Economia Marco Biagi.

La Tavola Rotonda mira a comprendere come impostare un corretto rapporto tra i Comuni e le loro partecipate tramite il confronto tra i relatori e le relative prospettive d’analisi.

È gradita email di conferma della partecipazione a: e/o

During the second semester of the A.Y. 2017-2018 (April -June 2018) our research Group and the Department of Economics “Marco Biagi” (DEMB) have the pleasure to host as a visiting professor Prof. Yuliya Kasperskaya (Business School – Universitat de Barcelona).

On Tuesday May 22 2018, h 14,15 Prof Kasperskaya will present to the department staff   her research paper (written together with Ramon Xifré)

Budgeting for fiscal discipline? The role of budget procedures in OECD countries in the wake of the crisis”


We analyze whether administrative budgeting procedures such as performance budgeting, budget transparency and medium-term frameworks are associated with better fiscal performance among OECD countries between 2008 and 2014. We found that in this period, OECD countries naturally separate into two groups in fiscal terms that, however, they do not have distinctive budgetary patterns. Belgium and Norway represent the cases which stand out: they display good fiscal trajectories (conditionally on the economic growth/decline) without strongly employing these three procedures. After analyzing their fiscal and public management systems, our results suggest that a standard package of budget procedures for enhancing fiscal discipline does not exist. Rather, some idiosyncratic elements of national budgeting systems play a key role.

During the second semester of the A.Y. 2017-2018 (February-June 2018) our research Group and the Department of Economics “Marco Biagi” (DEMB) have the pleasure to host as a visiting professor Prof. J.A.M. (Johan) de Kruijf (Radboud Universiteit, NIJMEGEN – Netherlands)

Prof. de Kruijf will lecture in the course on “Public Management II- Public Accounting” of the Master Degree programme on “Economics and Public Policies” on the Department of Economics “Marco Biagi” (DEMB). He will be in charge of half of the course and his lectures will be about Devolution of government services, agentification and control of agencies.

On Tuesday March 27 2018, h 14,15 Prof de Kruijf will present to the department staff 

his research paper:

“The Dutch Pensionsystem: challenges while being wealthy?!”


On Monday, March 19th, Corriere della Sera ran an article on the problems in the Italian pension provision landscape. The article made some comments on the low level of accrued savings for future pensions next to the state provided pensions. Furthermore, reference was made to the substantial increase in accrued savings in countries like the UK, US, Switzerland and the Netherlands, all having accrued more than GDP in pension savings. The point made in the article is only half of the story. For example, in the US, public secor pension plans are substantially underfunded (e.g. Chen, 2018; Wang & Peng, 2016). In the Mercer Global Pension Index (2017), Italy and the USA are classified in the same group, althoug Italy is at the lower end of the group and the USA at the top end of the group. So accrued savings only is not enough, as Mercer notes (ibid, p. 6) that without improvements, efficacy and long term sustainability of the system in both countries is at stake. In the same list, the Netherlands is together with Denmark and Australia at the top of the list with a close to sustainable rating. However, when you would go out on the streets and ask employees or their representatives on how they think on the current status of the Dutch pension system, you would hear a totally different story. With some flexibility you might even claim that a one issue political party has won four seats at the last election and a member of another party managed to win a seat despite being placed on a low position by his party. Currently, this man is one of the more prominent and visible members of parliament. So a, from an economic rationale, good system that is recognised all over the world as being a good an fair system is facing legitimacy problems within the country. In this lecture I will try to address some of the issues that have led to the current state of affairs in the Netherlands. Part of the work is based on an academic approach of the problem, part of it will be based on my own experience of being responsible for a mid sized Dutch pension plan for over a decade

From 17th  to 23rd November 2017 our research Group and the Department of Economics “Marco Biagi” (DEMB) have the pleasure to host as a visiting professor Prof. Nick Sciulli (Victoria University, Melbourne – Australia)

On Tuesday 21st November 2017, h 14,15 Prof Sciulli will present his research paper:  An examination of the role of accounting to ‘re-build’ local councils following a natural disaster

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of accounting in re-building communities following flood events which occurred in Victoria (Australia) and Tuscany (Italy). The project uses semi-structured, in-depth interviews to gather data from senior managers working in local councils affected by the flood events. Inductive analysis is used to derive themes from the data. Consistent with the theory of calculative rationality, we find evidence on how Victoria LCs decision makers base their preferences on what can be defined, counted and measured. In a similar way, both the Tuscan and the Victorian LCs were pressured from the outset of the floods to provide adequate information regarding the damages suffered by households and local firms. In addition, the Tuscan LCs appear to use the financial information as a tool of accountability toward local communities.

From 17th May 2016 to 20th May 2016 our research Group and the Department of Economics “M. Biagi” (DEMB) have the pleasure to host as a visiting professor Prof. Jan van Helden (Groningen University, the Netherlands)

  • On Tuesday 17th May  from h 10.15 to h 11.45 in aula seminari (Department of Economics “M. Biagi” – west wing viale J. Berengario 51, Modena), Prof. van Helden will offer a lesson at the Msd course of “Public Management II – Contabilità Pubblica” ( held by prof. Eugenio Caperchione) on:
    “A challenging Research Agenda For Politicians: Use Of Accounting Information”.
  • On Wednesday 18th May from h 14,15 in aula 2 (Department of Economics “M. Biagi” – west wing viale J. Berengario 51, Modena), Prof. van Helden will offer a research seminar on:
    “Performance management: differences between private and public Sector”.


The paper develops a framework which links the dimensions of the public/private-distinction (ownership, funding, control and type of goals) to the design and use of performance management systems (PMS). This framework subsequently informs a literature review, which can be summarized as follows: Multidimensionality of the PMS is core in both public and private sector organisations, but quite many private sector papers point to a financial focus at the top of the PMS, while public sector organisations show a broad variety of performance indicators, including those on societally relevant goals. In addition, a link between the PMS and strategies can be found in the public and the private sector, but the match between different strategies and PMS-design is more elaborated in the private sector. These findings are largely in accordance with our expectations. The review also finds support for the assumption that performance information in public sector organisations is primarily used for external accountability reasons, while internal managerial control is the main purpose in private firms. The use of performance information is quite intensive and mostly functional in both sectors, which does not meet our expectations. Overall, the differences between performance management practices in the public and private sector are less stringent than expected.

see also:

From 22nd February 2016 until the end of the second semester our research Group and the Department of Economics “M. Biagi” (DEMB) have the pleasure to host as a visiting professor Prof. Hiroko Kudo (Chuo University, Tokio, Japan) .

Prof. Kudo will teach International Accounting:

  • in Modena at the Department of Economics ” M. Biagi”, in the Msd course in “Public Management II- Contabilità Pubblica” held by prof. Eugenio Caperchione.
  • in Reggio Emilia at the Department of Comunication and Economics, in the Msd course in “Contabilita’ e controllo di gestione nelle aziende pubbliche” held by prof. Eugenio Caperchione.

From 25th January 2016 to 5th February 2016 our research Group and the Department of Economics “M. Biagi” (DEMB) have the pleasure to host as a visiting professor Prof. Nils Soguel (Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP),  University of Lausanne). Page en Français Page in English

On Tuesday 26th January 2016, from 14,15 to 15,30 in Aula Seminari (Department of Economics “M. Biagi” – west wing viale J. Berengario 51, Modena), Prof. Nils Soguel will present his paper “Does personal background influence a finance minister to cook the books? An Investigation of Creative Accounting in Swiss Cantons”.

This article aims to identify the factors influencing the use of creative Accounting in the public sector. Its distinctive feature is that it sheds light on creative accounting when used, not to hide public deficits, but to conceal surpluses. It especially explores the impact of the finance minister’s background on the phenomenon. We take advantage of the quasi-experimental settings of the Swiss cantons in which the financial management act sets out the possibility of implementing certain accounting gimmicks, including mainly additional ‘depreciation’ charges. These charges, which are depreciations in name only, enable the finance minister to artificially inflate expenses, thus increasing the deficit or reducing the surplus. Our panel dataset of the 26 cantons over the period 1980- 2012 includes a new dataset of creative accounting and of 116 cantonal finance ministers. Our results indicate that the finance ministers cook the books irrespective of their personal or ideological background with the exception that trained economists tend
to apply creative accounting more. Additionally, stringent fiscal rules urge finance ministers toward more surplus-hiding Accounting.

From 2nd to 13th November 2015 our research Group and the Department of Economics “M. Biagi” (DEMB) have the pleasure to host as a visiting professor Prof em. dr Christoph Reichard (Public and Nonprofit Management) (Reichard presentation and Reichard selected publications)  from Universität Potsdam, Germany (

Prof Reichard will work with PUMA research Group members, discuss with the DEMB faculty, meet students, and offer:

  •  Four lectures (about “New Institutional Variants of Public Service Delivey” and on “Public Sector managerial reforms” both with a comparative approach) at the Msd course in “Public Management I-Economia delle Aziende Pubbliche” held by Anna Francesca Pattaro.
  • Three PhD seminars (about “Internationalization of PhD-training and publication strategies”, “Discussion on PhD students research projects” and “Competences in public sector education and training”) at the Doctoral Research programme in “Labour, Development and Innovation” of the Marco Biagi Foundation and the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia ( ).

Il 12 ottobre scorso, presso il Dipartimento di Economia Marco Biagi, si è svolta una giornata di formazione avente ad oggetto l’introduzione del Documento Unico di Programmazione (DUP) tra gli strumenti della programmazione degli enti locali, come previsto dalla riforma della contabilità pubblica entrata in vigore a partire dal 1 gennaio 2015.

L’incontro, tenuto dalla dottoressa Elisa Mori (assegnista di ricerca presso il Dipartimento) e dalla dottoressa Giulia Olivetti (istruttore direttivo presso il Comune di Carpi) è stato rivolto agli operatori degli enti locali ed ha avuto l’obiettivo di proporre un modello operativo utile a coloro che sono impegnati per la prima volta nella redazione del DUP.

On 12th October 2015 the Department of Economics “M. Biagi” has hosted a workshop on the “Implementation of the new Document Unique for Programming (DUP – Documento Unico di Programmazione) of Local Governments” introduced by the Public Accounting Reform of 2009. This document has become compulsory since last 1st January 2015.

The workshop aimed at proposing to civil servants involved in the implementation of this new document an empirical and operational model of it.

The workshop, involving civil servants from local governments of Emilia-Romagna Region, has been organized and conducted by Elisa Mori (post-doc granter of DEMB and member of PUMA research group) and Giulia Olivetti (Municipality of Carpi and former research granter of DEMB).

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