Bocconi Gives Awards for Research that Changes the World Around Us
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Bocconi Gives Awards for Research that Changes the World Around Us

THE MANAGEMENT OF FAMILY FIRMS, THE COST OF ORGANIZED CRIME AND PROXY VOTING ARE THE TOPICS OF BOCCONI RESEARCH WITH AN IMPACT ON OUR SOCIETY AND BUSINESS

Guido Corbetta, Alessandro Minichilli and Paolo Pinotti are the winners of Bocconi’s 2019 Annual Award for Research Impact, while Gaia Balp has been given the Legal Studies Award 2019.
 
The Annual Award for Research Impact, in its fourth edition, was established to stimulate the production of research relevant both to the scientific community and society. Eligible works need to have been published between 7 and 3 years ago and are rated based on citations and impact on the public debate and policymaking.
 
Guido Corbetta and Alessandro Minichilli (Department of Management and Technology) have been awarded for their Is Family Leadership Always Beneficial?, a paper published in 2013 in Strategic Management Journal that resolves the debate concerning the performance of family firms. Whereas some studies blame the family management for underperformance, others underscore the value of family management, which mitigates agency costs. Relying on Bocconi University’s Observatory AUB on Italian Family Businesses, this paper suggests that smaller family firms with concentrated ownership outperform others, while larger family firms with dispersed ownership underperform. The Italian Association of Family Businesses has acknowledged the findings, following which it issued the “Italian Code for Private Family Firms” that has been endorsed by bodies such as the Italian Association of Bankers, the Italian Stock Exchange, and the Italian Private Equity, Venture Capital and Private Debt Association. Several companies, such as UniCredit Bank, incorporate this study in their training sessions.
 
Paolo Pinotti has been awarded for The Economic Costs of Organised Crime: Evidence from Southern Italy, published in The Economic Journal in 2015. Prof. Pinotti uses synthetic controls to study the influence of mafia activity on post-war economic development in two regions in southern Italy, finding that a mafia presence reduces GDP per capita by 16%. He further argues with evidence that this GDP reduction reflects a net loss of economic activity owing to a substitution of private capital with public investment.  Beyond significant academic interest and media attention, Prof. Pinotti’s findings have been widely discussed in official documents of national and international agencies including the Bank of Italy, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum.
 
The Legal Studies Award goes to the author of a law publication in the last year which is outstanding for its originality and innovativeness, methodological rigor, relevance for comparative law and impact on the scientific community.
 
This year’s winner is Gaia Balp for her book I consulenti di voto (Egea, 2017). The book provides a comprehensive assessment of the regulatory challenges on both sides of the Atlantic posed by the impact of proxy advisors on institutional investor voting, corporate stewardship and the beneficial owners of the assets under management. The issue is analyzed from the standpoint not only of corporate governance, but also end-investor protection, showing that an effective solution to the many problems raised by proxy advisors cannot be limited to enhancing proxy advisors’ transparency, but should also leverage the regulatory framework for institutional intermediaries, possibly based on the rules governing critical business process outsourcing to external service providers.
 
 
Research awards also include prizes to 34 professors who published scholarly articles in the most prestigious journals in 2018. CLICK HERE to find out who they are and where they were published.

In addition to the research awards, 31 teaching awards have also been assigned. CLICK HERE to learn more.
 
CLICK HERE for a gallery of the prize-giving ceremony.

by Fabio Todesco

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