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Open seminars

Misum hosts seminars regularly throughout the academic year. We invite distinguished academics and high-level industry professionals to present recent research and publications on topics related to sustainable markets.



Seminar topic: Advancing the shift to a circular economy by adopting an actor engagement lens

About Katrien:

Katrien Verleye is an Associate Professor of Service Innovation and - together with Prof. dr. Bart Larivière - running the CSI-UGent – the Center for Service Intelligence at Ghent University. Within the domain of service innovation, her main research interests relate to multi-actor engagement and value co-creation - also in the context of transitions to a circular economy. Katrien serves the editorial boards of Journal of Business Research, Journal of Service Research, Journal of Service Management, and the Journal of Service Theory and Practice and her own research is published in these and other service, marketing, and management journals. 


Circular business models (CBMs) are on the rise in the transition to a more circular and sustainable economy. Yet, their development, launch, and adoption are challenged by actors being reluctant to join the transition to a circular economy or even impeding it. Against this background, this research theorizes about how to achieve circular economy engagement (i.e., an actor’s disposition to embrace CBMs). Based upon an abductive analysis of 133 CBM papers with the Motivation-Opportunity-Ability (MOA) framework as organizing structure, this research highlights and illustrates the role of (1) signaling and convincing as motivation-related practices, (2) matching and legitimizing as opportunity-related practices, and (3) supporting and empowering as ability-related practices. This research provides illustrative cases for each of these practices along with a discussion of the theoretical and practical implications and the remaining challenges for researchers and practitioners—all with the key aim to push the transition to a circular economy forward.


JUNE 2024

Yogita Shamdasani.png

Seminar topic: Habit Formation in Labor Supply

About Yogita:

Yogita Shamdasani is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the National University of Singapore and her research interests lie at the intersection of development and labor economics. Yogita is an affiliate of JPAL and CEPR, and a research fellow at IZA. Prior to joining NUS, Yogita was an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh.


We posit that labor supply is not a stable function of preferences for leisure, but rather is also determined by one's past habituation to work. In existing data, we show that exogenously induced transitory changes in labor supply increase supply in subsequent days - indicating that inter-temporal labor supply elasticity can actually be positive, rather than negative. To further examine this phenomenon, we undertake a field experiment with casual urban stand workers in Chennai, India, where appearance at the stand in the morning provides a revealed preference measure of labor supply. We randomly provide some workers incentives for attendance over 2 months (phase 1), and examine persistence after incentives are removed for another 2 months (phase 2). We find that a 22% increase in labor supply in phase 1 generates a persistent 17% increase in supply in phase 2 - leading to a 11% increase in total employment. These findings have relevance for understanding the reasons for irregular work attendance and high worker turnover among low income workers, which impede the transition to formal work in this setting as well as generating significant costs to potential employers. They also suggest that the effects of unemployment spells may go beyond income loss: unemployment itself can lower a worker's productivity - offering a potential justification for the "unemployment scar'' phenomenon documented in the labor literature, where employers prefer not to hire workers out of unemployment. Overall, they suggest that "work ethic'' is an endogenous feature of human capital stock.


MAY 2024


Seminar topic: Collaborating for Community Regeneration: Facilitating Partnerships in, Through, and for Place

About Jennifer:

Jennifer Brenton is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan. She has a PhD in Management from Memorial University of Newfoundland and prior scholarly affiliations with the University of Cambridge Judge Business School and Harvard University, Jennifer's expertise spans social enterprise, community-based enterprise, and cross-sector work.

Prior to her current position, Jennifer held prestigious fellowships at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, where she further honed her skills and insights in economics, history, and politics. She earned her PhD in environmental economics from Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, building upon her foundational studies in economics with a BA (Honors) from Delhi University and an MA in International and Development Economics from Yale University. 


Cross-sector partnerships (CSP) are increasingly recognized as essential for addressing our world’s mounting sustainability challenges. However, place is often considered merely as a contextual backdrop for these partnerships in CSP research. In this study, we focus on the ways in which place, including the natural, built, and cultural dimensions of geographic locations, is actively leveraged to facilitate cross-sector collaboration. Employing a qualitative and engaged research approach, we helped organize and studied two workshops held in small communities on the east coast of Canada whose goal was to build a cross-sector network ofcommunity leaders focused on revitalizing communities suffering from the collapse of their primary industry, the cod fishery. We show how the staging of place fostered deeper connections among participants by reducing barriers to participation, intensifying contact with others, and enabling participants to share local knowledge. In turn, connecting through place prompted participants to recognize a shared purpose and sense of belonging, two key elements for building cross-sector collaboration.


MARCH 2024


Seminar topic: Firm presence, environmental quality, and agglomeration: Evidence from a large scale randomized relocation

About Namrata Kala:

Namrata Kala is an Associate Professor in Applied Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where she brings her expertise as an economist with a focus on environmental and development economics. Her research delves into understanding how firms and households navigate and adapt to environmental changes and regulations, exploring topics such as the impacts of environmental technologies and worker training incentives. 


Firm location decisions are one of the most important decisions managers make, optimizing factors such as proximity to customers, suppliers, and useful information. The inherent endogeneity of firm location decisions renders estimating the impact of firm presence difficult. In this paper, we use an environmental relocation policy that randomly moved over 20,000 small firms operating within city limits in New Delhi to industrial areas outside the city over several years. We find that a reduction in firm presence improves measured air quality, but is costly for firms: relocated firms have a high rate of exit, which increases in the distance relocated. The exit effect could have been mitigated by 8-20% of the counterfactual exit rate by allocating firms to plots in the industrial area optimally, rather than the uniform random assignment pursued by the government.




Seminar topic: Nature as Infrastructure

About Erik Berglöf:

As the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s inaugural Chief Economist, Erik Berglöf leads the planning, implementation and supervision of the Economics Department's work plan in support of the Bank’s mandate. Prior to joining AIIB in September 2020, he was Director of the Institute of Global Affairs, London School of Economics, and Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 2006 to 2015, where he was part of creating and co-led the Vienna Initiative, a European crisis response team credited with mitigating the impact of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

Report abstract:

In December the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) unveiled its 2023 Asian Infrastructure Finance report, “Nature as Infrastructure” at COP28 in Dubai, where it facilitated a panel discussion of industry experts on the topic. Drawing on extensive data and case studies from all over the world, the “Nature as Infrastructure” report points to opportunities to maximize nature as our most critical infrastructure and outlines potential solutions toward a nature-positive future.




Seminar topic: Nothing Saves the World: Accounting for Nature and the 'Common Good'

About Professor Quattrone:

Paolo Quattrone is Professor of Accounting, Governance and Society at the Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. His research relates to two big issues. The first of these concerns how decisions are made under radical uncertainty and ambiguity and looks at the role that data visualizations and governance mechanisms play in decision-making processes. The second area of research concerns the notion of ‘value’ and its fluidity and volatility, and the need to rethink reporting to adjust to the contemporary social contexts, markets and technologies.




Seminar topic: Inclusive Enterprise Data Collection: An Examination of Public and Pilot Data from Sub-Saharan Africa.

About Assistant Professor Hardy:

Morgan Hardy is Assistant Professor of Economics at NYU Abu Dhabi. Her research focuses broadly on private enterprise development and employment in low-income countries. She has active field projects in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Nigeria, on topics including combatting youth unemployment, improving small business profits, community-level impacts of industrialization, gender pay inequality, and the dynamics of small business owner networks.


As our global society moves toward an increased focus on equity and inclusion, we naturally find ourselves using existing public data sources to pursue a better understanding of such issues. This project highlights the importance of considering the original sampling frame in the secondary use of data for new research, by examining the case of women-owned enterprise representation. Using data from 43 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, we document large variations in women-owned enterprise representation and estimates of gender gaps in enterprise performance between commonly available data sources. We provide empirical evidence that these differences are driven by variations in gender-blind sampling protocols. Women-owned enterprises are less likely to meet the sampling criteria for most widely available enterprise data and those that do are more positively selected on performance, relative to male-owned enterprises. We also document differences in implied policy and research priorities across data sources, driven both by target sample characteristics and survey structure. Our analysis makes clear that insights derived from these data sources may be gender-biased toward the average male owner's experience. We conclude with discussion on how to develop more inclusive enterprise data collection methods, and present preliminary findings from a new enterprise data collection endeavor in Ghana aiming to have improved gender representation.


JUNE 2023


Seminar topic: Decarbonizing Institutional Investor Portfolios

About Professor Krueger: 

Professor Philipp Krueger is Professor of Responsible Finance at the University of Geneva (GSEM, GFRI) and Senior Chair at the Swiss Finance Institute. His research spans corporate, sustainable, and behavioral finance and has been published in all three major academic Finance journals (Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies). He is a regular speaker at leading finance conferences worldwide. His research has received or been nominated for awards from organizations like the BSI Gamma Foundation, Chicago Quantitative Alliance, the Financial Management Association, and the European Financial Management Association.


We study whether and how climate-conscious institutional investors, i.e., institutions that join climate related investor initiatives, are decarbonizing their equity portfolios. Decarbonization could be achieved by re-weighting portfolios towards lower carbon emitting firms or targeted engagements with portfolio companies to reduce emissions. Our analysis suggests that portfolio re-weighting is the predominant strategy used by climate-conscious institutions to green their portfolios, in particular by investors based in countries with carbon emissions pricing schemes. Institutions also rely on engagement, particularly following the 2015 Paris Agreement. Furthermore, we find no evidence that climate conscious investors allocate capital towards firms developing climate patents, but they do re-weight towards firms generating more green revenues. Overall, our analysis raises doubts about the effectiveness of investor-led initiatives in reducing corporate carbon emissions and helping take necessary action to tackle climate change for an all-economy transition to “green the planet”.


MAY 2023


Seminar topic: Trade and Trees

About Professor Harstad: 

Bård Harstad is Professor in Economics at the University of Oslo since 2011. He is currently the Editor of the Review of Economic Studies and is a former Editor of the Journal of the European Economic Association. Prof. Harstad’s research focuses on developing the theory and political economics of environmental economics and international cooperation. He is the Principal Investigator in the project “Environmental Exploitation of Political Economics” which received a 5-year European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant in 2022, his third ERC grant.


How can trade agreements be designed to motivate environmental conservation? I develop a model that combines trade-specific investments (e.g., deforestation) with negative environmental externalities. Traditional trade agreements raise investments and reduce conservation, so the conservation value lowers the gains from trade. However, if countries can negotiate a contingent trade agreement (CTA), where default tariffs vary with changes in the production capacity (e.g., forest cover), all negative results are reversed. A simple calibration suggests that growth and liberalization can cause Brazil’s agricultural area to expand by 27%, but this expansion can be avoided if the EU and the US offer a CTA.




Seminar topic: Suboptimal climate policy





Seminar topic: Values at risk: Risk Management, Moral Discourse, and Reflective Equilibrium

About Professor Mikes: 

Anette is an Associate Professor of Accounting at Oxford Saïd and a Fellow at Hertford College. Anette was the 2017 laureate of the prestigious ACA Prize of the University of St-Gallen for her contributions to the field of risk management and financial governance. Between 2014-2019, she was a professor at HEC Lausanne, teaching risk management, management control and accounting for sustainability. Formerly at Harvard Business School, she launched (with professors Robert Kaplan and Dutch Leonard) the Harvard executive education program 'Risk Management for Corporate Leaders.' Anette completed her PhD at the London School of Economics in 2005 and worked in the City of London in 2006-7, during the 'calm before the storm,' conducting a research project among the members of the British Bankers’ Association’s Risk Advisory Panel on the role of the Chief Risk Officer. Her work on the evolution, variation, consequences and contextual determinants of risk management has appeared in Management Accounting Research; Accounting, Organizations and Society; the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance and in the Harvard Business Review.



MAY 2022


Seminar topic: Political Uncertainty and the Forms of State Capture

About Professor Wantchekon:

Leonard Wantchekon is a Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, as well as Associated Faculty in Economics. A scholar with diverse interests, Wantchekon has made substantive and methodological contributions to the fields of Political Economy, Economic History and Development Economics, and has also contributed significantly to the literatures on clientelism and state capture, resource curse and democratization.



MAY 2022


Seminar topic: The World Economic Outlook chapter: “A Greener Labor Market”