RECent (Center for Economic Research) was created in April 2007 as a research center based in the Marco Biagi Economics Department of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The mission of RECent is to promote research, at the international level, in a macroeconomic, microeconomic, and statistical-econometric perspective, with a special focus on the economics of business cycles and growth. The center builds on an established tradition of research in several areas, including macroeconomics, microeconomics, econometrics, statistics, political economy, monetary economics, financial economics, labor economics, international economics, and industrial organization. RECent currently consists of nineteen members. Most of them belong to the Marco Biagi Economics Department of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, while some belong to other Italian and foreign institutions. The President of RECent is Mario Forni. The Director is Graziella Bertocchi. The Directive Council consists of Mario Forni, Graziella Bertocchi and Sergio Paba.
RECent pursues the following objectives:
The idea of founding RECent stemmed out of a series of research initiatives established in Modena over the years, with the collaboration of the researchers that are now members. In particular, an early initiative in this direction had been the participation in two large research projects financed by the European Commission and managed by the CEPR: "New Approaches to the Study of Economic Fluctuations" and "Specialization Versus Diversification: The Microeconomics of Regional Development and The Spatial Propagation of Macroeconomic Shocks in Europe". These projects, which covered the period from 1998 to 2004 with a partial overall, stimulated the collaboration among researchers based in the Economics Department who operated in differentiated areas but shared a common interest in conducting research addressing an international audience. These projects also encouraged collaboration with a large number of European partner institutions, and brought to Modena a steady flow of pre- and post-doctoral fellows who were recruited on the international academic job market. Thanks to these projects, several high-quality conferences, workshop and policy panels were organized in Modena. These experiences greatly enhanced the international visibility of the research conducted in Modena and fostered several other research projects sponsored by other institutions. Building on this critical mass, RECent was created to further strengthen the research environment in Modena and to offer guidance and support for junior researchers.
The research output of the members of RECent based in Modena was instrumental in establishing the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia as the highest ranked Italian University - together with Bocconi - in the Economics and Statistics area, according to the first research evaluation exercise organized by the Italian University Ministry for the years 2001-3. It was also instrumental in establishing the Economics Department as the highest ranked Department of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, according to the first research evaluation exercise organized by the University itself for years 2001-2005. In both cases, the research output of the members of RECent represented 80% of the output submitted for evalutation.