In this study, we briefly review the macroeconomic theory of inflation, relating it to the recent developments in advanced economies. Then, we analyse the drivers of the rise in inflation observed in 2021 in the United States and in Europe, and we illustrate the factors that may affect the inflationary scenario of the advanced economies in the longer term. Finally, we discuss what challenges the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank have to meet in the face of current inflationary pressures.
This study introduces a new automated approach we have called the “volaxivity algorithm” to detect risk-on and risk-off signals across several asset classes, starting from observing the relevant volatility indices. The algorithm is based on the definition and construction of a new set of risk sentiment indices discussed in this paper, including the “volaxivity index”. The theoretical background our model is based on is defined by reflexivity theory and an event-driven definition of time. In order to assess the validity of our methodology from a risk management point of view, we compare the signals originated by the algorithm with their realizations over 19 quarters between January 2016 and September 2020. The empirical results discussed in the backtesting section of the paper confirm the validity of our approach, even during stressed market periods. We also find that the predictive capability of our model is higher for risk-off signals.
One of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic is the adoption of lockdown policies by national governments to contain the spread of the virus. The two more visible effects on societies are social distancing and the virtualization of social practices. This paper examines some impacts of these phenomena on people’s religious preferences. We investigated how the shift from in-person to online congregation was perceived by Catholic and Protestant believers. Our results show that the Protestant world felt the lack of community more than the Catholic. Within Catholicism, people who attended more religious services before the lockdown seemed to have less notice of the difference between online and in-person worship. The tendency to virtual congregation appears to bring back Catholics to Gnosticism, meaning a religion too focused on spirituality and knowledge to the detriment of corporality and community. Significantly, priests and nuns resisted this tendency within Catholicism.
This paper contributes to the literature on the evolution of manufacturing specialization by analysing a panel of Italian regions over the 1951-2011 period. For this purpose, we create an original dataset combining seven different census data records on Italian industry released periodically by the National Statistics Institute (ISTAT). Our main findings highlight that three different dimensions, one economic, one connected to social networks and one related to human capital, impact the level of specialization in the Italian manufacturing sector, although in different ways. Differences can be observed at both the territorial and sectoral level.