Economics of Organizations: My interest for organizations comes out of dissatisfaction with the standard representation of firms and markets (my initial research was on Cournot’s model) and of my discovery of the outstanding contributions of Ronald Coase and Oliver Williamson, with whom I have had the chance to interact and cooperate over the years. Digging into the internal properties of organizations remains a key element of my research program.

Economics of infrastructure: Thanks to Douglass North, who in the mid-1990s introduced me to Mary Shirley, then senior economist at the World Bank and now the President of the Ronald Coase Institute (I am member of the Board), I became involved in the economics of infrastructures. More specifically I have developed a strong interest for the reform of public utilities worldwide, particularly urban water systems. I have progressively diversified my portfolio to include other infrastructures (sanitation, transportation, energy), mainly in cooperation with young researchers and colleagues from different countries and institutions.

Interfirm agreements and non-standard modes of organization: I have had a long standing interest for arrangements that Williamson tagged as ‘hybrids’. Beside numerous theoretical contributions, I have done empirical work on specific sectors, e.g., the agrifood industry, the natural gas sector, etc., and I remain involved in several international research programs on these issues.

Interaction between macro-institutions and micro-institutions: The deep movement towards the reform of public utilities and the problems that emerge from unfitted institutions have rapidly attracted my attention. I have invested increasingly in the analysis of the impact of institutions, particularly regulation, on alternative modes of organization, on their performance, and on the trade-off between these modes. My recent research focuses on the role of meso-institutions in shaping and implementing reforms of public utilities, and on the interactions between institutions and technologies (which brings me back to a long-standing interest in innovation).

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