Innovation, social cohesion and inequalities in Europe: a poset-based approach

Thumbnail Image
Publication date
Reading date
Event date
Start date of the public exhibition period
End date of the public exhibition period
Rodríguez-Modroño, Paula 
Muzzioli, Silvia
Authors of photography
Person who provides the photography
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
This dissertation stems from a co-tutored doctoral project between the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and the Pablo de Olavide University of Seville. The main objective consisted in the development of two complex topics related to innovation, social cohesion and inequalities in Europe in three different papers. The common thread consists in the methodology used: the partially ordered set (poset), a method based on the assumption that an object can be identified as "better" than another if and only if it has better results in all the indicators analysed in the comparison. We have chosen to use this methodology to propose a different data analysis capable of overcoming de issues of composite indicators, and to build rankings not based on the simple arithmetic mean of the normalised indicators. In the first two papers we focused on the vast theme of regional innovation, analysing the performance at the regional level of 220 regions in the first paper, and of 60 regions (those of the four greatest countries of southern Europe, namely Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain) in the second paper. For both papers, we used data from the Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2019, through which we built a ranking, dividing the regions analysed into different performance levels. The creation of clusters of similar regions combined with poset analysis, allowed us to identify differences between the ranking presented in this thesis and the ranking proposed by the Regional Innovation Scoreboard. In particular, it was possible to identify the indicators that have the greatest impact in determining the results, and consequently the movements of the regions in the ranking, making it possible to propose targeted policies based also on the country or cluster of regions analysed. In the analyses conducted, one of the most impacting indicators is Individual design applications per billion GDP (in purchasing power standards). Regarding the leaders of the analysis, we found that the majority are regions housing the capital city of the country. The third paper addressed the issue of gender inequalities in the digital economy by using the data of the Women in Digital Scoreboard 2020 concerning the 27 countries of the European Union and the United Kingdom. Also in this case, a ranking of countries split into four performance levels was obtained. The impact analysis of the indicators revealed that the most meaningful are: % of people with above basic digital skills in information, communication, problem solving and software for content creation; Graduates in STEM subjects per 1000 individuals aged 20-29; Gender pay gap in unadjusted form, considering all employees working in firms with ten or more employees. In this case, the sensitivity analysis performed on the indicators, made it possible to identify strengths and weaknesses of the individual countries. At the same time, the findings helped us to propose areas of intervention aimed at improving the results in the most critical indicators in order to increase the position in the ranking. The results also highlighted important differences between the different European macro-regions; in particular, nations belonging to southern and eastern Europe are clearly behind to those belonging to the north and a large part of western Europe.
Doctoral program
Related publication
Research projects
Programa de Doctorado en Ciencias Sociales
Línea de Investigación: Cultura, Desarrollo, Género e Intervención Social
Clave Programa: DSO
Código Línea: 120
Bibliographic reference
Photography rights