We proudly announce that scholars from around the world very well received the dissemination of the d/Seas Working Papers through both SSRN and Unipa platforms. The launching of the inaugural issue has got such encouraging results. We summarise the top results as follow. Downloads are being from all the five continents. In the last six months, the department's papers have had about 12,000 unique visitors and over 2500 downloads have been done. The subscribers of the WPs are distributed widely and globally as best as each word is testified by the map above. Now, this Volume (n.2, 2018) offers a selection of papers both in economic and statistical fields. We propose both empirical and theoretical research that open up new scenarios and that, for this reason, all of them are fully entitled to recall the title New frontiers to which this volume is dedicated.
Inside the economics section – Biagio Bossone, Massimo Costa, Andrea Cuccia and Giuseppe Valenza (Accounting meets economics: towards an 'accounting view’ of money) study embodies the spirit of the Volume since it concerns the foundations of the “Accounting View” of money. The study that uses international accounting principles argues that state and central bank monies are not debt and that in fractional reserve regimes only a share of commercial bank money can be regarded as debt. The study determines how the seigniorage associated with the issuance of these monies should be accounted for in the financial statements of the issuing institutions, and examines what this implies for the correct understanding of money. The new view throws light into such issues as the true nature of central bank capital, commercial banks, and digital currencies. From there, authors derive and apply new measurements of seigniorage to the case of the UK (for which recent estimates exist). The results reveal that seigniorage, in particular, that extracted by commercial banks, is a quantitatively relevant phenomenon. The Andrea Consiglio, Massimo Attanasio, Stefano Fricano and Antonio Pecorella’s empirical study (A Maximum Demand Coverage Model for the Optimal Location of the AMAT’s Bike Sharing Stations) about the AMAT’s bike-sharing service discloses new horizons as well. Within a sustainable mobility project, it has involved the DSEAS and four secondary schools to the research project “GoToSchool”, a project whose main aim is to foster the use of the bike by the students in getting to the school. The project developed in two phases: the first phase was devoted to the estimate of the demand of bike-sharing service from the students; the second phase was committed to the study of an optimal facility allocation problem in order to maximise the demand of bike-sharing service is arising from students. The optimisation model can be easily customised to account for operational requirements from AMAT, such as, the maximum number of bike-sharing stations that can be installed according to the available budget, the inclusion or exclusion (“blacklist” or “whitelist”) of potential bike station places because of specific planning and organisational needs. Finally, the model provides a tool to evaluate some fundamental parameters such as the utility to reach school by bike, or the distances between the students home address and the places of the potential bike stations. Massimo Costa and Francesca Cimò (From Cash to Accrual Accounting: The seminal case of the Sicilian Regional Public Bodies) trace the progressive introduction of a complete accrual accounting by the Sicilian Regional public bodies – within the context of international and national public management changes – pursuing the ultimate goal to improve efficiency, accountability and transparency. After a close examination of the critical choices made by a Committee established for this purpose, the work investigates about the need to go beyond a “simple” accrual basis accounting system especially in a context where concepts like the inter-institutional horizon and public value are more and more relevant. Ancora, Gioacchino Fazio e Stefano Fricano (A Note on Economic Impact of EFF on Sicilian Firms Performance) investigate the measure 2.3 of the European Fisheries Fund in Sicily. Since it has claimed investments of fish firms in production capacity expansion and modernisation of fish processing, they analyse both whether or not such investments have been effective in supporting the competitiveness of these firms and whether they have influenced the economic sustainability of the regional seafood chain. They propose a counterfactual analysis for contributing to those assessments through comparison of business performance between funded and non-funded firms. Last but not least, Ieva Mikaliunaite and Andrea Cipollini (How important are GSI banks for the financial distress in the Eurozone? An analysis based on MIDAS VAR) first, extend the monthly Financial Stress Index (FSI) for Lithuania computed by ECB to a high-frequency (daily) horizon, and they also include the banking sector among its constituents (beyond bond, equity, foreign exchange markets). The empirical results suggest no evidence of Granger causality between the monthly FSI index and monthly industrial production growth. On the contrary, a Granger causality test applied to a VAR using mixed frequency data characterised by a significant mismatch in sampling frequencies of the series involved (i.e. daily vs monthly), suggests that the daily Lithuanian FSI has a predictive power for monthly Lithuanian IP growth for the full sample period (October 2001 – December 2016), but not vice versa. Full sample results are confirmed by rolling-window analysis. Inside the statistic section – Ornella Giambalvo and·Roberto Sichera (A Proposal to estimate the roaming–dog Total in an urban area through a PPSWOR spatial sampling with a sample size greater than two.) deal with risks dogs roaming in urban areas constitute for public order, hygiene and health. Authors face the issue of a lacking reliable statistical procedure aimed to measure such population available in literature as the problem to solve. The paper presents a simple, reproducible survey sampling procedure to estimate the number of roaming dogs in an urban area through the description of a real study carried out on a restricted area of the city of Palermo, in southern Italy. A sample of areas is drawn using a drawn–by–drawn spatial sampling with probabilities proportional to the size and without replacement (PPSWOR). As inclusion probabilities are not available in closed form, they are estimated by Monte Carlo approach, which is of simple implementation and permits design-based variance estimation even when first-order inclusion probabilities are unknown. Mariangela Sciandra, Antonio D’Ambrosio and Antonella Plaia (Projection Clustering Unfolding: a new algorithm for clustering individuals or items in a preference matrix) cope with the use of decision tree for clustering preference vectors. Starting from the fact that decision trees are useful and intuitive, but they are very unstable: small perturbations bring significant changes, authors propose the use of more stable procedures in order to clustering ranking data. In this work, a Projection Clustering Unfolding (PCU) algorithm for preference data will be proposed in order to extract useful information in a low-dimensional subspace by starting from a high but mostly empty dimensional space. Comparison between unfolding configurations and PCU solutions will be carried out through Procrustes analysis. In the next issues – We are scheduling two Volumes for 2019 — the third one with a selection of primary researches and seminars supported by and hosted by department respectively; one special issue will host a selection of commented rejected papers. We hope this recent initiative could trigger a hot, lively and exciting debate. Stay tuned!
The editor in chief
Calogero Massimo Cammalleri