Focus areas: Economics of antitrust, development economics

Paola Valenti is an economist with expertise in development economics, applied econometrics, applied microeconomics, and economics of antitrust and intellectual property. She has expertise in industries such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, industrial chemicals, consumer products, food, and computer hardware and software.

Valenti previously served as a consultant at NERA Economic Consulting, developing economic research and quantitative analysis. She has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank's Human Development Network and Social Protection Group, conducting research on poverty among the elderly in Bulgaria, Mauritius, Nepal, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Tajikistan.

Valenti holds laurea and Dottorato di Recerca degrees in economics from the University of Rome "La Sapienza," an MSc from CORIPE Piemonte, and a PhD from Cornell University.


  • "Avoiding Misidentified Incremental Costs" in Economic Approaches to Intellectual Property Policy, Litigation, and Management, edited by Dr. Gregory K. Leonard and Dr. Lauren J. Stiroh, NERA Economic Consulting, 2005 (with A. Lutz).
  • "Should We Be Concerned About the Distribution of Literacy Across Households? An Axiomatic Investigation" CAE Working Paper 02-15, Cornell University.
  • "People Who Can Read Provide Benefits to Other Family Members: What is the Effect on Child Health?" mimeo, Cornell University, 2001 (with J.S. Butler).
  • "Long-Term Labor Force Exit and Economic Well-Being: A Cross National Comparison of Public and Private Income Support" Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung 70. Jahrgang, Heft 1/2001, S. 146-152 (with R.V. Burkhauser and D. R. Lillard).
  • "How Exits from the Labor Force or Death Impact Household Income: A Four Country Comparison of Public and Private Income Support" Michigan Retirement Research Center Working Paper Series, WP 00-10, July 2001 (with R.V. Burkhauser and D.R. Lillard).

Research & Publications

October 2005|Economic Approaches to Intellectual Property Policy, Litigation, and Management|Paola Valenti, Alyssa Lutz
October 2002|CAE Working Paper, Cornell University|Paola Valenti

This paper proposes a class of literacy measures that takes into account the externality generated by the presence of literates in the household. It is claimed that such externality is increasing in the number of literates in the household, has characteristics of rivalry in consumption, and therefore is a function of the distribution of literates and illiterates in the household. The measure is given a full axiomatic characterization, and it is shown that its use may reverse the ranking of geographical areas obtained by using other literacy measures.

October 2001|Michigan Retirement Research Center Working Paper Series|Paola Valenti, R.V. Burkhauser , D.R. Lillard

Government policies attempt to mitigate the economic risks to households of major life transitions. This paper focuses on two such transitions that social security systems typically insure against—long term exits from the labor market (retirement, disability, unemployment insurance) and the death of a household head or spouse (survivor’s insurance). We examine labor force exits of men at various ages in four countries--Canada, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States—using data from the Cross-National Equivalent File, a matched longitudinal data set. We focus on how average net-of-tax household income changes in the years before and after the event. We find that when one measures the change in economic well-being following a labor market exit by the fraction of lost labor earnings replaced by social security income, the decline in the household’s economic well-being is substantially overstated. When we compare net-of-tax household income before and after a long term exit from the labor market, we find that such drops are much less than those implied by a social security replacement rate and that differences across countries in the average drop are much less than those based on a social security replacement rate. We find the same pattern when we focus on how net-of-tax household income changes in the years before and after the death of a head or spouse. Declines in net-of-tax household income following such a death are much lower than the decline implied by a replacement of the deceased person’s labor earnings and social security benefits by their household’s post-death social security income. But the size of the change in individualized net-of-tax income following the death of a head or spouse is greatly affected by assumptions used to adjust for changes in household size..

October 2001|Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research|Paola Valenti, R.V. Burkhauser , D. R. Lillard

This paper examines how the economic well-being of households changes after a male household member exits the labor force. We examine, in four countries, labor force exits at various ages and present evidence on household income from various sources before and after the exit occurs. We focus on the rate at which household income is replaced through public and private means after labor force exit. We find that economic well-being is underestimated when researchers follow the traditional focus in this literature and consider replacement of earnings through public pension programs. When one measures total household income, after taxes and transfers, before and after labor force exits, not only is economic well-being greater but cross-country differences are reduced.