ERC Starting Grants awarded to Profs. Ruben Durante and Antonio Penta

A total of 20 competitive grants from the European Research Council have been awarded to current Barcelona GSE Affiliated Professors.

Two Barcelona GSE Affiliated Professors have been awarded ERC Starting Grants in the latest call from the European Research Council. They are Prof. Ruben Durante (UPF and BGSE) for the project, "Independence and quality of mass Media in the InteRnet AGE (MIRAGE)" and Prof. Antonio Penta (UPF and BGSE), for "Strategic Uncertainty in Economic Environments and Digital Marketing Agencies".

European Research Council Starting Grants are highly competitive and awarded to research talent with less than seven years of experience and a scientific track record showing great promise, as determined by a panel of scientific peers. The ERC grants have quickly become indicators of world-class research across all academic disciplines.

Current Barcelona GSE Affiliated Professors all stages of their research careers have received a total of 20 ERC grants:

  • 9 ERC Starting Grants for promising researchers just establishing their careers
  • 5 ERC Consolidator Grants for mid-career researchers
  • 6 ERC Advanced Grants for established research leaders

Full list of ERC Grant recipients and projects in the Barcelona GSE research community

About the new ERC projects

Ruben Durante, "Independence and quality of mass Media in the InteRnet AGE (MIRAGE)"


Professor Ruben Durante is an associate professor at UPF and Affiliated Professor of the Barcelona GSE. His ERC project examines how the Internet has transformed the way news is produced and disseminated, both directly and through its influence on traditional media, and its ultimate effect on media independence and content quality. The project investigates four distinct but intertwined questions: 1) to what extent search engine results are tailored to users’ political views, and how personalization affects ideological polarization? 2) how do lower advertising revenues affect newspapers’ organization and content quality?; 3) how does the dependence of media on advertisers influences news coverage; and 4) how does the dependence of media on banks affect news coverage of financial issues.


Antonio Penta, "Strategic Uncertainty in Economic Environments and Digital Marketing Agencies"


Professor Antonio Penta joined the UPF Economics Department and the Barcelona GSE research community this fall. His ERC project will be conducted in three parts. The first part, joint with Larbi Alaoui (UPF and BGSE), aims at understanding the interaction between individuals' incentives, cognitive abilities and strategic behavior. This research combines both theoretical and experimental work, bridging tools and ideas from game theory, computer science, psychology and economics. The second part pursues a classical game theoretic approach to study problems of "strategic uncertainty", that is situations of social interactions in which agents don't necessarily have correct expectations about the environment. The third part, joint with F. Decarolis (EIEF) and M. Goldmanis (Royal Holloway), aims at studying the impact of the diffusion of Digital Marketing Agencies on the auction formats most commoly used to sell online advertisement space. These auctions are used, for instance, by firms such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc., and account for a huge and growing market worldwide.

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