Enrico Orru

Welcome to my personal webpage at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

I am a PhD student in Regional and Urban Planning and I am also a graduate teaching assistant of Methods in Spatial and Social Analysis- GY140.

My research focuses on European Union Cohesion Policy and explores the implications of investing in human capital and brain circulation for lagging regions.

In order to enquire into this issue, I am performing the impact evaluation of an active labour market policy, delivered by the Sardinian regional government (Italy) and financed by means of the European Social Fund: Master and Back programme.

Increasing the level of human capital is surely an important tool to trigger economic development in less favoured regions. However, it is not clear whether and to what extent these regions can take advantage of their investment. In fact, in lagging regions highly educated individuals struggle to find jobs coherent with their qualifications (overeducation). Moreover, they tend to migrate toward core regions, where better and more rewarding jobs are available (brain drain).

These issues have huge implications for Cohesion Policy which, influenced by the Lisbon Strategy, has devoted increasing shares of the European Social Fund to enhance the level of human capital in lagging regions, also by means of learning mobility. The question is whether such investments have been reaped by lagging regions, as expected by the European Commission, or they have benefitted core regions, as human capital theory would predict. Through my PhD, I am working to shed light on these issues.


I am from Cagliari (Italy), where I earned a degree in Political Science. In addition I have a Master in Tourism Management from the Trento School of Management (Italy) and a post graduate certificate in European Rural Development from the Gloucestershire University (UK).

From 2004 to 2008 I worked as a consultant on the design and implementation of various local development projects in the framework of the European programme LEADER. In particular, I was in charge of various transnational cooperation projects, involving several European rural areas (in Italy, UK, Sweden, France, Cyprus, etc).

From 2006 to 2007 I was employed by the Sardinian Regional government to provide technical assistance for the implementation of the Regional Operative Programme 2000-2006, co-financed by the European Union. My role consisted in facilitating the decision-making process of a large public-private partnership, which had been created to plan and implement, in an integrated way, the public resources available in Sardinia for regional development. In the European jargon these types of projects are referred to as Integrated Programming.

In short, most of my work experiences thus far has consisted in management of projects financed by means of EU Structural Funds. This is the reason why, in 2009, I decided to devote a period of my life to study these issues from a more theoretical perspective, starting my PhD studies at London School of Economics and Political Science.




E-mail: e.orru@lse.ac.uk

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