Members of the Board


Assistant Professor

Affiliation: Department of Economics and Finance (DEF) - University of Tor Vergata

Other Affiliation: ICABR

Address: via Columbia n. 2, 00133 Roma

Telephone: +39 06 7259 5639

Research Interests: Land Market, Land Reform, Agriculture Productivity and Efficiency, Technical and Allocative Efficiency, Technology Adoption in Agriculture, Agriculture Biotechnology, Bioeconomy, Neuroeconomics, Behavioral Economics
Countries of Expertise:
• Eastern European Countries (Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Czech, and Slovak Republic, Kirgistan)
• Western Balkan Countries: Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegoniva
•Sub Saharan Africa: Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique
Data analysis: Cross section, panel data.


Sara Savastano is an Assistant Professor in Economics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata – Italy. She is the Secretary General of ICABR (International Consortium of Applied Bioeconomy Research) a unique, informal, international consortium of people interested in the bioeconomy, rural development and bio-based economic research. After working at the Development Research Group of the World Bank, from 2001 to 2005, Sara served as Economist in the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Her research which started with option value theory and investment analysis, broadened to cover several topics in development economics and rural development and agriculture, and in particular agriculture efficiency and productivity analysis.
More recently she has started new research in Neuroeconomics and Behavioral Economics. In addition to her academic work
She has been part of international projects targeted on agriculture and policies issues in developing countries in collaboration with important international organizations.


The 5 most recent Publications

  • Deininger, K., Savastano S. and G. Carletto, (2012), “Land Fragmentation, Cropland Abandonment, and Land Market Operation in Albania”, World Development vol. 40, issue 10 October, and World Bank Policy Research Working Paper n. 6032 (April 2012)
  • Deininger, K., and G. Carletto, Savastano S., Muwongue, J., (2012), “Using Diaries to Improve Crop Production Statistics” Journal of Development Economics, Volume 98, Issue 1, Pages 1-148 (May 2012)
  • Savastano S., and P.L. Scandizzo, (2009), “Optimal Farm Size in an Uncertain Land Market: the Case of Kyrgyz Republic”, Agricultural Economics, 2009, vol. 40, issue s1, pages 745-758
  • Kilic, T, Carletto, G, Miluka, J, and S. Savastano, 2009, “Rural Non-farm Income and Its Impact on Agriculture: Evidence from Albania”, Agricultural Economics Volume 40 Issue 2 , Pages 119 – 263, March 2009
  • Feder G., and S. Savastano, 2006, “The Role Of Opinion Leaders In The Diffusion of New Knowledge: The Case Of Integrated Pest Management”, World Development Vol. 34 No. 7 (July 2006) World Bank Policy Research Working Paper n. 3916, May 2006

More CEIS Publications »

Ruggeri Laderchi, C., and Savastano, S., (2012), Poverty and Social Inclusion in the Western Balkan Countries, Springer, ISBN 978-1-4614-4944-7, VIII, 321

Events & Presentations

The 5 most recent Events & Presentations

  • Savastano, S , (2012), The Impact of Soft Traits and Cognitive Abilities on Life Outcomes: Subjective Wellbeing, Education Achievement, and Rational Choices: a Chocolate Tasting Experiment”, Conference on the Economics and Politics of Chocolate, Leuven, Sept. 18-19, 2012
  • Savastano, S , (2012), Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies for Agriculture through A Real Option Value Approach, International Association of Agricultural Economists 28th Congress Fox do Iguassu August 2012:
  • Scandizzo, P.L, Savastano S., Paolantonio, A.,(2012), Climate Change and Adaptation Options for Rural Farmers in Ethiopia, paper presented at the 16th ICABR Conference: The Political Economy of the Bioeconomy, Ravello June 24-27, 2012
  • Scandizzo, P.L, Savastano S., Alfani, F, (2012), Technology Adoption, Happiness and Capabilites among Small Farm Producers in Rural Ethiopia, paper presented at the 16th ICABR Conference: The Political Economy of the Bioeconomy, Ravello June 24-27, 2012
  • Deininger, K., Savastano S. and G. Carletto, (2012), “Land Fragmentation, Cropland Abandonment, and Land Market Operation in Albania”, Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, Washington DC, April 23-26, 2012

Research Programs & Projects

  • FAO-CEIS: Project : Smallholder “Agriculture in Transition: Behavior, constraints, and policies”
    The overall specific objectives of the FAO project are:
    • Understand the dynamics between farm size and agricultural development and identify the conditions and constraints that shape smallholders’ behavior, transition and contribution to food security and wider economic growth.
    • Develop policy approaches for small-scale agriculture to facilitate the integration of smallholders in modern organizational structures and their transition to a higher development stage.
    • Strengthen the capacity of stakeholders to implement policies for small-scale agriculture in order to promote sustainable growth, improve rural livelihoods, facilitate smallholders’ transition and reduce their vulnerability.
      • The contributions of the project will occur through five outputs:
        (1) Increased evidence on the constraints faced by smallholder agriculture and their access to both output and input markets;
        (2) Better understanding on the pattern of agricultural exits and their impact on farm size, the nature and role of rural nonfarm sector and the trends of migration from rural to urban areas.
        (3) Strengthened instruments for quantitative and qualitative data collection on
        (4) Increased and shared evidence on economic development impacts in Africa, and
        (5) Increased capacity of policy-makers and program managers in designing interventions that facilitate the integration of smallholders into markets, strengthen farm and non farm synergies and promote rural-urban links towards agricultural and wider economic development.