University of Essex

Academic Staff

Professor Vania Sena (Southend Campus)

Position in departmentDirector of the Business & Local Government Data Research Centre
Staff positionProfessor
Telephone01702 323442

Prof Vania Sena is the Head of the Management Science and Entrepreneurship  group and the director of the ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre. She  has previously worked at Leeds University Business School (LUBS), University of Leeds and at Aston Business School (ABS), Aston University. Her first degree was awarded with laude by the University of Naples, Federico II, Naples, Italy; her postgraduate studies in Economics were carried out at the University of York, UK, where she was awarded both the MSc and the DPhil in Economics. Her research focuses mainly on the econometric analysis of the determinants of productivity growth, both at the micro and macro level.

She also has an interest into the use of alternative methods (based on linear programming analysis) to the measurement of productivity. Her most recent research looks at the relationship among innovation activities, spatial concentration of human capital and total factor productivity. Her work has been published in Small Business Economics, Journal of Comparative Economics, The Economic Journal, Scandinavian Journal of Economics, European Journal of Operational Research, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics and Regional Studies, amongst others. Her work has been funded by several bodies including NESTA, Leverhulme Trust, IPO, UKTI and British Academy. In 2011, she was visiting fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University,


DPhil Economics (York), Msc Economics (York), Laurea (Federico II, Napoli)

Current research

I am at the moment working on the following themes (and therefore I welcome PhD students willing to contribute to these areas of research):

a) the characteristics of innovation in High-growth firms;

b) choice of  IP methods and impact on firms' productivity;

c) mobility of human capital and knowledge spillovers;

d) corruption and impact on firms' performance.

Research interests


Agglomerations of Human capital


Additional information

For more information about the ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre see  ESRC BLG Page

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