CV - Job Market Paper  

Donati, Dante

Contact Information

Tel. +34 93 542 2696

[email protected]


Personal Webpage


Available for interviews at

European Job Market for Economists (EEA)

Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA)




Research interests

Information and Digital Economics, Quantitative, Digital and Social Marketing, Economics of Media and Technology.

Placement Officer

Libertad González
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Maria Petrova (Advisor)
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Ruben Durante 
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Gianmarco Leon
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Sandro Shelegia
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"The End of Tourist Traps: a Natural Experiment on the impact of Tripadvisor on Quality Upgrading(Job Market Paper)
Asymmetric information can distort market outcomes. I study how the online disclosure of information affects consumers’ behavior and firms’ incentives to upgrade product quality in markets where information is traditionally limited. I first build a model of consumer search with firms’ endogenous quality decisions. In this model, lower search costs reallocate market shares toward higher-quality producers, raising firms’ incentives to upgrade quality, and more so for firms selling ex-ante lower-quality products. I then use the access to online reviews as a proxy for consumers’ information costs and estimate its impact on the restaurant industry in Rome, exploiting the abolition of mobile roaming charges in the EU in 2017 for identification. Based on a unique dataset combining monthly information from Tripadvisor with administra- tive social-security records, I find that, after the policy, consumers reallocate their demand toward higher-rated restaurants, whose revenues and total employment grow by 6%. Lower- rated restaurants, in turn, are three times more likely to exit the market than higher-rated establishments, and those that survive hire workers with higher wages and better curricula, eventually improving their Tripadvisor ratings. Overall, the share of lower-rated restaurants in the most tourist areas decreases by more than 3 pp. My findings have implications for the role of review platforms on the performance of offline industries under asymmetric information.

“Mobile Internet Access and Political Outcomes: Evidence from South Africa"
I exploit variation over time and space in the arrival of 3G Internet in South Africa to estimate its impact on political participation, electoral competition, voters' preferences and protests. Combining granular coverage data with administrative records on municipal elections, I show that in 2016 mobile Internet availability caused a 2 pp increase in voter turnout and a 3 pp reduction in the vote share of the ruling party. The main opponents gained from mobile Internet arrival. The number of parties running for election and the number of protests increased. I conclude providing suggestive evidence that both information and coordination mechanisms could explain the observed results.

"Using Social Media to Change Gender Norms:An Experimental Evaluation Within Facebook Messenger in Urban India" (with V. Orozco and N. Rao)

We conducted an online randomized control trial to test whether two 25-minute edutainment web series delivered through Facebook Messenger are effective at reshaping gender norms and reducing social acceptability of violence against women (VAW). We recruited 18-to-24-year-old youths living in New Delhi and six other cities in northern India and randomly assigned them to a control or two treatment conditions: an entertainment drama web series and a documentary web series. We collected self-reported and objective online outcomes using a newly-developed chatbot and measured impacts after one week and four months. Our findings suggest that edutainment delivered through social media is effective at changing attitudes towards gender norms, reducing social acceptability of VAW, and promoting information-seeking and public commitment behaviors on the web. Medium-term results show that the documentary made individuals 91% (7.5 p.p.) more likely to add a frame against VAW in their Facebook profile picture, a public display of their disapproval of this harmful practice. Short-term effects of the entertainment drama on gender norms and clicks on informative links were economically and statistically significant (oscillating between 0.15 and 0.30 standard deviations), yet they diminished in the medium term, suggesting the need for message reinforcers. Considering the emerging evidence on the effectiveness of edutainment in reducing gender-based violence and the low cost of social media dissemination, our study suggests that this medium could be a cost-effective tool in the global fight against VAW epidemic.

Research in Progress

"Stereotypes and Political Attitudes in the Age of Coronavirus: Empirical Evidence from Italy" (with J. Gars and N. Rao)


"The effects of early childhood education on educational achievement and parental labor market outcomes" (with L. Baertsch)