Ongoing Projects

Community Supported Agriculture, a comparative analysis between Brazil and Spain

(2021 - current date)


Vivian Lara dos Santos Silva – FZEA/USP

Mario González Azcaráte (Instituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Rural, Agrario y Alimentario / Universidad Politécnica de Madrid).


M Sylvia Saes - FEA/USP

Roberta Castro Souza - POLI/USP

Rúbia Rinaldi Leão - UNB

Isabel bardají (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)

José Luis Cruz Maceís(Instituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Rural, Agrario y Alimentario)


Project description

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is the short food chain model with the highest degree of consumer (also called co-producer) involvement. The CSA is a partnership between farmers and consumers in which the responsibilities, risks and rewards of farming are shared. CSAs are a phenomenon that addresses growing concerns about the lack of transparency, sustainability and resilience of our food systems. It is one of the most radical ways in which control and ownership of the food system is taken back by local actors. Farmers receive a more stable and secure income, as well as a closer connection to their community. For its part, consumers benefit from eating fresh, healthy local food, feeling more connected to the land where their food is grown, and learning new skills. The object of analysis of these investigations are the CSAs of Brazil and Spain. The aim of the research is to define their typology, explore their future perspectives as well as analyze the key points that have led to the CSAs consolidation, such as the Participatory Guarantee Certification Systems, matchfunding campaigns or the support of CSA national networks.

How do we go blue? Sociotechnical Transitions and Institutional Levels (2021 - current date)


Vivian Lara dos Santos Silva - FZEA/USP (Coord.)Adriana Marotti - FEA/USPAlexandre Chibebe Nicolella - FEARP/USP Flávia Trentini - FDRP/USPGaetano Martino - University of PerugiaM Sylvia Saes - USPMuriel Faidaro - Université de Savoie Mont Blanc Paula Sarita Bigio Schnaider - FEA/USPRoberta Souza Pião - POÇI/USPRubens Nunes - fzea/USPWilliam Hua Wang - EMLyon Bussiness School Asia


Project description

The project aims to contribute to the understanding of the role of institutions and organizations in socio-technical transitions towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns, going beyond the conservation of natural resources (green) towards global sustainability (blue). In order to do so, we intend to comparatively investigate, in three different institutional environments (Brazil, China and France) the food sectors (specifically poultry, cocoa, coffee, dairy and pork chains) and urban mobility (focusing on sharing of bicycles). The chosen sectors produce important environmental impacts, both due to the intensive use of water and energy, as well as the emission of gases associated with climate change. In addition, these sectors will likely be required to produce innovations to adapt to the post-Covid-19 pandemic environment. The New Institutional Economics has developed a solid foundation for understanding the relationships between macro-institutions and economic performance, showing how these institutions create incentives and how agents react to these incentives. The meso-institutional level, in turn, where the activity of translating general norms into specific contexts is located, has been less, and only recently, studied. The relationship between incentives created by institutions and agents' choices is mediated by the micro-foundations of the decision-making process. The research proposal in the food and urban mobility sectors opens into three central axes: 1) Analysis of motivations (behavioral assumptions), 2) Analysis of macro and meso levels in technological changes and 3) Analysis of the micro-institutional level (organizational strategies ).
Photo by: Ben Chams

The heterogeneity of plural forms and their motivators (2021 - current date)


Paula Sarita Bigio Schnaider - FEA/USP (coord.)Luciana Matsumura -USP


Project description

This research project is part of the literature that seeks to explain the ways in which companies should organize the supply (or distribution) of inputs (products). Expanding the logic of Transaction Cost Economics (ECT) to explain the so-called plural forms - i.e., the coexistence of alternative organizational modalities to organize similar transactions, two related and still little explored challenges are addressed. First, it is assumed that the heterogeneity of plural forms transcends the logic of "make and buy", more widely discussed in the literature, encompassing the coexistence of a wide variety of forms, such as markets and formal contracts, formal contracts and vertical integration. , relational contracts and formal contracts, etc. The first challenge to be addressed by this research project, therefore, relates to understanding the drivers of this diversity. It is intended to specifically explore the percentage of input (output) that is obtained (distributed) through each organizational arrangement within the plural form. Going further in this direction, we also intend to introduce a temporal perspective in this debate. Once the determinants of the percentages of each organizational form that make up the plural forms are known, how should the plural forms vary over time, as these determinants vary? How is this heterogeneity of organizational arrangements configured over time?

Empirical studies in meso instituitions: Canada, Italy and Brazil (2018 - current date)


Claude Menard - University of Paris (Pantheon-Sorbonne) - coord.Gaetano Martino - University of PerugiaAnnie Royer - Université LavalPaula Sarita Bigio Schnaider - FEA/USPM Sylvia Saes - FEA/USPGustavo Magalhães de Oliveira - USP


Project description

Meso-institutions mediate the relationships between the macro and micro institutional layers. However, they remain very little explored in New institutional Economics. Relying on this agenda, we address the institutional framework regulating raw cow milk quality in Canada, Brazil and Italy. We offer a clear differentiation between the three layers in the institutional framework (macro-meso-micro) and explore in detail the various roles performed by meso-institutions.

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One health and urban transformation - recognizing risks, developing sustainable solutions (2016 - current date)

Research Coordinators

Alexandre Nicolella - FEARP/USP
Dr Timo Falkenberg - Center of Development Research (ZEF) University of Bonn

Project Description

The research ‘One Health and Urban Transformation – recognizing risks, developing sustainable solutions’ aims to analyse the interactions of the various urban systems, their changes throughout the urban development process and their effects on human, animal, plant, and environmental health. Lie at the heart of the graduate school.
In addition, it attempts to identify indirect and direct health effects of economic, industrial, agricultural and urban development forms the basis for the development of sustainable solutions that maximize synergetic effects, minimize trade-offs and mitigate health risks. This study is coordinated by the Center for Development Research in collaboration with several other institutes at the University of Bonn, the University of Applied Science Bonn Rhein-Sieg and the United Nations University (Institute for Environment and Human Security), and will be conducted by research studies organizations in metropolitan regions of from four countries: Germany, Ghana, India, and Brazil.