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  • Professional Profile

    • Associate Professor, Department of Economics - University of Denver.
    • Consultant, United Nations Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) - Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities - Gender and Development Programme.


    My research is centered around two themes, which are based on an analysis of the imbalances of global capitalism and their implications for the future prospects of the world economy. The first theme focuses on the social, economic and environmental challenges associated with China’s rise in the global economy. My recent research has focused on the implications of the world's and China's ecological crisis on the prospects of development for China and other developing countries.

    The second theme is centered around trade & gender, and the social consequences of neoliberalism, examined from a feminist perspective. My recent work has focused on the implications of globalization on women's work and mental health.

  • Education

  • • PhD Economics, University of Utah, (Salt Lake City, UT) (2011)

    • MSc Economics with reference to the Asia Pacific Region, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London (UK) (2005)

    • Laurea in Economic and Social Sciences [Summa cum laude], Luigi Bocconi University, Milan (Italy) (2003)


  • Curriculum Vitae

  • CV_November 23

  • Teaching - Graduate Courses


    This course is designed to study the interplay between capitalism and the environment by discussing alternative economic approaches on environmental issues. The course presents the theoretical framework proposed by mainstream economics, and it outlines both its strengths and weaknesses. The course covers the multiple dimensions of the current global environmental crisis, discussing in particular peak oil and climate change. The course concludes with an exploration of alternative visions of how to achieve sustainability.

  • Teaching - Undergraduate Courses

  • ECON 1020: ECONOMICS - A CRITICAL INTRO (Revised introductory course since fall 2020)

    This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the development, characteristics, and challenges of the modern global economy. In the first section, the course discusses the characteristics of the process of globalization and the rise of the so-called “gig economy.” The second section examines the main imbalances observed in the global economy: composition of social welfare and economic instability, rising inequality, and the environmental crisis. The third and last section of the course proposes alternative suggestions on what it may take to build robust, just, and sustainable economies.


    This course examines the historical development of our global food system, its imbalances, and alternative perspectives on how to address them.

    In the first section, the course examines how food production and food consumption have evolved in the era of globalization and discusses the defining features of global food markets.

    The second section examines the economic, social, and environmental challenges associated with the globalization of food.

    The third and last section discusses alternative perspectives on how to build robust, just, and sustainable food system.


    ECON 2030 builds on ECON 1020 and ECON 1030, and presents the main macroeconomic theories and models used today to examine national income, unemployment, inflation, and public policy. This course presents the standard economic theory, but also highlights its limitations based on the contributions of alternative schools of economic thought to provide students with a more complete understanding of current economic debates.

    The course begins by introducing the key macroeconomic variables. On this foundation, we introduce the goods market and the relation between consumption, saving, and investment in the short run. We then add the asset market to discuss the role of money and prices in the macro economy (considered as a closed economy). In the last part of the course, we will discuss economic growth and alternative perspectives on fiscal and monetary policies, in the context of the global challenges represented by high inequality and the environmental crisis.


    This course examines the interaction between economic outcomes, environmental impacts, and inequality based on the contribution of both the traditional and the critical economic perspectives. It is divided in three core sections:

    Section I presents a historical examination of the restructuring of global capitalism under neoliberalism, and its impact on resource distribution and ecosystems. It follows a presentation of the theoretical differences between traditional and critical economics in the interpretation of these developments.

    Section II applies the concepts learned in Section I to four topics: 1) climate change, 2) food, 3) waste, and 4) pollution. For each of these topics, the analysis will highlight both social and environmental implications and prospects for ecological sustainability and social welfare.

    Section III discusses alternative economic recommendations for socio-economic prosperity and ecological conservation. 


    The rise of China in the global economy is one of the most significant developments of the last four decades. This course will provide a comprehensive analysis of the Chinese economy and China’s role in the global economy. The course will start with an overview of the historical development of the Chinese economy before and during the socialist era. The core of the course will focus on the nature and the impact of China’s economic reforms since 1978. Particular attention will be devoted to the analysis of the social, economic and ecological challenges that the Chinese economy and world capitalism are currently facing.


    This course is designed to provide students with an analytical framework necessary to understand the development and the functioning of the global economy, as well as an overview of the challenges that world capitalism is currently facing. The analysis focuses on the textbook presentation of theory and policy in open economies, and is integrated with critical readings to achieve a broader understanding of the current debates on trade and financial issues in the context of globalization and internationalization of markets. The first part of the course is centered on international trade. The discussion presents the dominant models used to show how countries may gain from opening up their borders to trade in goods and services. The limitations of these models is also examined by looking at alternative perspectives and critical arguments. Policy implications are explored as well. The second part of the course is devoted to balance of payments accounts, exchange rates, and international monetary arrangements.

  • ECON 1020: MICRO- MACRO-ECONOMICS I: HISTORY & THEORIES (version of ECON 1020 until spring 2020)

    This course is designed to provide an overview of the development of economic institutions from pre-capitalism to capitalism, an understanding of the evolution of economic ideas from a history of economic thought perspective, and an introduction to the principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics. In particular, the course will introduce basic economic concepts, tools and models, with an emphasis on policy discussions.

  • Research


    • Nursel Aydiner-Avsar and Chiara Piovani. 2021. “The Gender Impact of Unemployment on Mental Health: A Micro Analysis for the United States.” Forum for Social Economics. 50(40): 505-529.

    • Chiara Piovani. 2017. ‘The Greening of China: Progress, Limitations, and Contradictions.’ Journal of Contemporary Asia. 47(1): 93-115.

    • Chiara Piovani and Nursel Aydiner-Avsar. ‘The Gender Impact of Social Protection Policies: A Critical Review of the Evidence.’ 2015. The Review of Political Economy. 27(3): 410-441.

    • Chiara Piovani and Nursel Aydiner-Avsar. 2014. ‘The 2008/2009 Economic Crisis: The Impact on Psychological Well-Being in the United States.’ Forum for Social Economics, Vol. 44, No.1, pp.18-45.

    • Chiara Piovani. 2014. ‘Class Power and China’s Productivity Miracle: Applying the Labor Extraction Model to China’s Industrial Sector, 1980-2007.’ Review of Radical Political Economics, Vol. 46(3), 331-354. 

    • Chiara Piovani and Hande Togrul. 2012. ‘Heterodox Economics and the Crises of Capitalism: Rethinking Pedagogy in Higher Education.’ International Critical Thought, Vol. 2(3), 375-386.

    • Chiara Piovani and Minqi Li. 2011a. ‘Is Climate Stabilization Compatible with Economic Growth? The Cases of China and India.' World Review of Political Economy, Vol. 3(4) (Fall 2011), pp. 477-494.

    • Chiara Piovani and Minqi Li. 2011b. ‘One Hundred Million Jobs for the Chinese Workers: Why China’s Current Model of Development Is Unsustainable and How A Progressive Economic Program Can Help the Chinese Workers, the Chinese Economy, and China’s Environment.’ Review of Radical Political Economics, Vol. 43(3), (March 2011), pp. 77-94.

    • Elizabeth Ramey and Chiara Piovani. 2020. “Trade and Gender Linkages: The Gender Impact of Technological Upgrading in Agriculture.” UNCTAD/DITC. Forthcoming.
    • Nursel Aydiner-Avsar and Chiara Piovani. 2019. "Trade and Gender Nexus in the Context of Regional Integration: A Comparative Assessment of EAC and Mercosur." DITC/UNCTAD/2019/2. Available at
    • Nursel Aydiner-Avsar and Chiara Piovani. 2019. "Making Trade Policies Gender-responsive: Data Requirements, Methodological Developments and Challenges." DITC/UNCTAD/2019/1. Available at 
    • Nursel Aydiner-Avsar and Chiara Piovani. 2019. "Trade and Gender Nexus in the Context of Regional Integration: A Comparative Assessment of EAC and Mercosur." DITC/UNCTAD/2019/2. Available at 
    • Mariangela Linoci (lead author) Nursel Aydiner-Avsar, Judit Kozenkow, Chiara Piovani, Carmine Soprano and Simonetta Zarrilli. 2019. BORDERLINE: Women in Informal Cross-border Trade in Malawi, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia. UNCTAD/DITC/2018/3. Available at
    • Chiara Piovani, Burak Onemli, and Maria Masood. 2018. “Trade and Gender Linkages: An Analysis of MERCOSUR” (Teaching Material on Trade and Gender). UNCTAD/DITC/2018/2. Available at 
    • Chiara Piovani and Burak Onemli. 2018. “Trade and Gender Linkages: An Analysis of the Southern African Development Community” (Teaching Material on Trade and Gender). DITC/UNCTAD/2018/1. Available at 
    • Chiara Piovani and Nursel-Aydiner Avsar. 2012. ‘Gender and Social Policy: A Literature Review,’ background paper for UN Women (with Dr. Nursel Aydiner-Avsar). Reviewed and approved by UN staff. Paper revised after its content was reviewed by UN staff, and approved by UN staff in May 2012).

    • Chiara Piovani and Nursel Aydiner-Avsar. 2021. "Work Time Matters for Mental Health: A Gender Analysis of Paid and Unpaid Labor." Review of Radical Political Economics. 53(4): 579-589. [Peer-reviewed].

    Chiara Piovani and Minqi Li. 2013. ‘Climate Change and the Limits to Growth-oriented Model of Development: The Case of China and India.’ Review of Radical Political Economics (Special Issue of the RRPE of Papers from the WAPE Forum of May, 2011). 45(4)449-455. [Peer-reviewed].

    • Nursel Aydiner-Avsar and Chiara Piovani. 2012. ‘The Gender Impact of Social Protection Policies in The United States: Trends, Debates and Policy Recommendations,’ Proceedings – Selected Papers. Annual Conference on International Political Economy: Challenges to the Welfare State (Izmir, Turkey), 23-25 May 2012.


    Simonetta Zarrilli, Chiara Piovani, and Carlotta Schuster. 2023. “Sustainable Development and Women’s Empowerment: The Challenges and Opportunities of Digitalization” In Making Trade Work for Women: Key Learnings from the World Trade Congress on Gender. Geneva: World Trade Organization.

    Chiara Piovani. 2017. China's Ecological Crisis and Global Capitalism Under Neoliberalism: The Other Face of China's 'Economic Miracle,' in Imperiled Economies 2018 - An URPE Reader (Edited by Paul Cooney, Ann Davis, Julio Huato, Paddy Quick, Geoffrey Schneider, Ramaa Vasudevan, and Matias Vernengo). Dollars & Sense. 



    Chiara Piovani. 2018. “Mainstreaming Gender in the Face of Pervasive Inequality.” Commentary. Center for International Governance Innovation. Available at

This portfolio last updated: 07-Dec-2023 11:29 AM