Imperial College London

DrSimoneCenci

Business School

Advanced Research Fellow - Data Scientist
 
 
 
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Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
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14 results found

Cenci S, Burato M, Rei M, Zollo Met al., 2023, The alignment of companies' sustainability behavior and emissions with global climate targets, Nature Communications, Vol: 14, ISSN: 2041-1723

Climate actions by the private sector are crucial to cutting global emissions and meeting the climate targets set by the Paris Agreement. However, despite an increasing number of climate pledges, the emissions pathways of most companies are still misaligned with the Paris targets. To identify the causes of this discrepancy between effort and outcome, we developed a systematic approach, based on extensive analyses of textual data, to track the actions implemented by major public corporations to reduce their emissions. Our findings suggest that the misalignment between companies' climate goals, actions, and outcomes is due to a widespread over-investment in risk mitigation actions as opposed to innovation and cooperation activities to foster energy goals. Overall, we provide a systematic framework to track companies' climate actions. Our approach can be used by investors and policymakers to redirect capital towards its most sustainable use and to design behaviourally founded climate policy interventions.

Journal article

Burato M, Tang S, Vastola V, Cenci Set al., 2023, Organizational system thinking as a cognitive framework to meet climate targets, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, Vol: 120, ISSN: 0027-8424

System thinking is a crucial cognitive framework to enable individual pro-environmental behavioral changes. Indeed, a large body of literature has shown a significant and positive association between individuals' system thinking capacities and perceptions of the threat posed by climate change. However, individual behavioral changes play a limited role in addressing climate change compared to large organizations involved in a significantly larger share of economic activities. Do organizations exhibit system thinking capacities? Here, we conjecture that system thinking is a cognitive framework observable at an aggregated group level and, therefore, organizations, not just individuals, can exhibit characteristic levels of system thinking. We conceptualize a definition of organizational system thinking and develop an empirical method to estimate it using a large body of textual data from business organizations. Then, we show that system thinking organizations are more likely to lower emissions and align them with the pathways required to meet the climate targets set by the Paris Agreement. Finally, we discussed the theoretical and policy implication of our study. Overall, our results suggest that system thinking is a relevant organization-level cognitive framework that can help organizations align their emissions with global climate targets.

Journal article

Cenci S, 2023, A large-scale analysis of the heterogeneity of markets' reactions to the disclosure of nonfinancial information, Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, Pages: 1-28, ISSN: 2043-0795

To allocate capital to its most sustainable use, market participants need information on companies' sustainability plans and initiatives. This information is disclosed in sustainability reports, but the disclosure process is largely unregulated and voluntary. When do sustainability reports convey relevant information? To answer this question we estimate the heterogeneous effects of nonfinancial disclosure on analysts' estimates of earnings and firms' equity values. We have found that the information content of nonfinancial disclosure is larger when firms are subject to greater information asymmetry, and when nonfinancial information is integrated within a financial context. Moreover, positive responses have a long-lasting impact while negative shocks are corrected within a short window. Overall, our work suggests that market participants' interest in standalone nonfinancial information is limited, and integrated reporting increases the value of sustainability reports.

Journal article

Cenci S, Kealhofer S, 2022, A causal approach to test empirical capital structure regularities, The Journal of Finance and Data Science, Vol: 8, Pages: 214-232, ISSN: 2405-9188

Capital structure theories are often formulated as causal narratives to explain which factors drive financing choices. These narratives are usually examined by estimating cross–sectional relations between leverage and its determinants. However, the limitations of causal inference from observational data are often overlooked. To address this issue, we use structural causal modeling to identify how classic determinants of leverage are causally linked to capital structure and how this causal structure influences the effect-estimation process. The results provide support for the causal role of variables that measure the potential for information asymmetry concerning firms’ market values. Overall, our work provide a crucial step to connect capital structure theories with their empirical tests beyond simple correlations.

Journal article

Krishnan RG, Cenci S, Bourouiba L, 2022, Mitigating bias in estimating epidemic severity due to heterogeneity of epidemic onset and data aggregation, ANNALS OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, Vol: 65, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 1047-2797

Journal article

Cenci S, Medeiros LP, Sugihara G, Saavedra Set al., 2020, Assessing the predictability of nonlinear dynamics under smooth parameter changes, JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY INTERFACE, Vol: 17, ISSN: 1742-5689

Journal article

Cenci S, Saavedra S, 2019, Non-parametric estimation of the structural stability of non-equilibrium community dynamics, Nature Ecology and Evolution, Vol: 3, Pages: 912-918, ISSN: 2397-334X

Environmental factors are important drivers of community dynamics. Yet, despite extensive research, it is still extremely challenging to predict the effect of environmental changes on the dynamics of ecological communities. Equilibrium- and model-based approaches have provided a theoretical framework with which to investigate this problem systematically. However, the applicability of this framework to empirical data has been limited because equilibrium dynamics of populations within communities are seldom observed in nature and exact equations for community dynamics are rarely known. To overcome these limitations, here we develop a data-driven non-parametric framework to estimate the tolerance of non-equilibrium community dynamics to environmental perturbations (that is, their structural stability). Following our approach, we show that in non-equilibrium systems, structural stability can vary significantly across time. As a case study, we investigate the structural stability of a rocky intertidal community with dynamics at the edge of chaos. The structural stability of the community as a whole exhibited a clear seasonal pattern, despite the persistent chaotic dynamics of individual populations. Importantly, we show that this seasonal pattern of structural stability is causally driven by sea temperature. Overall, our approach provides novel opportunities for estimating the tolerance of ecological communities to environmental changes within a non-parametric framework.

Journal article

Cenci S, Sugihara G, Saavedra S, 2019, Regularized S-map for inference and forecasting with noisy ecological time series, METHODS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, Vol: 10, Pages: 650-660, ISSN: 2041-210X

Journal article

Cenci S, Saavedra S, 2018, Uncertainty quantification of the effects of biotic interactions on community dynamics from nonlinear time-series data, JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY INTERFACE, Vol: 15, ISSN: 1742-5689

Journal article

Cenci S, Song C, Saavedra S, 2018, Rethinking the importance of the structure of ecological networks under an environment-dependent framework, ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, Vol: 8, Pages: 6852-6859, ISSN: 2045-7758

Journal article

Cenci S, Montero-Castano A, Saavedra S, 2018, Estimating the effect of the reorganization of interactions on the adaptability of species to changing environments, JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL BIOLOGY, Vol: 437, Pages: 115-125, ISSN: 0022-5193

Journal article

Cenci S, Saavedra S, 2018, Structural stability of nonlinear population dynamics, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, Vol: 97, ISSN: 2470-0045

Journal article

Cenci S, Song C, Saavedra S, 2017, Rethinking the importance of the structure of ecological networks under an environment-dependent framework

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>A major quest in network and community ecology has been centered on understanding the importance of structural patterns in species interaction networks—the synthesis of who interacts with whom in a given location and time. In the past decades, much effort has been devoted to infer the importance of a particular structure by its capacity to tolerate an external perturbation on its structure or dynamics. Here we demonstrate that such a perspective leads to inconsistent conclusions. That is, the importance of a network structure changes as a function of the external perturbations acting on a community at any given point in time. Thus, we discuss a research agenda to investigate the relative importance of the structure of ecological networks under an environment-dependent framework. We hypothesize that only by studying systematically the link between network structure and community dynamics under an environment-dependent framework, we can uncover the limits at which communities can tolerate environmental changes.</jats:p><jats:p>“<jats:italic>Variation stands out as the only meaningful reality</jats:italic>”</jats:p><jats:p>Stephen J. Gould.</jats:p>

Journal article

Saavedra S, Cenci S, del-Val E, Boege K, Rohr RPet al., 2017, Reorganization of interaction networks modulates the persistence of species in late successional stages, JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY, Vol: 86, Pages: 1136-1146, ISSN: 0021-8790

Journal article

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