M. (Michele) Piazzai


I study the economic activities surrounding the production, distribution, and consumption of creative products, broadly defined as goods with aesthetic, cultural, or hedonic value. I grew interested in this topic during my undergraduate studies in art history, when I realized that creative products pose even more fascinating questions if examined from an economic perspective. Before starting my Ph.D. at TU Delft, I received a M.A. in Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship from Erasmus University Rotterdam.


My research focuses on the antecedents and the consequences of categorization in markets. As in other social domains, categories are key to information flows: using big data from online sources, I seek to understand how people use categories to make sense of products and organizations. Furthermore, I study how classification systems affect valuation and corporate strategy. My approach brings together insights from economic sociology, cognitive science, organization theory, innovation management, industrial economics, and strategic management.

I have been involved as a teaching assistant in the following courses:

  • Integration Economics, Law, Philosophy, and Technology;
  • Formal Methods for Strategic Decision-Making;
  • Ethics and Engineering.
  • Conradie, W., Frittella, S., Palmigiano, A., Piazzai, M., Tzimoulis, A., and Wijnberg, N. M. (2016). Categories: How I learned to stop worrying and love two sorts. In J. Väänänen, Å. Hirvonen, and R. de Queiroz (Eds.), Logic, language, information, and computation (LNCS, Vol. 9803, pp. 145–164). Berlin Heidelberg: Springer.

More publications

Logics for categorization. This project aims to integrate the conventional quantitative methods of empirical inquiry in the social sciences with the formal tools of logic, so as to develop a more nuanced understanding of social behavior in economic contexts. We focus especially on categorization dynamics, including the origin and evolution of classification systems. For more information, see www.appliedlogictudelft.nl

I volunteer as a reviewer for the Academy of Management and occasionally contribute to the Administrative Science Quarterly blog.

Michele Piazzai

PhD candidate

Additional information