SECS-P/02 - 9 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff

Office: Palazzo delle Scienze, Corso Italia 55, 95129 Catania
Phone: +390957537773
Office Hours: MAR 14.00-16.00; GIO 12:00-14:00

Learning Objectives

1. Knowledge and understanding

The course aims to build consciousness on the roots of complexity in human behaviors, with reference to their consequences on dynamic perspectives of economic relations. Main contributions of related literature will provide the methodological approach to understand socio-economic relations, by comparing theoretical models and empirical data.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding

The course will analyze both the micro- and the macro-economic perspective, by underlining, respectively, the behavioral approach in the individual choice paradigm and the emergent dynamics in collective phenomena. An essential introduction to agent-based modelling will be given, as one of the most adequate tools of analysis in the field.

3. Making judgements

The course will provide students with adequate abilities to distinguish complex phenomena and to reconcile correct modeling structures with socio-economic problems at hands.

4. Communication skills

The course has an experimental nature. It deals with borderline topics and non-standard approaches for economic analysis. Therefore, a specific effort will be done to help students learning the appropriate terminology and the ability to discuss actual aspects of studied concepts.

5. Learning skills

The course will be a starting point more than a consolidated set of results. All teaching materials, references and presented topics will create a toolbox for many possible future developments, for both further studies and professional applications.

Course Structure


Detailed Course Content

The course aims to present the developments in the context of Micro- and Macroeconomic Theory deriving from the analysis of, respectively, the behavioral approach in the choice paradigm and the emergent dynamics in collective phenomena. Thus, the first part of the course will provide a broad introduction to the concept of rationality in economics and to the advances of modern literature related to the implementation of bounded rationality and behavioral approaches. The second part, instead, will be focused on the concepts of complexity, heterogeneity and interaction in economic models, and special attention will be devoted to the study of macroeconomic agent-based models. For both blocks, a step-by-step introduction of essential ABM building elements will be provided. Finally, a user-friendly open access platform will be presented in order to enable students to build their own models and perform simulations to be confronted with empirical data for policies assessment.

A - Economic Behavior and Microeconomics:

Rational choice in Economics and Bounded Rationality; Introduction to Computational Economics.

B - Complexity and Macroeconomics:

Complexity and Emergent Macroeconomics; Network Economics, Agent-based Modeling.

Textbook Information

Becker G.S., The Economic Approach to Human Behavior, The University of Chicago Press, 1976, chapters: 1, 7, 8, 12, 13.

Altman M., (ed.) Handbook of Contemporary Behavioral Economics, M.E. Sharpe 2006, chapters: 6, 7, 9, 11.

Elster J., Explaining Social Behavior, Cambridge University Press, 2007, chapters: 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25.

Gintis H., The Bounds of Reason - Game Theory and the Unification of the Behavioral Sciences, Princeton University Press, 2009, chapters: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Cioffi-Revilla C., Introduction to Computational Social Science, Springer 2014, chapters: 5, 6, 7.

Delli Gatti D., Gaffeo E., Gallegati M., Giulioni G., Palestrini A., Emergent Macroeconomics, 2008, Springer-Verlag, Milan.

Jackson M.O., Social and Economic Networks, 2010, Princeton University Press, chapters: 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12.

West B.J., Turalska M., Grigolini P., Network of Echoes, Springer 2014, chapters; 1, 2, 3, 4.

Open in PDF format Versione in italiano