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Agent-based models in Economics: theory, toolkit and policy laboratories


Deadline for Registration

June 6th, 2022


Maria Enrica Virgillito


July 11th -15th, 2022

Learning objectives

The study of economies seen as complex evolving systems has proven to be an appropriate lens of analysis to interpret and provide diagnoses of the many instances of the structure of capitalism. Heterogeneity, non-linearity, interdependent and cumulative processes, structural crises, regime changes, path-dependence and inequalities are among the key properties of both micro and macroeconomic phenomena.
Agent-based models are a powerful and growing tool to develop theoretical models disciplined by empirical evidence, able to address the complex and evolving nature of economies; additionally they constitute a natural policy laboratory enabling the possibility to perform scenarios analysis useful to inform policy choices.
The Institute of Economics of Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies launches the first Seasonal School in "Agent based models in Economics: theory, toolkit and policy laboratories".
The Seasonal School is intended to achieve the following objectives:

  • Learning of agent-based modelling techniques (ABMs) as a tool of analysis and interpretation of economic and social processes.
  • Development and design of agent-based models through software laboratories (Laboratory for Simulation Development platform).
  • Introduction to statistical and econometric techniques for the analysis of  macro-evolutionary agent-based models (R software).

Competencies provided include:

  • Theories and applications of agent-based models in micro and macroeconomics uncovering diverse thematic areas such as technical progress, economic cycles, labour markets, economic growth, climate change.
  • Empirical validation and analysis of models' parametric space.
  • Scenarios-based analysis and policy experiments.

Teaching methodologies

Frontal lectures, laboratories and seminars.

Who should attend this Seasonal School?

Master and PhD students enrolled in Economics curricula. Applicants from other disciplines are welcomed.

Applications from abroad are warmly encouraged. YSI will cover the travel expenses of 3 EU (excluding students enrolled in an Italian institution) and 3 non-EU students. The Institute of Economics of the School might grant the tuition fee for selected applications by YSI. Interested students should fill out the form available at:

Please note that we will share your application information with YSI for the selection of travel grants. By sending your application, you agree to these conditions.


Dr Maria Enrica Virgillito

Key teaching staff

Giovanni Dosi, Andrea Roventini, Giorgio Fagiolo, Francesco Lamperti, Alessio Moneta, Lilit Popoyan, Mario Martinoli, Marcelo C. Pereira

Keynote lecture held by Hazhir Rahmandad

Title: COVID-19 Across Nations: One Pandemic, Many Trajectories

Bio: Hazhir Rahmandad is an Associate Professor of System Dynamics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Hazhir's research draws on fieldwork, quantitative models, and experimental data to understand the adoption of different strategies among firms. His research has shown how significantly different strategies in terms of employee’s experience could co-exist in mass market services and has elaborated on challenges to adoption of ‘good jobs’ strategies in this sector. Hazhir’s research also spans methodological and public health contributions from meta-analysis methods to projecting COVID-19 trajectory, has been funded by National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, and has appeared in diverse journals including Management ScienceOrganization ScienceStrategic Management JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health, and Obesity Reviews, among others.