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


Deadline for Registration

May 13th, 2024

The outcome of the application will be communicated to all candidates by email after the deadline.


July 8th -12th, 2024

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 third 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. Young Scholars Initiative 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.

About us

Here are some statements released by the previous editions’ winners of the merit award offered by Fondazione Il Talento all’Opera and Fondazione EY.

Bassart Loré Gustavo soares

Special guests

Title for the session: "Complexity Economics and Coevolution"

ISABEL ALMUNDI is Professor of Economics at the University of Zaragoza, Spain. She is also member of the Institute for Bio-computation and Complex Systems (BIFI) in Zaragoza. She has been Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute, Columbia University (New York) and RMIT University (Melbourne). Her research fields are evolutionary economics, innovation studies, environmental economics and dynamic systems. She has published her work in Industrial and Corporate Change, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, International Journal of Ecological Economics & Statistics, Journal of Economic Issues, Metroeconomica, Journal of Bioeconomics and Economics of Innovation and New Technology. She is co-editor of the series Elements in Evolutionary Economics published by CUP, and belongs to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Evolutionary Economics. She is guest editor of the Review of Evolutionary Political Economy. Recently has published books and chapters on the notion of Coevolution, the work of Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter (Routledge Handbook of Evolutionary Economics 2024) and on the Sarewitz-Nelson Rules as a policy tool (The Economics of Knowledge and Innovation, Edward Elgar).

FRANCISCO FATAS-VILLAFRANCA is Professor of Economics at the University of Zaragoza (Spain). He has been Visiting Scholar at Columbia University (New York), and Visiting Researcher at the University of Manchester (UK). His research focuses on Economic Theory and Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences, with special emphasis in evolutionary economics.  
He has published works in Journal of Public Economic Theory, Industrial and Corporate Change, Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization, Computational Economics, Metroeconomica, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Journal of Economic Issues, Journal of Bioeconomics, Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, and has written books and book chapters on the notion of Coevolution in Economic Systems (Cambridge University Press); Demand Complexity and Long run Economic Evolution (Springer); Foundations of Evolutionary Economics and Evolutionary Political Economy in the recent Routledge Handbook of Evolutionary Economics (Dopfer, Nelson eds. 2024). He is Co-Editor of the series ELEMENTS IN EVOLUTIONARY ECONOMICS (CUP), and serves as a member of the JOURNAL OF EVOLUTIONARY ECONOMICS editorial board.