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

Seasonal School Agent Based


Deadline for Registration

May 2nd, 2023


July 10th -14th, 2023

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 second 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.

The first day of the seasonal school will host: "A dialogue on Agent-Based Models and Complexity Economics: origins and future pathways" between Prof. Marco Valente and Prof. Francisco Fatas.

Marco Valente
Marco Valente is Professor of Economics at University of L'Aquila,Italy. As an Evolutionary Economics scholar, his research contributed to the literature on industrial dynamics, technological innovation, bounded rational consumption and complexity. He also investigated growth, structural change and inequality. His current research is focused on sustainability, inequality and the diffusion of renewable energy. Marco Valente is also interested in methodological issues in social sciences, in particular concerning the use of agent-based modeling in Economics. He is the author of "Laboratory for Simulation Development", a software designed to implement agent-based models.


Francisco Fatas-Villafranca, Professor of Economics at University of Zaragoza, Spain. He has been Visiting Scholar at Columbia University (The Earth Institute - Program on Science, Technology & Global Development), and Visiting Researcher at the University of Manchester (Institute of Innovation Research). He is Co-editor of the series Elements in Evolutionary Economics (Cambridge University Press) and member of the Editorial board in the Journal of Evolutionary Economics. His research focuses on economic theory and quantitative methods in the social sciences, with special interest in evolutionary economics, macroeconomic dynamics, computational economics, economics of innovation and mathematical economics. He has published works in the 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, Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Journal of Bioeconomics, Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review as well as in several collective volumes. He has co-authored with Isabel Almudi the monograph Coevolution in Economic Systems (Cambridge University Press) where the authors propose an integrative re-appraisal of the different variants of evolutionary theorizing in economics, as well as the complementary use for evolutionary modelling of network models, ABMs and coupled replicator dynamics. In 2021 Francisco was appointed as member of the research Institute on Employment, Digital Society and Sustainability (IEDIS) in Spain, and serves as co-PI of the research team CREDENAT (economics of growth, demand and environmental economics S10-DGA).