Economics of changes and transitions

Economics of changes and transitions
Master Analyse et politique économiqueParcours Économie des transitions, de l'innovation et des connaissances


Macroeconomics of Changes, Complexity and Agent-Based Modeling (20h – LORENTZ André, University of Strasbourg):

This course aims to provide students with insights into the modeling of economic dynamics as evolutionary and complex processes. In doing so the course proposes to overcome the limitations of equilibrium economics to model the dynamics of economics as evolving complex systems. After having introduced the main principles of evolutionary economics and pillars of the economics of complexity, in a first part this course provides the students with formal toolbox for evolutionary economics including among others the modeling of simple to complex selection, mutation mechanisms, evolutionary and genetic algorithms, adaptive and learning behaviors. These will be approached using examples from the literature on economic growth, industrial dynamics among others. In the second part of the course, the students will be introduced to Agent Based Models (ABM) as a practical tool to approach evolutionary and complex systems dynamics. This second part provides a hands-on-approach to ABM, from the construction of ABMs to their translation into computer simulation models.

Software resources:

Please make sure to download and install the following software on your computer for the practical exercises. Note that the software requires to follow precise installation procedures depending on the operating system used described in the Readme.txt file present in the installation folder. The software required either Windows (tablets and phones excluded), Mac OS or Linux.

Learning objectives:

Upon completion, students will have gathered:

  • the foundations to analyze economic dynamics as complex evolving systems in theory and in practice
  • the foundations to build, use and exploit Agent-Based modelling for economic purposes

Economics of Networks (10h – COWAN Robin, University of Strasbourg):

This is a course on the economics of networks. The goal is to introduce students to the field of networks. Modelling economic activity using social network analysis tools can be very useful in furthering understanding of a wide variety of phenomena. Our interest, of course, will be largely in how network analysis is useful in understanding innovation and knowledge creation and diffusion.

This course will cover background material on social network analysis in the context of innovation. It gives a general introduction to the economics of knowledge, innovation and networks, presents basic statistics used to describe networks, presents some of the main typologies and commonly observed networks, as well as discussing social capital. The course will mainly be lecture-based, though students are expected to prepare before class. 

Bounded Rationality and Decision Making in Evolving and Uncertain Environments (8h – VALENTE Marco, University of L'Aquila):

The course begins with a brief introduction to the methodology of evolutionary dynamics in Economics. The core topic consists in defining the market life dynamics as the result of the interplay between bounded rational consumers and innovating firms. For the demand side the course presents two models showing how demand produces aggregate results on the basis of empirically plausible consumers’ behaviours. For the supply side we define a model of complexity representing how innovating firms explore complex technological landscapes. The outcome of supply and demand interaction generates market life cycles that affect the type of macro-economic growth. 

Economics of Creativity and Experimental Methods (7h – TBC, University of Strasbourg or BETA - CNRS) :

To be announced later 

Capital Theory and Transformations in Production (5h – BORSATO Andrea, University of Strasbourg):

The course discusses the role played in economic theory by the concept of capital which is intimately bound up with the question of the distribution of the social product among the classes forming a community. Although two broad approaches to the theory of distribution and relative prices emerged in the history of economic analysis – i.e., the surplus approach and the neoclassical approach – they both suffer from the same difficulty, namely the measurement of capital independently of distribution. However, the conditions for this measurement differ in one fundamental respect. In the surplus approach, capital is ultimately measured as a set of magnitudes, or quantities of dated labour, whereas the substitutability between labour and means of production with the corresponding laws of demand and supply characterise the neoclassical approach. The course is organised in two parts. The first traces back the origins of the neoclassical thought in which the measurement of capital occurs in terms of a single magnitude and therefore the concept of quantity of capital plays an essential role. Afterwards, we introduce the surplus approach with a reappraisal of the classics – e.g., Smith and Ricardo – in the line of Garegnani.

Compétences visées

  • Students will be able to use advanced modelling tools related to the economics of complex systems, agent-based modelling, network modelling
  • Students will be able to reason on use analytical tool to analyse the dynamics of transforming and transitioning economies at multiple level


  • Sciences économiques


Responsable(s) de l'enseignement