84564 - ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

Course Unit Page

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to introduce students to a discussion of comparative economic theories. The main areas that will be covered are: (i) economic systems and reduction of complexity: introduction to comparative economic theories; (ii) paradigms of economic theory: the exchange model and the production model; (iii) economic theories and institutional assumptions: separation theorems; (iv) connections, social norms, institutional set-ups. The course endeavours to provide systematic guidelines for the assessment of economic knowledge and the interpretation of economic literature. This is done through the discussion of analytical themes central in the evolution of the discipline, and the reconstruction of how they stand vis-à-vis each other. Teaching consists of formal lectures and classes that require the active participation of students.

Course contents

Lectures will only be delivered online and will follow the syllabus below:

1. Economic systems and reduction of complexity

2. Paradigms of economic theory: overview and introduction to pure production and pure preference models



3. Pure preference models


3.1. Preference and rationality criteria
3.2. Weighted maximization and rational choice: multiple objectives (Bruno de Finetti's approach

3.3. Internal and external correspondences of choice (Sen)
3.4. Maximization and satisficing choice (Herbert Simon's approach)

3.5.Recent developments of the bounded rationality research programme (Selten, Vernon Smith, Gigerenzer)

3.6. Language, framing, focussing devices (Tversky, Crisma, Rubinstein): research perspectives in decision theory

4. Pure production models
4.1. Pure labour economies and production technologies
4.2. Economies with labour and capital-goods technologies
4.3. Production technologies and co-ordination criteria

5. Economic theory and institutional assumptions: separation theorems

6. Interdependence, connectivity, institutional arrangements
6.1 Positional interdependence and patterns of connectivity
6.2. Connectivity and institutional arrangements
6.3. Binary social structures and models of constitution


Teaching includes research seminars by external scholars.

Classwork is an essential component of the course. Students will be required to comment on selected topics of economic literature. Topics for classwork will be assigned at the beginning of the course. The classes are coordinated by the course Tutor.

Readings/Bibliography

Topic 1:

*H. Simon, ‘The Architecture of Complexity', Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 156, n. 6, December, 1962, pp. 122-137. (Italian translation with comments: H. Simon, 'L'architettura della complessità', in Informazione e studi di progettazione ambientale, n. 5, Istituto universitario di architettura di Venezia, anno accademico 1970-71.)

H. Simon, ‘Near decomposability and the speed of evolution', Industrial and Corporate Change, 2002, 11 (3), pp. 587-99.

Loasby, Choice, Complexity, and Ignorance: an Enquiry into Economic Theory and the Practice of Decision-making, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1976, pp. 29-57.

Topic 2:

M. Baranzini and R. Scazzieri, ‘Knowledge in Economics' , in M. Baranzini and R. Scazzieri (eds), Foundations in Economics. Structures of Inquiry and Economic Theory , Oxford and New York, Basil Blackwell, 1986, pp. 1-87.

*L.L. Pasinetti, ‘Theory of Value-a Source of Alternative Paradigms in Economic Analysis', in M. Baranzini and R. Scazzieri (eds), Foundations in Economics. Structures of Inquiry and Economic Theory , Oxford and New York, Basil Blackwell, 1986, pp.409-31.

*J. Hicks, ' "Revolutions" in Economics', in S.J. Latsis (ed). Method and Appraisal in Economics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1976, pp. 207-18.

*A.Quadrio Curzio and R. Scazzieri, 'The Exchange-Production Duality and the Dynamics of Economic Knowledge', in M.Baranzini and R. Scazzieri (eds), Foundations of Economics. Structures of Inquiry and Economic Theory, Oxford and New York, Basil Blackwell, 1986, pp. 377-407.



Topic 3:

*de Finetti, B. , ‘Due lezioni su “Teoria delle Decisioni” (Two lectures on decision theory), in Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Contributi del Centro Linceo Interdisciplinare di scienze matematiche e loro applicazioni, n. 6, Roma, Accademia nazionale dei Lincei, 1975, pp. 643-656.

*V.L. Smith, Rationality in Economics. Constructivist and Ecological Forms, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 1-42.

*H. Simon, Reason in Human Affairs , Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1983.

*A. Sen, ‘Maximization and the Act of Choice', Econometrica, vol. 65, No. 4 (Jul., 1997), pp. 745-779.

P. Suppes, ‘The Limits of Rationality', Grazer Philosophische Studien, 12/13, pp. 85-101, (in Collected Works of Patrick Suppes, Section III (Methodology, Probability and Measurement), http://suppes-corpus.stanford.edu/article.html?id=227 )

P. Suppes, ‘Rationality, Habits and Freedom', in N. Dimitri, M. Basili and I. Gilboa (eds), Cognitive Processes and Economic Behavior. Proceeding of a Conference held at Certosa di Pontignano, Siena, Italy, July 3-8, 2001, pp. 137-67 (in Collected Works of Patrick Suppes, Section III (Methodology, Probability and Measurement), Stanford , http://suppes-corpus.stanford.edu/article.html?id=394 ).

P.Suppes, ‘The Good and the Bad, the True and the False', in M.C. Galavotti, R. Scazzieri and P. Suppes (eds), Reasoning, Rationality and Probability, Stanford, CSLI Publications, 2008, pp. 13-35. 67 (in Collected Works of Patrick Suppes, Section III (Methodology, Probability and Measurement), Stanford, http://suppes-corpus.stanford.edu/article.html?id=425 ).

Gigerenzer, G. and Selten, R., eds., Bounded Rationality: The Adaptive Toolbox, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2001.

Byron, M., ed., ‘Introduction', in M. Byron (ed), Satisficing and Maximizing. Moral Theorists on Practical Reason, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. 1-13.

Rubinstein, A., 'Why are Certain Properties of Binary Relations Relatively More Common in Natural Language?', Econometrica, 64, 1996, pp. 343-56.

Rubinstein, A., Economics and Language, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000.

 

Topic 4:

*L. Pasinetti, Structural Economic Dynamics. A Theory of the Economic Consequences of Human Learning, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, Chapter II ('A Pure Labour Production Economy'), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp. 15-26.

* L.L.Pasinetti, Lectures on the Theory of Production, New York Columbia University Press, Londpn, Macmillan, 1977, Chapters II and III.

*L.L. Pasinetti and R. Scazzieri, ‘Capital Theory: Paradoxes', in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition (eds S. N. Durlauf and L. E. Blume), London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008; The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_C000042 .

*R. Scazzieri, A Theory of Production. Tasks, Processes and Technical Practices, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1993, pp. 27-33, and pp. 83-101.

Topic 5:

B.de Finetti, B. (1952). 'Sulla preferibilità' ('On Preferibility') , Giornale degli economisti e annali di economia, 1952, pp. 685-709.

*L. L. Pasinetti, ‘The stage of pure economic theory', in L.L. Pasinetti, Keynes and the Cambridge Keynesians. A ‘Revolution in Economics' to be Accomplished, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 274-304.

R. Scazzieri, ‘The Feasibility of Normative Structures', in M.C. Galavotti, ed., Bruno de Finetti: Radical Probabilist , London, College Publications, 2009, pp. 129-152.

*Scazzieri, R., 'Political Economy of Economic Theory', in I. Cardinale and R. Scazzieri (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Political Economy, London and Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, pp. 193-233.

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Topic 6:

*S. Goyal, Connections. An Introduction to the Economics of Networks, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2007, pp. 9-24.

*N. Georgescu Roegen, ‘The institutional aspects of peasant communities: an analytical view', in N. Georgescu-Roegen, Energy and Economic Myths, New York, Pergamon Press, pp. 199 - 231.

R. Burt, Structural Holes. The Social Structure of Competition, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1995.

*R. Scazzieri, ‘Context, congruence and co-ordination', in M.C. Galavotti, R. Scazzieri and P. Suppes, eds., Reasoning, Rationality and Probability, Stanford, CSLI Publications, 2008, pp.187-207.

M. Landesmann and R. Scazzieri, ‘The production process: description and analysis', in M. Landesnmann and R. Scazzieri (eds.), Production and Economic Dynamics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press,1996, pp. 191-228.

M. Landesmann and R. Scazzieri, ‘Coordination of production processes, subsystem dynamics and structural change', in M. Landesmann and R. Scazzieri (eds.), Production and Economic Dynamics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press,1996, pp. 304-43.

*A. Andreoni and R. Scazzieri, ‘Triggers of Change: Structural Trajectories and Production Dynamics', Cambridge Journal of Economics, 38, 2014, pp. 1391-1408.

R. Scazzieri, M.L. Baranzini and C. Rotondi, 'Resources, Scarcities and Rents: Technological Interdependence and the Dynamics of Socio-Economic Structures', in M.L. Baranzini, C. Rotondi and R. Scazzieri (a cura di), Resources, Production and Structural Dynamics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Ptess, 2015, pp. 427-84.

*I. Cardinale, 'Sectoral Interests and "Systemic Interests": Towards a Structural Political Economy of the Eurozone", in I. Cardinale. D. Coffman and R. Scazzieri (eds), The Political Economy of the Eurozone, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2017.

*A. Pabst and R. Scazzieri, 'The Political Economy of Civil Society', Constitutional Political Economy, 2012 (4, December), pp. 337-56.

I. Cardinale, D. Coffman and R. Scazzieri, 'Framing the Political Economy of the Eurozone: Structural Heuristics for Analysis and Policy' , in I. Cardinale, D. Coffman and R. Scazzieri (eds), The Political Economy of The Eurozone, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2017.

I. Cardinale and R. Scazzieri (eds.), Palgrave Handbook of Political Economy, London and Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Teaching methods

Critical survey of the literature, analysis of core theoretical models, identification and discussion of interpretive frameworks

Assessment methods


Exam component I: Research paper 1 on assigned topic (2,000 to 3,000 words)


Exam component II: Laboratory group presentation on assigned topic and Research paper 2 (4,000 to 5,000 words) on the same topic.


Students unable to attend the Laboratory are asked to satisfy the requirements of Exam component II by submitting an additional research paper (2,000 to 3,000 words) on a topic and bibliography preliminarily agreed with the Lecturer or the Tutor.

Teaching tools

Formal lectures and classes. Active participation in discussion and classwork is required.

Online PPT lecture notes will be made available through the Virtuale website.

Office hours

See the website of Roberto Scazzieri