Advanced Analysis Methodologies in Economics: From Cost-Benefit Analysis to Computational General Equilibrium Models and Artificial Intelligence Applications

07 Mar

Description and Objectives

Advanced Analysis Methodologies in Economics: From Cost-Benefit Analysis to Computational General Equilibrium Models and Artificial Intelligence Applications

This intensive four-week course, combining online lectures and in-person meetings, is designed for Ph.D., Ph.D. and economics professionals interested in exploring advanced simulation analysis techniques in economic policy. The program follows Heckman and Pindo’s theoretical principles on the use of structural models and the investigation of causality, focusing on quantitative methods for economic analysis and policy evaluation and with an emphasis on environmental policies and the application of the “One Health” paradigm.

The program aims to present the theoretical foundations and the most important analytical tools of ex-ante economic impact assessment and cost-benefit analysis within the framework of the most advanced modeling methodologies available for economists, policy makers and other informed professionals. The course material develops the theory and practice of impact assessment aimed at determining the direct and indirect effects of economic policy measures, such as public and private investments, technological changes and regulatory interventions, quantifying aspects such as relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability. This information, provided in credible and useful terms, can be integrated into the decision-making process of both the beneficiaries and the funding and promoters. It also allows you to evaluate the consequences of the program or project, as well as its potential ability to achieve the desired results.

The ultimate goal of the economic, social and environmental impact assessment is to provide detailed information to managers and policy makers in order to direct economic strategies towards an efficient and sustainable allocation of the natural and human resources of a given territory. This set of knowledge takes on particular importance in the current historical context given the importance of the ex ante evaluation placed by the European Commission to allocate the funds for the economic recovery.

The program is organised in 4 modules to be delivered in 4 separate weekly courses tailored at the level of the interested audience:

Module 1 (Week 1): Cost-Benefit Analysis – Online (Days 1-3): Introduction to the basic principles of cost-benefit analysis. Discussion of how to identify, quantify, and monetize costs and benefits. – In-Presence or online (Days 4-5): Case studies and practical applications. Methods for analyzing economic and social projects, with a focus on evaluating externalities.

Module 2 (Week 2): Social Return on Investment (SROI) and Impact Evaluation. – Online (Days 1-3): Basic concepts and methodological approaches of SROI. Measuring social and environmental impact in economic terms. – In-Presence or online (Days 4-5): Practical exercises and analysis of real case studies. Use of SROI in different economic and social contexts. Impact evaluation with local and multi-regional Social Accounting Matrix models (MRSAM) and environmental impact extensions. Simulations.

Module 3 (Week 3): Introduction to welfare economics and general equilibrium analysis – Online (Days 1-3): Theoretical foundations of Welfare Economics and GE models. Structure and operation of CGE models in the context of policy analysis. – In-Presence or online (Days 4-5): Introduction to mathematical programming and the fundamentals of GAMS (General Algebraic Modeling System). Basic principles of artificial intelligence in business. Practical implementation of miniature CGE models. Interactive workshops on how to integrate AI into economic models for advanced simulations and predictive analysis.

Module 4 (Week 4): Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Models. – Online (Days 1-3): Theoretical foundations of CGE models. Structure and operation of CGE models in the context of policy analysis. – In-Presence or online (Days 4-5): Practical implementation of CGE models. Exercises on how to build and use a CGE model for economic policy simulations. Design and modelling CGE for policy evaluation with applications to the Italian PNRR model: The national CGE models in the Static and Dynamic variants.

Course Target Audience: This course is ideal for Ph.D., Ph.D. students and professionals in the field of economics who seek to deepen their analytical and application skills in the field of economic policy analysis. Participants will gain advanced skills in quantitative modeling and analysis techniques, which are essential for addressing complex challenges in the public and private sector

Methodology: The course will alternate between online theoretical and in-person practical sessions, offering a holistic approach that combines theory with applied practice. Group projects, interactive discussions, and laboratory activities will be included to ensure comprehensive and engaging learning.

Course Objectives and Benefits:

Objectives: The course aims to equip participants with advanced, multidisciplinary skills in the field of economic analysis and policy evaluation. Specific objectives include:

1. To provide a sound theoretical and applied understanding of cost-benefit analysis and Social Return on Investment (SROI).

2. Impart practical knowledge in the use of Computational General Equilibrium (CGE) models, with emphasis on their applications in economic policy.

3. Introduce advanced mathematical programming tools, including GAMS and artificial intelligence applications, to address complex economic issues.

4. Develop analytical and critical skills needed to interpret and evaluate the impact of economic policies in various contexts.

Benefits to Participants: Participants in the course will reap numerous benefits, including:

1. Specialized Skills: Acquire specialized technical skills in economic analysis and modeling, increasing their competence and attractiveness in the labor market.

2. Improved Decision Making Skills: Improved evidence-based decision making skills crucial for effective policy formulation and evaluation.

3. Professional Networking: Opportunities to network with other professionals and academics in the field, fostering exchanges of ideas and potential future collaborations.

4. Practical Applicability: Through practical sessions, participants will be able to directly apply the knowledge learned to real-world scenarios, enhancing their ability to address practical challenges in the real world.

5. Innovation and Creativity: Stimulating innovation and creativity through the exploration of new tools and techniques, such as AI, applied to economic analysis.

More broadly, the course aims to prepare participants to become innovative and informed leaders in the field of economics, equipped with the skills needed to guide and influence economic policies in a rapidly changing global environment.

Board of teachers

  • Federico Perali
  • Pasquale Lucio Scandizzo
  • Daniele Cufari
  • Riccardo Magnani

Secretarial Contacts

  • Giovanna Fabbiane
  • Flaviana Antonini


Logistics and lodging information