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Who we are

 

 
 
 

The Economics Web Institute offers you to freely explore classical and innovative issues in economics and management, drawing on a large array of theoretical reflections, real data, and interactive software models.

The Institute sweeps across a wide range of topics, from macroeconomics to market structures, from management to international trade, from economic policies to climate change because we believe in the emergence of aggregate new properties from micro heterogeneity and in the intertwining between individual economic agents with macro events.

Albeit open to exploration for further concepts, the Institute tends to use and develop mainly the evolutionary economics paradigm, which we feel particularly suitable to 21st century, to its complexity and hectic dynamics of economies and societies.

The Institute offers analyses and policy concepts for free, whereas is ready to support their implementation across the world.

 


 

Selected contents

 


Essay: The rich and the poor

This short paper presents an exploration of the differences between the rich and the poor, as they result from a formal model.

Essay

Essay: Prices and quantities

This paper explores mismatches between ECON101 textbook theory of consumer demand and empirical evidence from the real world that you can collect by yourself, so to replicate (confirming, widening or rejecting) the proposed analyses, as a scientific approach would authorise and ask for.

Essay

Key concept: Competitor (2014)

A sharp and strict definition of competitor allows for quantitative index of competitive strength to be computed and complemented by dynamic and qualitative approaches. The computer code to perform the same analysis on your own data is distributed for free, together with a huge dataset in world trade.

Key concept: Routines (2013)

Software: Costs
 
To understand costs in different microeconomic production conditions, this software offers you a graphical representation of a wide variety of combination of fixed-costs and variable costs (economies of scale, dis-economies of scale...) activated by just a one-button click.

Software [2050 KB]

 

Economic data: Consumers' microdata: incomes, preferences, purchase timing

 

Key concept: Foreign direct investment

Key concept: Insurance (2013)

 

Key concept: Substitute goods

Key concept: Poverty

Key concept: Advertising

 

Key concept: Cumulative bundle

 

Software: You are an exporter
 
This business game will improve your skills in exporting, choosing target countries, fixing prices and quantities, while surfing between business cycles and changes in the cost structure. You'll better understand how the exchange rate impacts on exports and imports.

Suitable for beginners and researchers.

Download it now

 

Key concept: Product differentiation

 

Key concept: Unemployment

 

Key concept: Profits

Key concept: Urban regeneration

 

Key document: Fighting climate change: fhe final outcome of Cancún UNFCCC summit (Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention)

Key concept: Microfinance

Key concept: Repurchase

Essay: Copenhagen Green Climate Fund - A Comment

 

Essay: Pro-diffusion-of-innovation tax

A small tax levied on non-adopters can boost the diffusion of any new technology, including those required in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The tool costs nothing to the policy-maker and can enjoy a fairly good opinion in the general public.

Essay

Essay: Exploring the political feasibility of innovative economic policies for mitigation of climate change

A peer-reviewed article presented at the Climate2009 conference received this Best Paper Award 2009.

CO2 emissions and other GHG emissions

Climate change is influenced by human CO2 emissions. The international distribution of emissions for 41 countries (1990-2005).

MS Excel

Essay: Towards COP15: UN note about climate change tools and their consequences

Essay: An innovative policy to spread clean technologies - Presented at the Copenhagen conference on Climate change: Global risks, Challenges and Decisions

Abstract

Full paper

Essay: Microfinance in Ghana: an overview (2007)

A sound example of vibrant and innovative economy, Ghana offers a great institutional richness of microfinance institutions, as explained in this paper. Outlining the challenges, a Central Bank insider calls for further improvements in the organization of the sector.

Essay

 

 

Course outline and teaching materials: BUBBLES, PANICS AND CRASHES: AN INTRODUCTION TO ALTERNATIVE THEORIES OF ECONOMIC CRISIS

This course by Dr. Sakir Devrim Yilmaz provides consistent foundation for students to understand real-world crisis, concisely presented here. It has been arrogantly banned by his Mancherster University, which did not renew the contract to Devrim Yilmaz, whereas he deserves a large scale appreciation. For the media storm this censorship gave rise, see here and here.

 

 

Key concept: Gross Domestic Product

 

 

 

Essay: Proximity in product space and diversification strategies
 
An empirical measurement of how difficult is to produce a new good when your country or your firm already produces another one. Based on a new methodology proposed in a paper by Hidalgo, Klinger, Barabasi, and Haussman, several key datasets are freely distributed and ten steps of intentional diversification of national economies are outlined.

Essay

Data

Key concept: Social groups

Essay: The Shangahi Declaration (October 2010)
 
Declaration

 

Presentation: Regional integration between Italy and France
 

Conference proceedings with a key speech by Valentino Piana, director of EWI, about the book he wrote.

Presentation (Italian language)

 

Economic data: Bilateral trade by product

A huge cubic matrix of international trade by exporter, importer and product. More than 1 million records indicating trade among any two countries in the world (total and by product). From this datase you can extract the world market for more than 1000 product categories (standard SITC codes at 4-digits of aggregation), exhaustive of merchandise trade. Cumulative values for 1998, 1999 and 2000. Data in DBF format, easily readably by free viewers and MS Access.

Data

Essay: The production function of students' grade

A critical introduction to the neoclassical concept and use of the "production function". To help students understanding the concept and its limitations, the author proposes to take into consideration a particular production process that should be well known to them: the production of grades in an exams after an education course.

Essay - Data spreadsheet

Key concept: Trade balance

 

Key concept: Degree of difficulty

 

Presentation: Marketing, Quality Assurance, and Microfinance: three tools for sustainable tourism
 

Presentation (Italian language)

 

Essay: Bilateral import promotion as a key to integration in a hierarchical world

Changing the world order from below: a challenge for rich and poor countries. This is a first policy to raise integration relations instead of dependence and isolation.

Essay

Economic data: Bilateral and total trade of all countries in the world: a long time series

An amazing huge dataset with the bilateral trade balance, imports, and export of 186 countries with each other (square matrices of 186 x 186), with yearly data from 1948 to 2000 (52 matrices). Standardized consistent values.

MS Excel [2.5 MB]

 

 

 

Economic data: Wage microdata: a random sample with age, education, sex, marital status, sector, occupation and other variables

 

Presentation: Loan structure
 

Presentation (Italian language)

 

Essay: Trade with thy neighbour

Proximity international trade creates the kind of relative bilateral monopoly that might bring to economic integration on equal foot, with deep reciprocation and internalization of bilateral externalities. Marginalized sub-national regions and communities might thrive because of the activation of legal trade across the border.

This paper assesses the importance of trade between neighbours for the involved regions and for the overall structure of the world relationships.

Essay

 

Essay: Hierarchy structures in world trade
 
A new technique of analysis of trade values reveals the asymmetric structure of relationships among countries. The structure of world trade is characterised by bilateral absence of relations (82%) and dominance (40% in non-absent relationships), weak dominance (of two types: 24% and 22% respectively), whereas symmetric integration is just the 6% of non-absent relationships.

Essay

Check the position of your country in the world system!

 

Key concept: Exchange rate

 

Key concept: Innovation

 

Essay: Consumer decision rules for agent-based models

A clear-cut introduction to evolutionary consumption microfoundation in agent-based models. It proposes several rules to cope with budget constraints,

, purchase repetition over time.

In particular, you shall find the rules of consumer behavour used in the freely downloadable model "Race to market", which gave rise to these micro-data.

Moreover, it suggests to ACE modellers a "golden rule" for more realistic models.

Essay

 

Essay: Dynamic competition with bi-directional product differentiation, bounded rational consumers, innovation, advertising, and finance

Useful for managers, researchers and students, this business game is a powerful tool for understanding product life cycles, consumers' attitudes, innovation management strategies, competitive intelligent tactics.

Essay and

automatic download [2400 KB]
Essay only

 

Essay: Who matters in a complex society?
 
Key people can change history, especially when the global system is complex and under transition. A long-term view, presented in this paper, identifies the categories of competences and individuals interpreting and prompting structural changes.

Essay

 

Key concept: Feedback

 

Key concept: Imitation

 

Economic data: Long-term macroeconomic data for 136 countries and 42 years

The most user-friendly distribution of the main international database on GDP components (consumption, investment, public expenditure and net exports) for 136 countries and 42 years. Excellent for international comparisons, long-term growth enquiries and business cycle analysis, since it provides real values at constant prices comparable over time and countries.

MS Excel MS Access


Book: Crash - why it happened and what to do about it

An instant full-fledged book by heterodox economists, including Frédéric Lordon, Dean Baker, James K. Galbraith,Paul Davidson, George Soros about the financial and the housing bubble and crisis and ways out.

PDF from Post-Autistic Economics Network

 

Key concept: Tax revenue

 

Economic data: Tax revenue in OECD countries (1966-2000) plus a comparison in tax systems

 

Economic data: Tax revenue composition (income personal and corporate tax, indirect tax,...)

 

Software: The rich and the poor

Excel file

 

Key concept: Inflation

Key concept: Savings

 

Economic data: Savings behaviors in the UK population (2000 and 2001)

PDF [860 KB]

 

Essay: The new conceptual limits of laisser-faire

Prof. Sergio Bruno presents his standpoint in terms of a wide and modern critique of laisser-fairism. General economic equilibrium is put into question on the basis of new conceptions of time, uncertainty and complementarities in production processes. Thus, "well targeted policies may be of much help. [...] What these different forms of intervention have in common is that they are based neither on coercion nor on traditional incentives, but rather upon suasion and negotiations".

Essay [470 KB]

 

Essay: Animal Spirits, Lumpy Investment and Endogenous Business Cycles

Going well beyond Real Business Cycle or New-Keynesian perspectives, this evolutionary model with fully micro-founded heterogeneous bounded-rational agents is able to generate self-sustaining patterns of long-term growth and endogenous business cycles, delivering strong reasons for really observed stylized facts (e.g. on investment, GDP, consumption, employment ; unemployment rate; firm size distributions).

Essay

 

Essay: Evaluating the benefits from liberalization in agriculture: are standard Walrasian models relevant?
 
Jean-Marc Boussard, Françoise Gérard, Marie Gabrielle Piketty from INRA - CIRAD shows that if (contrary to the strong versions of the "rational expectation hypothesis"), agriculture producers do not take their decisions on the basis of equilibrium prices only but take also risk into account, then the market can generate very harmful seemingly random fluctuations.

Liberalisation, preventing price stabilisation policies, results in more instability, and a decrease in welfare, as it is numerically demonstrated in both a partial equilibrium model of the world sugar industry and a GTAP-style general equilibrium model of the world economy.

Essay

 

Key concept: Costs

 

 

Essay: Survival strategies: innovate or die

To devise new modified versions earlier than expected during the product life cycle can costs you cannibalising your own product but leaves no room to competitors, thus resulting in long-term business success.

Essay

 

Essay: Credit risk: a general scheme in a banking perspective

What are the issues banks evaluate for assessing credit risk when they are going to give a credit facility to a borrower? This essay proposes a general synoptic scheme in order to answer to this question. The problem is crucial not only for the bank but also for the economy at large, since overall investment and consumption are affected by micro-decisions of this kind.

Essay

 

 

Economic data: Stock exchange index for 10 markets (S&P500, Nikkei, Dax, Cac,...) - Daily quotes (1995-2000)

 

Key concept: Interest rates

 

Economic data: Lending and deposit interest rates in 13 EU countries (1980-2001)

92 national interest rates have been identified and allocated to ten broad categories - six for lending rates and four for deposit rates.

MS Excel [180 KB]

 

Key concept: Public expenditure

 

Economic data: Total expenditure on health in OECD countries (1960-2000)

 

Economic data: Quality of education: 16 indicators (26 countries)

 

Key concept: Exports

 

Key concept: Imports

 

Economic data: Inflation rates for 170 countries (1970-1996)

Yearly dynamics of inflation is presented in one sheet. Is price stability a common feature of the world economies? Is hyperinflation a disease that hurts some groups of countries more than others? Discover the answers to these and many other questions just analysing the real data.

MS Excel

 

Essay and Software: You are a monopolist
 
The traditional monopolist's choice about price and quantity is now given a new dynamic setting where you can interact. Demand is unknown and the produced good is durable across periods of time. Thus, sales needn't be equal to production since inventories can pile up and go down. A lot of strategic consequences arise, as you can discover playing with the business game.

Software [1900 KB] - Essay

 

Key concept: Money

Key concept: Balance of payments

Key concept: Employment

Economic data: Comparable wages for 162 jobs in 132 countries

The MS Excel file with a user-friendly interface of the excellent dataset by Freeman - Oostendorp. Long-term time-series from 1983 to 1999. This data set allows for comparison of wages across countries for the same job, over time, underlining the differences between skilled and unskilled works.

MS Excel [2.9 MB]

 

Economic data: Wages for 22 500 jobs across all industries

The wage distribution with means and medians for a huge number of jobs. How much does a lawyer earn? How many times is he paid more than a food preparation worker? Discover wage inequality thanks to an authoritative US dataset.

MS Excel [2.4 MB]

 

Economic data: Wages in New York

A city wage distribution.

MS Excel [79 KB]

 

Key concept: Productivity

Economic data: Industry-level output, employment, costs, investment, capital stocks over 38 years

An excellent dataset for studying the evolution of hundreds of industries.

MS Excel [4 MB]

 

Economic data: Oil world prices (1861-1999)

A very long time-series of a crucial price for the world economy. Gain new insights in inflation tides and business cycles.

MS Excel [7 KB]

 

Software: The IS-LM model
 
A Cartesian-space IS-LM model illustrating step-by-step how the curves arises from points. It reproduces what usually students learn in universities throughout the world, offering the possibility of changing the model parameters. It is a second example of Prof. Masaru Uzawa's collection of software.

Software [340 KB]

 

Economic data: EU data for all the variables in IS-LM model (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, UK, Switzerland and other 13 European countries)

MS Excel [550 KB]

 

Economic data: Data for all the variables in IS-LM model

Comprehensive of 54 variables in long-term annual and quarterly time-series, this US dataset is excellent for students to test the model as well as for researchers to develop original reflections.

MS Excel [104 KB]

 

Key concept: Price level

 

Economic data: 93 Food products prices in 198 countries (1985-2001)

The price of sugar, milk, meat and many more foodstuffs. Ideal to compare price structures over countries and time. By transforming these local-currency data in dollars, you can test the "one price law", according to which any good has the same price worldwide, after taken into account nominal exchange rates. Comparing with world wages, you get the real purchasing power of people in food terms.

MS Excel

 

Key concept: Elasticity

 

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