Main page
Economic data Go
Software Go
Essays Go
Key concepts' glossary Go
Links Go

Advanced search

Search engine
by freefind

Industrial dynamics Go

Business cycles

Labour market Go
Consumer behaviour Go

Geopolitical areas

Africa Go
Asia Go
Europe Go
Latin America Go
North America Go
Oceania Go
World Go

Specialised entry pages for




Who we are














A theoretical reflection needs words, not only numbers and mathematics. Essays and papers expand the room for thinking by sharing an international view on the subjects in order to invite the reader to co-operation with the Institute.




Essay: Towards a study of human needs and their satisfaction through the construction of solutions

In this rich but fragmentary text, we move beyond choice from a given set of alternative towards a conception of human beings and their needs which are satisfied by processes of construction of solutions.

In this we do not only criticise the neoclassical theory but pose some of the bases to an alternative to bounded rationality as it has been proposed until now. The text contains statements that have been developed (in English) in this text, which would probably help the readers. Unfortunately for some of them, the current version of this outline of workplan for such a study is in Italian language.


Essay: Market dynamics with firm-specific fixed and variable costs

In this easy evolutionary model you'll find a market with a large number of firms, each characterised by a different cost structure, and you'll be able to study the evolution of profits over time, according to changes in demand and endogenous technology progress.

A key statement will relate the way demand interacts with the kind of technological innovation approved by top management.




Essay: Italy's weak areas and industrial districts coming out of the crisis

A descriptive and policy-oriented paper on industrial and spatial dynamics. It is pretty old (1999) but still maintains an interests for methodology and historical reasons.


Essay: Analysing retailing opportunities and threats using agent-based simulation

As a valuable supporting tool for the marketing analysis of opportunities and threats on retail markets, an agent-based simulator is proposed, providing insights to answer to questions such as:

- What happens in the distribution landscape if we open a new outlet? Where should it be located? What profile (assortment composition, price levels, size) the new outlet should have?
- What if competitors open or close outlets? What should we then change in the profile of our outlets?
- What if the purchasing behaviour of consumer households changes? E.g. purchasing power and decision rules changes due to economic crisis.
- What if the cost structure changes? E.g. there is easy funding of outlets in less-favoured areas by municipalities and regional authorities.


Essay: When the poor pay more than the rich

This paper presents eleven groups of reasons and conditions under which, painfully surprisingly, the poor has to pay a higher price than the rich for the same good or for the same fulfillment of a need. This is conducive to devise innovative anti-poverty policies and business practices.


Essay: Prices and quantities

This paper explore mismatches between ECON101 textbook theory of economics 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: Towards a certain conceptualization of time

A sketch of a position over the concept of time (distinguishing a "logical time" from a "chronometric time"), fairly different from the neoclassical position, embedded in their formal models. This position is utilized to re-interpret an evolutionary model of long-term change of technological paradigms, due to Carlota Perez. [Italian language]


Essay: The marketing mix of the hotel “U Lišky”: an example of strategic choices leveraging product differentiation

By analyzing and evaluating the 7P’s marketing mix of the hotel “U Lisky” (product, price, promotion, place, people, process and physical evidence), the author build upon personal insights and literature (including this paper from EWI) to suggest future improvements.


Is anything worth keeping in microeconomics?

A poignant critique of neoclassical microeconoimcs, and in particular supply and demand curves. Contrary to all good sense, microeconomists assume that all agents are price-takers, without saying who makes and changes these prices. But people trade with each other, and not with“the market.”


Some polemics in paid press followed after publication, to which the authors replied here.

From the same authors, a description of the messy issues involved when zero profits are considered as the short or long run equilibrium in a competitive market.

A further essay is here.


Presentation: Grey networks for green - an empirical sociological analysis of the role of the organizations of the elderly for the environmental challenges (2018)

PDF from PPT


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: European space and West-East flows of tourists The role of Italy

The broad concept of "trajectory" covers a crucial phenomenon in the contemporary reshaping of European space. Dividing and defining European identities as they did, the traditional geographical borders are rapidly losing their role, since social, cultural and economic identities are increasingly to be defined in dynamic terms as evolution along a path. Published by the Polish Academy of Science, this short paper by Valentino Piana, underlines the meaning of tourism as a symptom of the emergence of new stronger trajectories, provides a quantitative analysis of data on West-East bilateral flows of tourists, supplies a longer discussion of the qualitative role of Italy in these flows and in their deeper meaning.


Presentation: Nurturing China’s Strategic Emerging Industries and Green Products
through Five Innovative Economic Policies

Presentation held at Guanzhou, based on this book

Essay: Integrating healthcare and microfinance

Harnessing the strengths of two Sectors to improve health and alleviate poverty



Essay: Our Plan B for macro-economic recovery and structural change (31st October 2011)

EWI has been asked to sign this program to change the macro-economic policies to cope with the combined financial, economic, social and environmental crisis in UK and other countries. We accepted to sign a letter published by the Guardian and would like to offer to our readers' reflection the following policy essay:


100 leading economists have done the same.


Essay: Addressing a missing element in the Toledo Declaration with industrial ecology (May 2011)

A landmark of urban regeneration policy for EU, the Toledo Declaration, amidst the call for an integrated approach to address sustainability challenges by the declaration, exhibits a predominant focus on using local actions to solve local problems.
This lope-sided scope may give rise to policies that end up shifting problems beyond the local jurisdiction. Some of these problems can be deduced using key industrial ecology concepts, such as material flow analysis and life cycle assessment.

The author, a Singaporean scholar, provides a few possible strategies to cope with the issue, after a longitudinal study showing a specific case.


Essay: Bringing Heterodox Recipes to Policymakers: "The Example of Innovative Economic Policies for Climate Change Mitigation"

Paper presented to the 12th Conference of the Association of Heterodox Economics.


Essay: How to tranfer knowledge to SMEs

Guidelines on effective knowledge and technology transfer activities to SMEs in the food sector with particular focus on traditional food manufacturers.

A path-breaking contribution from an original consortium of both trade associations and R&D providers, that delivers a far-reaching approach that should be followed in many further fields to enhance appropriate innovation and diffusion.


Presentation: Smart Policies for Social Inclusion

Four new families of integrated policies for Europe: Networks and social connections, product lifetime and consumption pattern, urban experiments and regeneration, inclusive green policies

Presentation handles to the European Commission


Essay:Invention and Transfer of Climate Change Mitigation
Technologies on a Global Scale: A Study Drawing on Patent Data



Essay: An innovative policy to spread clean technologies

Presentation: Urban regeneration as leverage for value creation

PDF from PPT


Essay: Institutions and economic development: theory, policy and history

Essay: Economic Development as a Catch-up Process: What is Different About the Current Environment by R. R. Nelson

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: Package size, price, and consumer rules

Optimal commercial offer by retailers depends not only on efficient logistics and buyer's power with respect to the supply chain: it hinges on the segmentation of customers according to their rules of choice.

In this paper, an example of purchase basket over many categories, varieties and package sizes is constructed and commented, freely offering the Excel file with all open programming code.

Consumers can find out their style of shopping; managers have a device to fix the prices in your commercial premise, the researchers and the absolute beginners can simply explore the unexpected consequences of the interaction of such trivial, but real, things like package size, weight, and budget constraints.



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: Peak oil: coming soon but when?

The former director of what is now Puerto Ricos's Energy Affairs Administration, Lewis L. Smith, sets forth a compelling framework for the economically-feasibile production of oil to peak before 2020 with a 90% of chance.



Essay: Preparing diachronic trade network data with Stata

Essay by Dr. Simon Fink quoting EWI work on trade data


Essay: Complexity meets development - A Felicitous Encounter on the Road of Life

The whole number of Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems where the paper appeared first.




Essay: Levels of product differentiation in the global mobile phones market
6 different levels of product differentiation are proposed and interpreted in a new enhanced way by Prof. Andonov.



Essay: Consumer theory: the neoclassical model and its opposite alternative
An alternative evolutionary approach to consumer theory is here presented and contrasted with the neoclassical model.

Essay and software

Essay: The Performativity of Routines: Theorising the Influence of Artefacts and Distributed Agencies on Routines Dynamics by L. D’Adderio

A new consideration or evoolutionary routines.


Essay: Economic development from the perspective of evolutionary economic theory
Evolutionary theory sees the economy as always in the process of change that involves economic actors taking actions that break from previous behavior, and an environment in continuing flux because of the innovation.

While neoclassical theory sees the economy as at rest, or undergoing well anticipated change it has nothing to say about these kinds of conditions.

Therefore the author, Richard Nelson, believes the processes of economic catch-up have to proceed under the implicit or explicit guidance of an evolutionary economic theory.


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: Peak oil and South Africa: impacts and mitigation (8 March 2007)

From a tough scenario to policies in a key African country.


Essay: Exports and their linkages to literacy

An exploration of the manyfolds relations of exports and the growth of the number of people capable to write.


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: The impact of market structure and irreversibility on investment under uncertainty: an empirical analysis

This paper estimates a model of investment under product price uncertainty for 23 French industries during the period 1977-1997 and represents the first empirical work that includes variables of market structure (in terms of degree of competition) in a model of investment under uncertainty.

In the paper, Sara Maioli presents one of the very first attempts to make explicit the empirical relationship between investment and uncertainty under different degrees of irreversibility.


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 [1900KB]




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: Outward foreign direct investment and technology transfer: selected results from the U.S. and Taiwan in the electronics industry
Outward Foreign Direct Investment will be heavily criticized if the outgoing investment appears to transfer or outsource jobs that are seen as needed by the home country’s
workers, and if there is a perceived danger of allowing critical technology to be dispersed. Any Inward FDI will be criticized if it is seen as allowing foreign entities to own the engines of industry and gain control of critical technology.

This paper focuses on the electronics industry and presents some examples of countries’ policies concerning technology transfers and the effects on industry of each of the three reactions by policy makers and high-level managers.


[First published at IAMOT 2006]


Essay: Profits, competition and opportunity costs: two introductory papers on the flaws in neoclassical approach
Prof. Kepa M. Ormazabal points out at contradictions in neoclassical theory of firm where two opposite notions of profits are used together, making the maximization of profits irrational if owners' revenue is considered as cost. The definition of competitive profit as the opportunity cost of capital is shown to involve a self-contradictory notion of opportunity cost. The student will better follow this argument thanks to a constant reference to Varian's standard texbook.

In the second paper, the neoclassical theory of competition is critically re-examined and compared to the solutions of classical theory.



Essay: The economics of ex ante coordination

Prof. Sergio Bruno and Alessandra De Lellis present in this paper a few fundamental elements of a new perspective in economics, stressing complex time structures and co-ordination issues in investment, production, consumption.

It integrates innovation theories and the earlier studies on the economic development of nations to single out overlapping issues and solutions.



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, product differentiation, 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: 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


Essay: Assessing the employment effect of FDI inflows to Egypt: Does the mode of entry matter? (2008)

Egypt has attempted to attract Foreign Direct Investments since 1974 and has offered generous incentives to achieve this target, motivated by low domestic savings rates accompanied by inefficient financial intermediation and the opportunity to benefit from the direct and indirect effects of FDI on increasing demand for labour. This is especially important given a chronic unemployment problem that the Egyptian economy suffers from. This paper extensively assess empirically the effect of FDI and argue about the importance of studying FDI at the most disaggregated possible level, since they are not homogeneous in their effects.


Earlier published at the Arab Planning Institute as proceedings to the conference "“The Unemployment Crisis in the Arab Countries”


Essay: The mystery of excess trade (balances)

Bilateral trade balances are an important source of frictions in international trade relations, so it is important to understand their provenance. In this papers, the author provide an empirical examination of two key theories - one based on macroeconomic balances and the other based on triangular trade.

Both theories perform poorly in explaining bilateral trade balances. Actual bilateral trade balance are vastly larger than those predicted by the theory, a result that may be termed the "mystery of the excess trade balances".


Bilateral trade data for 99 countries


Essay: Italy: Regional differences in public health quality management systems

This short essay presents a review of the various approaches applied by the different Italian Regions with regard to Quality Management in health care policy.



Essay: A solution for the "national resource curse": should we distribute oil revenues to the citizens directly instead that to governments?

Countries with an abundance of natural resources have on average lower economic growth than resource-poor countries. They also have more poverty and are more likely to suffer from violent conflict. These negative outcomes in resource-rich countries are called the ‘curse of natural resources.’ Dr. Martin E. Sandbu proposes a policy of revenue distributions from taxable resources to individuals as a way of addressing the curse. Instead of paying resource rents in to the government treasury, they would be distributed equally to all indviduals, but the government would then be allowed to tax it back.



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

This paper explains and offers you a powerful software tool for understanding the introduction of product and process innovation in a competitive market. Consumers are individual agents with different tastes and personal income. In terms of industrial dynamics, you'll see how product life cycles arise by personally playing the software model or by observing how artificial agents perform.

Essay and software automatic download [2400 KB]


Essay: A new approach to business fluctuations: heterogeneous interacting agents, scaling laws and financial fragility

Business fluctuations in GDP, investment, etc. can be explained in a new micro-founded way. The authors present a simple agent-based model, whose core is the interaction of heterogeneous financially fragile firms and a banking sector. In their framework, the origin of business fluctuations can be traced back to the ever changing configuration of the network of heterogeneous interacting firms.

Simulations of the model replicate surprisingly well an impressive set of stylized facts, particularly two well known universal laws.

Essay [300 KB]


Essay: Financial Fragility, asset bubbles, capital structure and real rate of growth - A study of the Indian Economy during 1970-2000



Essay series: Global value chain: governance and typologies

How Do We Define Value Chains and Production Networks

The Governance of Global Value Chains

Value Chains: An Economist's Perspective

The reference site for Global Value Chains

Essay: Innovation and Growth: A Schumpeterian model of innovation

The creation of a positive feedback loop is what makes the difference between sustained growth and gradual (or sudden) decline. A Positive Feedback Loop Innovation System (POLIS) is here modelled along Schumpeterian lines and applied to the actual economy of Taiwan.


Essays: Agriculture innovation system in Australia

The papers identifies eleven broad categories of agents taking part to the innovation system. The kind of innovation and the goals of innovation are explored and ranked by an empirical survey.



Essay: Influence of delayed feedback on learning, performance and strategy search - revisited

Economic agents live in an uncertain environment, where they have to learn how to behave and which is the performance of their actions. Strategy is not given: they have to search for the "right one", if exists at all. Feedback is a crucial mechanism linking the past with the future, possibly helping the agents in their tasks. In particular, the timing of feedback signals can deeply influence their effects.

Is immediate feedback always superior to delayed feedback? Are the features of the environment irrelevant? This paper offer original experimental results on the influence of delayed feedback on learning, performance and strategy search.




Essay: Active decisions and pro-social behavior: a field experiment on blood donation

In this paper, Alois Stutzer, Lorenz Goette and Michael Zehnder propose a decision framework where people are individually asked to either actively consent or dissent to some pro-social behavior. The authors hypothesize that confronting individuals with the choice of engaging in a specific pro-social behavior contributes to the formation of issue-specific altruistic preferences while simultaneously involving a commitment. The hypothesis is tested in a large-scale field experiment on blood donation. This "active-decision" intervention substantially increases the stated willingness to donate blood, as well as the actual donation behavior of people who have not fully formed preferences beforehand.


Essay Contact


Essay: Does innovation policy matter in a transition country?

Prof. Attila Havas demonstrates in this paper the simultaneous need for systemic institutional changes and macroeconomic stabilisation in order to improve microeconomic performance.

Whithin an evolutionary economics framework, innovation policy is examined both theoretically and empirically in the case of a country currently undergoing deep structural changes: Hungary.



Essay: Estimation of a dynamic discrete choice model of irreversible investment

A dataset of Spanish manufacturing firms provides an important empirical evidence that business investment - at micro level - is infrequent and lumpy.There are periods in which firms decide not to invest and periods of large investment episodes. Rocío Sánchez-Mangas develops and tests consider a dynamic discrete choice model of irreversible investment with a general specification of adjustment costs including convex and nonconvex components.

Essay [200 KB]


Essay: An example of information set for the export manager

Exporters often approach new markets just by participating to trade fairs, meeting there potential importers and building business relationships with them by trial and error. But a systematic overview of foreing markets can offer a more structured approach. In this report by U.N. Bhati, you'll find a good instance of what an export manager can find in such documents to orient its actions and business plans.

A Statistical Profile of Forest Product Market in South Korea [362 KB]


Essay: Japanese Foreign Aid, Development Expenditures and Taxation: econometric results from a bounded rationality model of fiscal behaviour

A path-breaking methodology for assessing the behaviour of foreign aid receivers. Investment in human and physical capital has been a significant factor in Malaysian GDP growth. Both internal and external sources of finance have been used in promoting investments as well as development expenditures.

But foreign aid could have been used, by a bounded rational bureaucratic policymaker, in many different ways, not all conducive to development.



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 Data


Essay: Country concentration of Turkish exports and imports over time

Through international trade, countries develop their own net of privileged partners. Turkey is an extremely interesting example of a fast changing developing country. In this paper, Prof. Güzin Erlat shows not only data analysis but also a methodology to address the issue of concentration and diversification of exports. The Product Cycle Theory of international trade is given further data support.



Essay: Tax base in developing countries

How to increase the tax revenue in developing countries? By enlarging the tax base the fiscal burden would be better distributed, comprehending the large informal economy which is so present in these countries. Unlike in rich countries where informality is largely a result of the tax burden, the informal economy in developing countries is largely a result of high fixed costs of entry into the formal sector. The tax burden is lower in developing countries and the barriers to entry into the formal economy are higher. Empirical analysis supports the results of this paper by prof. Emmanuelle Auriol and Michael Warlters.



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: A graph representation of a basic macroeconomic scheme: the IS-LM model

Students of the first year of economics usually learn the basic functioning of the economy thanks to the IS-LM model. Here we present an original representation that concentrates the entire model in just one sheet.

The researcher will find many innovative features to the model. To a creative economist, this representation offers the immediate possibility of adding further variables and outlining new or different linkages between variables.


If you have never heard of IS-LM model, click here.


Essay: Quality and health system: two worlds apart?

Can Quality Management tools and principles, adapted to the peculiar features of the public health sector, help to solve the main challenges this system is presenting? Cost effectiveness, suitable solutions to people's needs and requests, the full account of human and professional relations could be better targeted using a Quality approach. This essay sets the stage for a discussion on the subject.



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.


Other papers available at the Economics Web Institute in separate pages, for instance evolutionary economics downloadable papers are here.

Please use the Search tool to find where or navigate through the left top page menus.



Main page

Help us improve