2017/07/17 – July 17th-22nd – Applied Stock-Flow consistent and Agent-based Macro-modelling – Summer School

Paris, July 17th-22nd, 2017
At Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Université Paris 13, Sorbonne Paris Cité (from Monday to Friday) and the main Campus of Paris 13 in Villetaneuse (on Saturday)
Price: 100 euros

Motivation

The aim of this event is to continue the successful tradition of the winter schools and workshops on stock-flow consistent (SFC) and agent-based modelling which took place at the University of Limerick between 2013 and 2015 as well as the summer school on the same theme which took place at Kingston University in 2016.

The success of these previous events and the large volume of high-quality applications which were received for every single one of them clearly show that there exists a strong interest among young economists to learn in-depth about alternative approaches to macroeconomic modelling. The SFC approach is by now quite well-established, with a growing number of researchers working in the field and current efforts focused on providing agent-based microfoundations for these models and to move toward a more empirical approach through estimation and empirical calibration. In addition, the approach is gaining increasing recognition from institutions such as the Bank of England, which in September 2016 published a working paper based on an SFC model of the UK economy. In spite of all this, there continues to be a lack of programmes or events which teach the subject in a coherent and comprehensive fashion.

This summer school at Université Paris 13 will contribute to filling this gap by bringing together some leading experts of the SFC and agent-based approaches who will give an intensive one-week course to a group of interested young economists. Paris 13 is particularly well-placed to organise such an event since a large number of its faculty members are active in these fields. More generally, Paris 13 possesses an open and pluralistic economics faculty, as well as a research centre which is committed to the creation and dissemination of new economic thinking. Moreover, since Kingston University is one of the partners of the Erasmus Mundus EPOG programme coordinated by Paris 13, this means that the summer school will also have access to the experts on the SFC and agent-based approaches who are based at Kingston University.

Why join our summer school?

If you are a highly motivated student of economics at the Master’s or Ph.D. level, or if you are working with a research centre or a public institution, and have a strong interest in stock-flow consistent (SFC) and/or agent-based (AB) modelling and their applications, this summer school offers you a unique opportunity to participate in an intensive, one-week course about these approaches. Courses will be taught by international leading experts. If you are already working on a project incorporating SFC and/or AB approaches, the summer school offers you the chance to discuss your work and to resolve any issue requiring expert support. This summer school is also an excellent opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas with participants who are equally interested in similar issues.

Aims and objectives

SFC macroeconomic modelling is fundamentally concerned with providing a comprehensive representation of both the real and financial sides of the economy in order to appropriately depict the important interactions between them. Consistency is ensured through the application of rigorous accounting rules, and the imposition of restrictive general equilibrium conditions is not necessary. SFC models are well suited to the study of a wide variety of topics and have thus far proved particularly useful in studying the causes and effects of financial crises as well as issues such as financialisation, income inequality or monetary integration. More recently, efforts have been made to incorporate insights from ecological economics into SFC models in order to add the fundamentally important dimension of the ecosystem to these models. SFC modelling represents the most well-developed alternative to mainstream macro-modelling and a growing community of researchers are working in further advancing the field.

SFC models are typically aggregate models which do not incorporate explicit microfoundations, although their behavioural equations are usually based on some form of microeconomic reasoning. Such an approach is useful for many purposes, but for a large number of interesting questions it can be helpful to incorporate a more explicit treatment of microeconomic aspects.

A class of models which can provide a detailed depiction of microeconomic behaviours is that of agent-based models. The agent-based approach focusses on the heterogeneity of economic agents, the adaptive behaviour of these agents and network interactions between them. This allows the modelling of phenomena which would not be observable in a purely aggregate macro model. It also avoids the pitfalls of representative agent models which still abound in economic research and emphasises the importance of emergent properties in multi-agent environments rather than ignoring them.

The SFC and AB approaches can be gainfully combined, either through the introduction of agent-based microfoundations into one or more sectors of a macroeconomic model or through building an AB model of an entire economy and imposing the necessary accounting constraints to ensure that the model is consistent. The use of agent-based microfoundations in SFC models will be another central theme of the summer school and participants will learn how such models can be built in practice. There will be a particular focus on the interactions between the micro- and macroeconomic levels which can be depicted through a combination of the SFC and AB approaches. Participants will learn how interactions at the microeconomic level shape the macroeconomic properties of a model and how, in turn, the macroeconomic environment feeds back on relationships at the micro level.

Since the large majority of research in SFC and AB modelling thus far has focussed on theoretical work, efforts must now be redirected towards more empirical research, by building empirically estimated or calibrated models. The summer school will thus include classes on how the necessary empirical data can be obtained and used in SFC and AB modelling. Participants will be invited to contribute to advancing this aspect of the approach.

Organisation of the courses

From Monday to Friday, the summer school will take place at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme of the Université Paris 13, at the Auditorium for the lectures, and in room 414 for the computer labs. On Saturday, the event will take place on the main campus of the Université Paris 13, in Villetaneuse, at the Amphi 6.

The school will begin on Monday the 17th of July with keynote lectures. This will be followed by a very brief (~5 minutes) presentation by each student in which they will give an idea of their current research.

There will then be 8 hours of teaching sessions per day for the following 5 days (Tuesday to Saturday). Every day will include one or two classes on theoretical considerations, modelling techniques and empirical applications. 2-4 hours every day will be devoted to computer labs in which students will practise hands-on, together with instructors, how to apply the materials and concepts seen in the classes in order to work on their own models. Participants will be provided with the source codes of a few simple models in order to help them build their own. All the computer labs will build on each other in order to ensure that all students will leave the summer school with a sound basis to continue their work independently.
On Saturday, there will be a closing keynote.

Indicative contents of the Summer School

Keynote speakers:

  • Professor Marc Lavoie (Université Paris 13)
  • Professor Gennaro Zezza (University of Cassino, Italy)
  • Professor Steve Keen (Kingston University) (TBC)

Lectures:

  • Dr Dany Lang (Université Paris 13): introduction to SFC modelling
  • Dr Federico Bassi (Université Paris 13): introduction to AB modelling
  • Dr Devrim Yilmaz (Kingston University): how to find data for SFC and AB models and how to calibrate them
  • Dr Antoine Godin (Kingston University): applied Stock-Flow Consistent and AB Modelling
  • Dr Edwin le Héron (Sciences Po Bordeaux): modelling banks and monetary policies within SFC models
  • Dr Michaël Clévenot (Université de Bourgogne): financialisation in SFC models
  • Dr Florent Mc Isaac (French Development Agency and Chaire Energy et Prospérité)

All the material required for the summer school, including readings, any code required in advance, etc., will be made available to students before the beginning of the event. The labs will focus on how to build, calibrate and estimate AB and SFC models in R and Netlogo. Beyond some prior familiarity with the AB and SFC approaches, we therefore expect each participant to have a sufficient knowledge of both R (including R Studio) and Netlogo to follow the labs and complete small tasks which may be set by instructors. If you are unfamiliar with these programming languages, you will be expected to acquire sufficient knowledge prior to the event. To learn R, you may wish to look at the R programming course offered by Coursera at www.coursera.org/course/rprog and/or other free R courses and/or the swirl package. In addition, be sure to familiarise yourself with the SFC package for R available at github.com/S120/PKSFC as well as the pdfetch package for empirical calibration.

Coordinators

Dany Lang (Associate Professor, Paris 13 and Professor, Université de Saint Louis, Belgium) ; Maria Roubtsova (PhD student, Université Paris 13) ; and João Pedro Scalco Macalós (Master EPOG student, Université Paris 13).

Application and fees

Due to limited funding and for logistical reasons, we restrict the number of participants to 25. We will thus only consider applicants who can demonstrate a strong interest in as well as some previous knowledge of the field.

As mentioned above, successful applicants will also be expected to have mastered the basics of R (including R Studio) and Netlogo before the start of the summer school in order to be able to follow the computer labs.

Application procedure

Applications should be sent via email before March 31st, 2017, 23:59 to Summer.school.SFC.ABM.Paris@gmail.com with an updated CV and a letter of motivation attached. The subject of the message should be “Application to the SFC-ABM Paris summer school”. Applications that do not meet these conditions will not be considered.

You may also include a reference letter which is relevant to the theme of the event, but this is not a requirement. We will evaluate all applications as quickly as possible after the deadline and inform all applicants of the outcome. Late applications will only be considered in the unlikely case that there are free spots left. If you require a visa to travel to France, let us know about it in your application.

Participation fee

The fee for participation is 100€ which includes accommodation, lunches and coffee as well as one social dinner. Due to limited funding, we cannot provide support to cover travel costs.

The organisers gratefully acknowledge the financial support received from Université Paris 13-Sorbonne Paris Cité, the CEPN (Centre d’économie de Paris Nord), ADEK (French association for the development of Keynesian studies), the Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK, Düsseldorf), l’agence Française de développement (AFD) and Kingston University.

Deadline for applying : March 31st, 2017, 23:59.
Contact: Dany Lang
Email: Summer.school.SFC.ABM.Paris@gmail.com


Chaire Energie et Prospérité Association pour le Développement des Etudes Keynésiennes Macroeconomic Policy Institute