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Università degli Studi di Trento

CEEL Summer school Fifth summer school

Fifth Trento Summer School

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CEEL program in Adaptive Economic Dynamics
28 June - 9 July 2004

Fifth Trento Summer School

Intensive course in
Institutional Economics



Richard N. Langlois, University of Connecticut


The relationship between institutions and economic analysis is a two-way street. In one direction, institutions serve as guides or constraints that theory must take into account; in the other direction, economic theory provides a set of tools that can help explain the nature and origins of social institutions. This course will travel in both directions, and occasionally turn down some scenic side roads. The goal of this year’s intensive course is to provide a wide and thorough survey of the place of institutions in economics. Here are some of the topics:

  • What are institutions?
  • The “Old” and the “New” Institutionalism.
  • Institutions and economic rationality.
  • Complexity, spontaneous order, and economic evolution.
  • Organizations and institutions.
  • Modularity, near-decomposability, and the design of institutions.
  • Institutions and economic growth.
  • Institutions in economic history.

The course will be taught by Richard Langlois of the University of Connecticut. Guest lecturers include Nicolaas Vriend of Queen Mary's College, University of London; Scott Page of the University of Michigan; Meir Kohn of Dartmouth College; Axel Leijonhufvud of UCLA and the University of Trento; Ugo Pagano of the University of Siena; Enrico Zaninotto of the University of Trento and Junfu Zhang of the Public Policy Institute of California.

The course will take the form of morning lectures by the principal instructor and some of the guest speakers. In the afternoons, other prominent guest speakers will introduce students to cutting-edge approaches to the economics of organization, including evolutionary game theory, experimental economics, and agent-based simulation.

Interested graduate students and post-docs are encouraged to apply by submitting a curriculum vitae, a two-page essay describing their interest and background in institutional economics. Applicants should also submit a course transcript from their PhD program, including advanced examinations passed, and two letters of recommendation.

Applications are due by May 15, 2004. We encourage electronic submissions.You can submit all the required documents by fax (0039-0461-882222) or e-mail (ccschool@economia.unitn.it)

Admissions decisions will be announced by May 26, 2004. All applicants will be informed by e-mail about the results.

The mini-school will be held at Sardagna (Trento, Italy), a beautiful retreat, accessed by cable car, in the Dolomite Mountains. All student participants are asked to stay for the entire duration of the conference. Food and accommodation at the conference will be completely covered (participants will have to cover travel to the conference).

Please direct logistical questions to the Summer School Secretary (ccschool@economia.unitn.it).


This is the Fifth of a series of intensive courses to be offered by the Computable and Experimental Economics Laboratory (CEEL).

Previous courses were offered in Computable Economics (2000, Professor K. Vela Velupillai), Experimental Economics (2001, Professor Daniel Friedman), Adaptive Economic Processes (2002, Professor Peter Howitt) and Behavioral Economics (2003, Professors Daniel Friedman and David Laibson).

One more course is planned in:
Evolutionary Economic Dynamics (2005).



Program Director: Axel Leijonhufvud, UCLA and University of Trento

Director of the School: Richard N. Langlois, University of Connecticut

Guest Lecturers:

- Meir Kohn, Dartmouth College
- Ugo Pagano, University of Siena
- Scott Page, University of Michigan
- Nicolaas Vriend, Queen Mary's College, University of London
- Enrico Zaninotto, University of Trento
- Junfu Zhang, Public Policy Institute of California

Laboratory Director: Luigi Mittone

Lab Technical Assistant: Marco Tecilla

The course is offered by the Computable and Experimental Economics Laboratory CEEL of the University of Trento with the financial support of Latsis Foundation (Geneva).

Computable and Experimental Economics Laboratory (CEEL)
Dipartimento di Economia
Università degli Studi di Trento
Via Inama 5
I-38100 Trento
Fax: (+39) 0461-882222


For further information please contact the Summer School secretary


Program of the School

Application Procedure
Biographical sketches of instructor and guest lecturers Application Form
How to get to Trento Photos

Department of Economics via Inama, 5 I-38100 Trento tel. +39 461 282201