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Laboratory of data analysis for economics and political sciences

Major Politics, Philosophy and Economics

The aims of the laboratory are:

  • to have students face and resolve critical situations related to social and economic phenomena through related data analysis;
  • to have students acquire skills in data collection (both direct and indirect data), using Italian (ISTAT, ICE, UNIONCAMERE, INPS, INAIL, CNEL etc.), European (Eurostat, AMECO etc.) and global (OCSE, FMI, WTO, UNCTAD etc.) database sources, in data processing, using techniques presented during the Statistics course (mean values, ratios, displayed matters, relations), and in the evaluation of results using IT tools (R, EXCEL and PHSTAT);
  • to guide students towards autonomy in reading, evaluating and reporting statistical data and indexes (leading economic indicators) issued by the main national and international statistical offices (e.g., indicators presented in the annual publication Noi Italia. 100 statistiche per capire il Paese in cui viviamo and in the annual ISTAT report on the country's current conditions.

Competences in data collecting and processing represent a vital toolkit that is an integral part of a full professional profile. Therefore it is suitable for both public administration and corporations which now, more than ever, need to make decisions based on objective, relevant and timely data in order to be competitive and efficient. 

Students attending the laboratory will learn how to gather data of interest in terms of both the topic – political, economic or social – and territorial planning – national or international. In addition, they will be able to process them and use the findings.

The laboratory is a full-year course worth 6 credits. Students must attend at least 70% of classes and produce a brief report on data analysis, suggested by the instructor or by the students themselves.

The statistical notions used are the ones covered in the Statistics course and will use much of that course's didactic material (textbook and practice exercises available on the instructor's website).  EXCEL statistical functions to be used will be presented during the course and can be found in the course textbook.