Research Workshop „Introduction to Coding Dynamical Systems and ABM models for Classical Political Economy and Ecological Economics”

Date: 4.- 6. April 2022
Instructor: Dr. Oriol Vallès Codina


  • Basics and Varieties of Complex Systems: Dynamical-Systems Theory
  • Ecological Applications of Classical Political Economy
  • Simulating Dynamical Systems and Agent-Based Models in R language


Self-organizing, out-of-equilibrium, ever-evolving systems are ubiquitous in nature and in the economy. Examples encompass the climate, ecosystems, living cells, the human brain, and many socio-economic systems. Their dynamical behavior posits great challenges in the pressing context of the climate crisis, since they may show nonlinearities, feedback loops, and the emergence of spatio-temporal patterns, characterized by resilience or instability, plasticity or rigidity; bifurcations, thresholds and tipping points; burst-in excitation or slow relaxation, and worlds of other asymptotic behavior, hysteresis, and resistance to change. By presenting and coding some of their ecological applications in classical political economy and Keynesian economics, this workshop aims to introduce graduate students to the basics of dynamical-systems theory and complexity science, with an emphasis on how these models can be deployed to understand and face the urgency of the dual climate and economic crisis.

No previous knowledge in linear algebra or R coding language is required, but will certainly help follow the workshop. Students wishing to replicate the code and simulations during the sessions should already have RStudio installed on the computer.

This course is open for advanced masters students and PhD candidates. If you would like to participate, please send a short email describing your motivation, together with your  CV, and with a statement of whether you would like to participate virtually or in person, to xanthi.tsoukli(at) before 22.03.2022. You will be notified if you are allowed to participate in the workshop by 25.03.2022.

The course will be held in a hybrid-mode. Upon acceptance, participants must make their own travel arrangements for their stay in Bamberg, if the wish to participate in the workshop in person. No financial support is available.

This workshop is carried out in cooperation with the Bamberg Graduate School on Social Sciences (BAGSS). An overview of its courses, colloquia and guest lectures can be found here.

About the Instructor: 

Dr. Oriol Vallès Codina (PhD New School for Social Research, 2021) researches the macroeconomics of structural change in the context of the climate crisis and uneven development from the critical lens of classical political economy. Since February 2022, Oriol is a Research Fellow in Economics at Leeds University Business School and previously was Research Fellow in Innovation Policy at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, University College London. With an interdisciplinary background in physics, biology, anthropology, and heterodox economics, his research tools employ complexity science, input-output and network analysis, and computational and simulation methods, including machine learning techniques. His most recent works address 1) how fiscal policy can accelerate the low-carbon transition to meet the IPCC targets using an empirically calibrated dynamical model of multi-sector growth, and 2) the purely economic case for investing in Health for All, especially in lower-middle income economies, through the positive output and employment spillovers in intermediate production.


Monday, April 4th

9:00-11:00 - Basics and Varieties of Dynamical Systems

11:00-11:15 - Coffee break

11:15-12:45  - Discrete Models: Logistic Growth, Stability and Chaos

12:45-14:30 - Lunch break

14:30-17:00 - Economic Application: Ricardian Growth in a World of Limited Resources

18:30- - Dinner (organised by BAGSS)

Tuesday, April 5th

9:00-11:00 - Lotka-Volterra Prey-Predator Oscillations

11:00-11:15 - Coffee break

11:15-12:45  - Economic Application 1: The Goodwin Model of Capital Accumulation and Class Struggle

12:45-14:30 - Lunch break (During this lunch break, there is a lunchtime talk on "how to prepare for a successful PhD defense" that the students can take part in)

14:30-16:00 - Economic Application 2: The Flaschel-Semmler Model of Multi-Sector Growth

Wednesday, April 6th

9:00-11:00 - Economic Application of the van der Pol Oscillator: Kaldor’s Business Cycle

11:00-11:15 - Coffee break

11:15-12:45 - Early Agent-Based Models in Complexity Science: Cellular Automata and the Ising Model

12:45-14:30 - Lunch break

Course Material: available here


  • Strogatz, S. H. (2018). Nonlinear dynamics and chaos: with applications to physics, biology, chemistry, and engineering. CRC Press
  • Foley, D. K. (xxxx). “Notes on Dynamical Systems,” Columbia University of New York, mimeo
  • Foley, D. K. (2003). Unholy trinity: labor, capital and land in the new economy. Routledge. [Chapter 1]
  • Sandbach, F. (1978). The rise and fall of the Limits to Growth debate. Social Studies of Science, 8(4), 495-520.
  • Pasinetti, L. L. (1977). Lectures on the Theory of Production. Columbia University Press. [Chapter 1]
  • Barkley Rosser, J. (2000). Aspects of dialectics and non-linear dynamics. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 24(3), 311-324.


  • Pasinetti, L. L. (1977). Lectures on the Theory of Production. Columbia University Press.
  • Tavani, D. (2014) “Notes on the Goodwin model,” Colorado State University, mimeo
  • Marx, K. (1990). Capital. Volume 1. Penguin Classics. [Chapter 25]
  • Flaschel, P., & Semmler, W. (1987). Classical and neoclassical competitive adjustment processes. The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, 55(1), 13-37.


  • Chian, A. C.-L. (2007). Complex systems approach to economic dynamics, volume 592. Springer Science & Business Media. [sections 2.3 and 2.4; on forced van der Pol]
  • Wolfram, S. (2002). A new kind of science. Wolfram Media Champaign.
  • Stauffer, D. (2008). Social applications of two-dimensional Ising models. American Journal of Physics, 76(4):470-473.
  • Suresh, S. G. and Setterfield, M. (2015). Firm performance, macroeconomic conditions, and “animal spirits” in a Post Keynesian model of aggregate fluctuations. Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 38(1):38-63.
  • Caiani, A., Godin, A., Caverzasi, E., Gallegati, M., Kinsella, S., & Stiglitz, J. E. (2016). Agent based-stock flow consistent macroeconomics: Towards a benchmark model. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 69, 375-408.
  • Wright, I. P. (2011). Classical macrodynamics and the labor theory of value. The Open University Economic Discussion Paper, (76).