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CODE 57075
SEMESTER 1° Semester


The teaching of Economic and Social Statistics has the aim of directing students towards the understanding and the non-superficial knowledge of some of the most important subjects of social sciences and socio-economic phenomena in particular (wealth and well-being, inflation, unemployment, health status of a population, gender equality, demographic change) and their measurement (sample surveys, questionnaires, statistical indicators).



The course aims to provide students with a non-superficial understanding and knowledge of economic and social contexts by balancing typical economic statistics topics with elements of social statistics and demography. At the end of the course, students will be able to find the data necessary to understand economic and social phenomena and to construct useful indexes for their study, also in a historical perspective and international comparison.


In the first part of the course, the official statistical sources and the portals where the data are published are described. The students are then able to find official data directly on the portals of the producer statistical bodies and evaluate the quality of the statistical data available on the network. In addition, the different methods of statistical survey are presented, with particular attention to the difference between statistical data and administrative data, census surveys and sample surveys. Furthermore, the phases of a statistical survey are presented with in-depth analysis of the design of sample surveys, how to prepare a questionnaire and how to conduct interviews. The second part of the course program focuses on some fundamental topics for the degree courses for which this course is designed: the measurement of wealth (GDP), unemployment and inflation, as regards the measurement of economic phenomena, and the measurement of well-being, gender inequality, the health status of a population and ISTAT's multi-purpose social investigation system, as regards the measurement of social phenomena. The course concludes with some basic elements of demographic analysis, which are fundamental for assessing the impact of demographic change on the socio-economic system.

Knowledge and understanding Students have acquired adequate knowledge about the nature and principles of measurement of the most important economic and social phenomena of interest (wealth, well-being, inflation, unemployment, demographic changes, ...) for public decision-makers. This knowledge is included in the national and international context of the investigations conducted by official statistical production bodies with particular attention to the procedures for drafting and administering the questionnaires and the sampling methods. Students are also aware of the logic that led to the construction of the main indicators internationally used to measure these phenomena, current trends in their use and their evolution to meet new cognitive needs.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding Students are able to find the data necessary for understanding economic, social and demographic phenomena and to replicate the indices studied during the course on new data or to build new ones, useful for their cognitive purposes, also in a historical perspective and international comparison.

Making judgments Students are able to assess the quality of the data available online, in particular to understand if their collection and analysis meets the quality criteria typical of official statistics. Similarly, having been able to understand the basics of the construction of statistical indicators, being faced with an indicator of the synthesis of a social phenomenon, they are able to understand its adequacy and robustness in the calculation methodology.
Communication skills Students acquire the basic statistical vocabulary to communicate clearly and unambiguously with specialists and non-specialist interlocutors. In particular, they learn how to interpret press releases, data tables and graphical representations typical of economic, social and demographic sciences, especially when produced by official statistical bodies.

Learning skills The students, having had the opportunity to know in detail many official surveys, are able to assess the quality of the data that will be used during their course of study and their professional career.






1. Official, national and international statistical sources

  • The National Statistical System and the National Statistical Program;
  • The main statistical sources;
  • Data quality;
  • Statistical data and administrative data;
  • Census studies and samples;
  • Overview of the main statistical sampling methods.

2. Economic statistics

  • The demand for economic statistics;
  • Basic concepts, definitions and classifications;
  • Notes on the analysis of economic historical series;
  • Index numbers;
  • How inflation is measured;
  • The consumer price index from a European perspective;
  • GDP: calculation, history, economic foundation, interpretation and limits;
  • Unemployment and the ISTAT Labor Force Survey.
  • The main producers of economic statistics;
  • The supply of economic statistics.

3. Measures welfare and deprivation "beyond GDP"

  • Indicators of well-being alternative to GDP: Genuine Progress Indicator, Human Development Index, Happy Planet Index, Better Life Index, Fair and Sustainable Wellness.
  • Poverty and deprivation measures.

4. The ISTAT multi-purpose social investigation system

  • The contents of the multi-purpose surveys;
  • Strategies and experiences in the production process of multi-purpose surveys.

5. Elements of demography for economic sciences

  • Introduction to demography
    • Objectives and definitions
    • The European population in the long term:
    • Social history and biology of pandemics
    • L'Ancien Régime: trends, fluctuations, feedback
    • The demographic transition
  • Population dynamics: structures and processes:
    • The accounting of populations;
    • From structures to processes;
    • Growth paths.
  • Transitions and durations: demographic analysis:
    • Survival and death processes;
    • Mortality tables and biometric functions;
    • Demographic reproduction processes;
  • Moving peoples:
    • Towards an undocumented demography
    • Europe, Italy: the epochal mobility guidelines
  • A focus on:
    • Fragility, disability and chronicity: measuring non-health;
    • Gender statistics: Global Gender Gap Index and the Gender Equality Index;
    • Aging and poverty.


For point 1 of the program:

  • Iezzi D. F. (2009). Statistica per le Scienze Sociali (Capitoli 1, 2, 3, 4, 6)
  • Materiali su Aulaweb

​For point 2 of the program:

  • Giovannini E. (2015). Le statistiche Economiche, II Ed, il Mulino Itinerari (Capitoli 1-4)
  • Materiali su Aulaweb

​For point 3 of the program:

  • Rinaldi A. e Zelli R. (2014). Misurare il benessere. La sfida degli indicatori alternativi al PIL. Donzelli Editore (Capitoli 1, 2 e 3).
  • Materiali su Aulaweb

​For point 4 of the program:

  • ISTAT (2006). Il sistema di indagini sociali multiscopo: contenuti e metodologia delle indagini, Metodi e Norme n. 31 (reperibile gratuitamente online e su aula web).

​For point 5 of the program:

  • Micheli G.A. (2011). Demografie, McGraw-Hill (Lezioni 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.2).


Integrative readings (one chosen from):

  • Baldi S. e Cagiano de Azevedo R. (2005). La popolazione Italiana – Storia demografica dal dopoguerra ad oggi. Il Mulino universale paperbacks-
  • di Bella E. (2018). Smart Security: evidence-based management per le policy di sicurezza (a cura di). Genova University Press (per acquistarlo: 
  • Dalla Zuanna G., Farina P. e Strozza S. (2009). Nuovi Italiani – I giovani immigrati cambieranno il nostro paese? Il Mulino universale paperbacks.
  • Del Boca D. e Rosina A. (2014). Famiglie Sole. Sopravvivere con un welfare inefficiente. Il Mulino universale paperbacks.
  • Del Boca D., Mencarini L. e Pasqua S. (2012). Valorizzare le donne conviene. Il Mulino.
  • Giovannini E. (2014). Scegliere il futuro. Conoscenza e politica al tempo dei Big Data. Il Mulino.
  • Livi Bacci M. (2010). In cammino. Breve storia delle migrazioni. Il Mulino universale paperbacks.
  • Livi Bacci M. (2015). Il pianeta stretto. Il Mulino
  • Salvini S., Vignoli D. (2014). Convivere o sposarsi? Il Mulino universale paperbacks.
  • SIS - Gruppo di coordinamento per la demografia (2007). Rapporto sulla popolazione - L'Italia all'inizio del XXI secolo. Il Mulino universale paperbacks.
  • SIS - Gruppo di coordinamento per la demografia (2009). Rapporto sulla popolazione - Salute e sopravvivenza. Il Mulino universale paperbacks.
  • SIS – Associazione Italiana per gli studi di popolazione (2013). Rapporto sulla popolazione – Sessualità e riproduzione nell’Italia contemporanea. Il Mulino universale paperbacks.
  • SIS – Associazione Italiana per gli studi di popolazione (2015). Rapporto sulla popolazione – L’Italia nella crisi economics. Il Mulino universale paperbacks.

Other integrative readings will be communicated during the course and the present list will be updated on the aulaweb page of the course.


Exam Board



ENRICO IVALDI (Substitute)




First semester

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



Written test followed by an oral exam.

The written test consists of 5 open-ended theoretical questions randomly selected from the list published on aulaweb and 2 exercises on the topics of teaching (GDP calculation, index numbers and demographic exercises, based on the exercises published on aulaweb). Students who will obtain the sufficiency in the written test will have to take the oral exam which will focus on one of the integrative readings (chosen by the student) among those indicated in the course program and on aulaweb. The oral exam can lead to a variation (positive or negative) of the written test score up to a maximum of 3 points.


The written examination will evaluate, in the theoretical part, the knowledge acquired by the student and in the practical part (exercises) the skills acquired in relation to the ability to apply the techniques covered in the course of teaching. Of particular relevance in the evaluation of the theoretical part will be the expository clarity and the property of language. As far as the practical part is concerned, the correct selection and application of the statistical tools necessary for the correct performance of the exercises as well as the comment and interpretation of the results obtained will be evaluated.

The oral exam will assess the student's ability to deal autonomously with the reading and interpretation of a text of economic or social statistics. In particular, the evaluation on the oral part will focus on the exhibition capacity of the research topic described in the volume and on the student's critical sense regarding the techniques and methods used as well as on the quality of the statistical sources that have been used.

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
16/01/2023 15:00 GENOVA Scritto
06/02/2023 15:00 GENOVA Scritto
22/05/2023 15:00 GENOVA Scritto
05/06/2023 15:00 GENOVA Scritto
10/07/2023 15:00 GENOVA Scritto
11/09/2023 15:00 GENOVA Scritto