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CODE 105024
  • 6 cfu during the 2nd year of 8768 SCIENZE INTERNAZIONALI E DIPLOMATICHE (L-36) - GENOVA
  • 6 cfu during the 3nd year of 8768 SCIENZE INTERNAZIONALI E DIPLOMATICHE (L-36) - GENOVA
  • SEMESTER 2° Semester


    Through this course, the student is able to know the main statistical methods for the social sciences. Through lectures and exercises, the student is provided with useful knowledge for the design and management of sample surveys and demographic polls; for the detection and statistical analysis in fields such as the analysis of globalization processes, socio-economic inequalities and political-electoral phenomena.



    The course teaches the student the fundamental notions concerning statistical methods for social sciences, and in particular the collection of information and descriptive and inferential analyzes with particular attention to the analysis of globalization processes and socio-economic inequalities.


    The course aims to enable students to understand and elaborate the basic tools of statistical surveys, deepening the theme of socio-economic inequalities and electoral analysis also from an international perspective. 
    At the end of the course, students will be able to understand from a quantitative point of view:
    (a) The main elements of statistical analysis for social research.
    b) Political-electoral polls, the sustainability of an electoral system and the analysis of electoral flows. 
    c) The measurement of economic and social inequalities.

    Knowledge and Understanding 
    At the end of the study of the discipline, the student should have a good knowledge of the topics covered during the course and be able to adequately use the theoretical tools acquired. Students will know the main tools for the synthesis of information and for the generalization of what has been observed through sample surveys.

    Ability to apply knowledge and understanding 
    The teaching has a threefold objective:
    1. to provide students with the knowledge necessary to access and use quantitative information derived from national and international statistical sources;
    2. to enable students to know and analyze the dynamics of polls and the stability of electoral systems; to understand the analysis of electoral flows;
    3. provide the methodological and statistical skills to analyze and critically interpret data on phenomena related to socio-economic inequality in an international perspective.
    Students will therefore be familiar with the main tools for synthesizing information and for generalizing what has been observed in order to be able to prepare and implement sample surveys, also for electoral purposes.

    Autonomy of judgment 
    Students must be able to use both conceptually and operationally the knowledge they have acquired with autonomous evaluation skills and ability in different application contexts.

    Communication skills 
    Students will acquire the technical language typical of the discipline to communicate clearly and unambiguously with specialist and non-specialist interlocutors.

    Learning skills
    The course aims to stimulate the students' ability to undertake, with full autonomy and responsibility, learning paths. Learning skills are developed in the course of study as a whole, in particular through the planned individual study, the preparation of individual projects, the experience of group work and the observation and analysis of case studies.

    - knowledge of the main sources of official statistical data at national, regional and local levels to observe social change on a quantitative basis;
    - ability to read and understand tables and graphs, with reference to absolute and relative frequency distributions, indicators, composite tables;
    - knowledge of the organization of a statistical survey, the structuring of a questionnaire and the publication plan of the collected data;
    - ability to select, analyze and interpret statistical data in order to recognize social needs and direct interventions;
    - knowledge of the calculation of probabilities linked to the aleatory nature of betting odds also from an electoral point of view;
    - ability to identify electoral flows and stable electoral political systems;
    - understanding and implementation of electoral surveys;
    - definition and ownership of socioeconomic indicators with emphasis on the issues of wealth and well-being, poverty and deprivation.

    - Ability to find data and statistical reports useful in building the economic and financial framework of reference;
    - find data useful to understand social change and interpret them (also) for the purpose of organizational improvement; 
    - planning and conducting sample surveys: from the preparation of a questionnaire to the construction and interpretation of statistical indicators; 
    - acquisition of knowledge of the needs expressed by a territory;
    - ability to read and interpret a statistical report;
    - ability to analyze polls, systems and electoral flows;
    - ability to analyze issues related to globalization and socio-economic inequalities.


    There are no pre-requisites for teaching attendance.


    Classes are face-to-face and, "in accordance with the University Premises Access Rules adopted to counter the pandemic spread from COVID, classes may possibly be conducted on TEAMS. The TEAMS code will eventually be communicated via aulaweb;
    The materials used during the lessons will be made available on AulaWeb. Occasionally, scholars or experts in the discipline may be invited to conduct seminars to explore specific aspects of the issues addressed.
    For students not attending, no changes in the program will apply. However, these students are invited to contact their professor of reference.


    The course is divided into 4 parts; in the first part official statistical sources are described, enabling students to find data autonomously, paying particular attention to the tools of descriptive statistics and probability calculus useful for the analysis of socio-electoral phenomena. The second part of the course deals with statistical sampling and electoral surveys, while the third part of the course deals with the analysis of electoral systems, with particular attention to the aspects related to the analysis of flows and the stability of an electoral system. The final part is devoted to the analysis of social and income inequalities, and in particular to the construction of multidimensional indicators of well-being and deprivation.

    Part 1 - The basic tools

    1. Introduction to the history of statistical thought 
    2. Official, national and international statistical sources 
    - Statistical data and sources; 
    - The detection and representation of statistical phenomena;
    - The measures of central tendency;
    - The measures of dispersion;
    - The measure of character association: correlation;
    - Regression;
    - The concept of probability: classical, frequentist, subjectivist.

    Part 2 - Statistical Sampling and Electoral Polls

    - Notes on the main methods of statistical sampling:
    a. populations and samples;
    b. questionnaires and statistical surveys;
    - The Law of Normal Distribution and electoral surveys. 


    Part 3 - Analysis of Political-Electoral Phenomena

    - Electoral polls and betting;
    - Stability of an electoral system;
    - Analysis of electoral flows.

    Part 4 - Socio-economic inequalities: an international perspective
    - Economic growth, globalization processes and inequalities;
    - poverty and deprivation: definitions measures: International comparisons; 
    - measuring economic inequality: the Gini index; 
    - measuring social inequality: the construction of composite indicators;
    - international indicators: the Mazziotta Pareto Index; 
    - beyond GDP: well-being and sustainable growth. 


    Materials on Aulaweb

    Ivaldi E. (2022) Elementi introduttivi alla statistica e al calcolo delle probabilità. Seconda edizione. Impressioni Grafiche. Acqui Terme. ISBN 978-88-6195-406-9

    Ivaldi E., Santagata M., Legnaro D., Parisi P.S. (2022) Esercizi introduttivi alla statistica e al calcolo delle probabilità. Terza edizione.Impressioni Grafiche. Acqui Terme. ISBN 978-88-6195-407-6

    Legnaro D. (2023) Metodi Quantitativi per l'Analisi dei Fenomeni Politico Elettorali. Impressioni Grafiche, Acqui Terme.  ISBN 978-88-6195-401-4


    Exam Board

    ENRICO IVALDI (President)


    DANILO LEGNARO (Substitute)


    RICCARDO SOLIANI (Substitute)



    Lessons are held in the first semester and begin the first week scheduled in the semester's teaching calendar.

    Class schedule

    All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.



    Written test followed by oral interview.
    The written test, lasting one hour, consists of 3 exercises on Part 1 of the course. The students who achieve a sufficiency in the written test will have to take the oral test, which will focus on parts 2-4 of the program and on theoretical elements of the first part.


    The written test will assess:
    - the mastery and depth of quantitative knowledge,
    - the ability to use the skills developed.

    The oral interview will allow to evaluate:
    - the mastery and depth of knowledge,
    - the ability to use the skills developed.

    Evaluation criteria are:
    - the quality of the exposition,
    - the correct use of appropriate vocabulary
    - the capacity for critical analysis, including possible cases discussed.

    Exam schedule

    Date Time Location Type Notes
    11/12/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    08/01/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    22/01/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    20/05/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    10/06/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    01/07/2024 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
    09/09/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale


    Students with special educational needs, disabilities and DSA are invited to get in touch with the referent of the Department (Prof. Aristide Canepa) and with the teacher in order to agree on didactic and examination forms that take into account individual learning modalities and provide suitable compensatory tools.