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Second Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)


In accordance with the Dublin Descriptors (I-V), the course aims to provide students with the knowledge for monitoring and interpreting socio-economic phenomena at national and international level using statistical indicators.

Nowadays, social-economic indicators are widely used for supporting and programming social policies due to their capability to account for changes and conditions in the social system and foster comparison between territories and countries.

The course aims to provide the statistical skills useful to operationalize complex phenomena through a dashboard of statistical indicators. To this end, the course will make use of the main national and international databases for obtaining information, and of basic statistical tools for the analysis and synthesis of the relationships between variables.

At the end of the course students will be able to apply knowledge and understanding through the development of the ability to: (i) select the statistical sources from national and international databases; (ii) read and analyse a system of socio-economic indicators; (iii) select statistical indicators for monitoring a socio-economic phenomenon; (iv) evaluate changes and variations of a phenomenon; (v) use information for comparative purposes.

The course also aims to provide the students with the knowledge they need to develop further insights (including individually), and to develop further studies in the quantitative analysis of socio-economic phenomena.


The prerequisites for understanding the contents of the course are the knowledge of descriptive statistics acquired in a basic course of statistics (variables, central tendency measures, variability, association).


I. Data, Indexes and Indicators: introduction to social indicators; the process of building up social indicators;
purposes of social indicators and types; main data bases of socio-economic indicators at national, European and international level.

II. Methods for comparing groups: comparisons across groups or over times using ratios and differences; comparisons across groups using inequality indexes.

III. Methodologies for the synthesis of social indicators: methods of transformation, aggregation, weighting and comparison. Synthesis of multidimensional concepts.

IV. Introduction to bivariate and multivariate relationships and the analysis of causal relationships.

- Case studies will be provided from issues related to sustainable development goals 2030

Teaching Methods

The course consists of 18 lectures. Conditional upon to the presence of resources of additional tutoring will be organized 6 laboratories.

Teaching activities will be carried out mainly face to face, integrated and "augmented" with online strategies, in order to guarantee its use in an innovative and inclusive way.

Verification of learning

The assessment consists of a written essay (exam) which contains four questions (2 theoretical questions and 2 on case studies)

An individual talk will follow the written essay

The student will have to prove her/his understanding on the information provided by a batch of statistical indicators; her/his capability in selecting statistical tools for monitoring a phenomenon through a system of indicators; her/his capability in using the information provided by indicators for comparative purposes.

Examination score is thirty points.

The day of the written examination will be announced the date on which the essay will be individually discussed.

Individual discussion is aimed in giving the student the opportunity to explain the solution she/he provided.

On the exam dates of April, June, July and September, students have the option two take the exam in two parts:

-1. Preparation of a short report (min 7000 - max 10000 characters including spaces, tables -- graphs, notes and bibliographic references excluded --) to answer a research question using information provided by socio-economic indicators. The report must be submitted before the day of the written examination. (50% of the exam)

- 2. A written essay on two theoretical questions of the standard exam (50% of the exam)

The score of both tests will be expressed in 30 points. The final mark is determined by the average of the two scores.


In the assessment process, the determination of the final mark will take into account the following aspects:

1. the logic followed by the student in providing answers to the case study or theoretical questions;
2. the correctness of the information provided and the procedures;
3. the completeness of the information;
4. the capability to discuss results;
5. the use of an appropriate statistical language;
6. the ability to communicate the results in written form and to highlight the most relevant aspects

The fulfilment of the aspects 1 and 2 is a necessary condition to get a positive evaluation.

The fulfilment also of aspects 3 and 4 allows to get an overall achievement more than positive, which depends on clearness and completeness of the answers provided. Final marks higher than 26 will be awarded to exams which meets all six aspects and the mark will vary depending on the degree of satisfaction of the last two conditions.


I. Data, Indexes and Indicators:

Delvecchio (1995) Scale di Misura e Indicatori Sociali. Cacucci editore, Bari. (Cap 3 & 4 pag. 53-88)

Istat (2016) BES 2016. Il Benessere Equo e Sostenibile in Italia (Pag. 1-14 & pag. 41-50)

Reading on BES indicators:

Istat (2018) BES 2018. Il Benessere Equo e Sostenibile in Italia.

Teaching Material provided by the teacher.

II. Methods for comparing groups:

Leti G. Cerbara L. (2009). Elementi di Statistica Descrittiva. Il Mulino (Cap 9 pag. 137-153).

Borra S., Di Ciaccio A. (2008). Statistica. Metodologia per le scienze economiche e sociali. McGraw-Hill (Cap 5 pag 98-104).

Borra S., Di Ciaccio A. (2008). Statistica. Metodologia per le scienze economiche e sociali. McGraw-Hill (Cap 4 pag. 86-94).

Teaching Material provided by the teacher.

III. Methodologies for the synthesis of social indicators

Delvecchio F. (1995) Scale di Misura e Indicatori Sociali. Cacucci Editore, Bari Cap 5 pag 117-141 pag 158-160.

Leti G. Cerbara L. (2009). Elementi di Statistica Descrittiva. Il Mulino. Cap 10 Le medie delle distribuzioni secondo un carattere pag. 185-190.

Teaching Material provided by the teacher.

IV. Introduction to bivariate and multivariate relationships and the analysis of causal relationships

Agresti A, Finlay B, Metodi statistici di base e avanzati per le scienze sociali, Pearson, Milano, Ultima edizione. cap 9, 10, 11.

Teaching Material provided by the teacher.

Altri testi

Baldini M. , Toso S.(2004). Diseguaglianza, Povertà e Politiche Pubbliche. pag.53-55

Aiello F., Librizzi L., Gli indicatori nelle scienze sociali: dal qualitativo al quantitativo, in Diamond I., Jefferies J., Introduzione alla statistica per le scienze sociali, McGraw-Hill, 2006 (Cap. 15 - par. 15.4 excluded)

Iezzi D. F. (2009). La costruzione di indicatori compositi. In Iezzi D.F. Statistica per le scienze sociali. Carocci. Roma (cap. 11)

Testi Lingua Inglese:

- Nardo M., Saisana M., Tarantola S., Hoffman A., Giovannini E., Handbook on Costructing Composite Indicators Methodology and user guide, OCSE 2005 (pag. 1-49).

More Information

Lectures will be held using slides, statistical software and links to databases through the corresponding websites.

The link to the reading materials is available on the teacher's webpage.

Questionnaire and social

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