Computational Economics

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Economics
  • Application code SS-EC315
  • Starting TBC
  • Short course: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

Please note: This course will not be running as part of the 2021 programme. However, you may be interested in our confirmed courses.

The course introduces the students to a broad set of computational methods used by economists. The approach is hands-on: start with an economic problem, select an appropriate numerical technique for analysing it, apply the technique to the problem, and present your findings. The programming language of choice is Python.

Although the numerical techniques should be those indicated in the Programme Structure, the economic topics may be adapted to the interest of the audience, and the aim is to have economic examples also when presenting the basics of Python. For example, the programming concept of recursion and for loops can be illustrated with the Solow growth model; linear quadratic programming can be developed while talking about dynamic monopoly with durable goods, or a Stackelberg game.

Computational techniques are illustrated in lectures along with the economic models, and complemented with guided exercises during the classes.

Please note that due to the nature of this course content, every student will need to bring their own laptop to each lecture and class.  

Session: TBC
Dates: TBC
Lecturers: Dr Antonio Mele


Programme details

Key facts

Level: 300 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: A mid-session take-home assignment (worth 40% of the overall grade) and a final take-home assignment (worth 60% of the overall grade).

Typical credit**: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

*Assessment is optional

**You will need to check with your home institution

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment


Intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics, knowledge of multivariate calculus and linear algebra.

Programme structure

a. Introduction to Python and scientific computing
b. Economic Applications
    1. Microeconomics
    2. Macroeconomics

Specific topics include:

  • Python basics
  • Scientific computing with Python
  • Github basics
  • Demand and supply: solving systems of linear equations
  • Labour market flows: Markov chains
  • Residential segregation: Schelling model and agent-based economics
  • Cournot oligopoly with non-linear demand: solving non-linear equations
  • Consumer and producer surplus: numerical integration
  • Consumption and savings: constrained optimization
  • The permanent income model: Linear quadratic dynamic programming
  • Economic growth and business cycles: deterministic and stochastic dynamic programming.

Course outcomes

After successfully completing the course, students will be able to:

  • Command the basics of Python for scientific computing
  • Establish a computational strategy to solve an economic model
  • Use visualization techniques for presenting computational findings
  • Master numerical methods for economic analysis
  • Have a working knowledge of the Github platform.


The LSE Department of Economics is one of the biggest and best in the world, with expertise across the full spectrum of mainstream economics. A long-standing commitment to remaining at the cutting edge of developments in the field has ensured the lasting impact of its work on the discipline as a whole. Almost every major intellectual development within Economics over the past fifty years has had input from members of the department, which counts ten Nobel Prize winners among its current and former staff and students. Alumni are employed in a wide range of national and international organisations, in government, international institutions, business and finance.

The Department of Economics is a leading research department, consistently ranked in the top 20 economics departments worldwide. This is reflected in the 2014 Research Assessment Exercise which recognised the Department's outstanding contribution to the field. According to the REF 2014 results, 56 per cent of the Department’s research output was graded 4 star (the highest category), indicating that it is 'world-leading'. A further 33 per cent was designated 'internationally excellent' (3 star).

On this three week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from full-time lecturers from the LSE’s Economics faculty.

Reading materials

Lecture notes will be provided in the form of Jupyter notebooks and will form the main materials.

Suggested readings:

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