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RSAI-GSSI Summer School of Advanced Economic Geography

Friday, 10 February 2017 12:42

RSAI-GSSI Summer School of Advanced Economic Geography 

Gran Sasso Science Institute, Social Sciences Unit

July 2-8, 2017, L’Aquila (Italy)

Next July 2-8 2017, the Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI), Social Sciences Unit, in cooperation with the Regional Science Association International (RSAI), will organize the RSAI-GSSI Summer School of Advanced Economic Geography in L’Aquila.

The event is intended to provide a unique opportunity to investigate leading-edge theoretical and methodological issues and to discuss ongoing research by young promising scholars in the field. Besides a substantive training through advanced classes, the school will also provide the students with the opportunity to present their work to the other participants and instructors to receive feedback to further advance their research. Moreover, the students will have the chance to meet and exchange ideas with the 40 Ph.D. candidates currently enrolled in the “Urban Studies and Regional Science” program at GSSI and 7 postdocs, in a young, international and stimulating environment. 

This doctoral program focuses on key topics related to urban and regional systems with seminars run by the members of the international teaching committee (, but also by world-renowned scholars and leading experts visiting the GSSI from all over the world (including the United States, Australia, Italy, Spain, France, UK, Sweden and Israel).

The residential school will offer 10 scholarships to 2nd or 3rd year doctoral students for an intensive, one-week program with in-depth classes in spatial analysis and economic geography complemented by more formal sessions on leading-edge theoretical and methodological issues and research-practice, skills-based sessions on journal publishing and successful grant applications. 

The meeting will feature contributions from internationally renowned Professors.

Below a short description of the contents of each class.

  1. Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis of Categorical Data

Antonio Páez -Associate Professor at the School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University (Canada), co-editor of Papers in Regional Science.

The objective of this module is to introduce students to recent developments in the spatial analysis of categorical data. Categorical data is found in many areas of interest to regional scientists: in the study of travel patterns, industrial location, and population segregation for instance. The students will learn to employ an array of techniques to assess spatial patterns of co-location and clustering, to compare categorical maps, and to assess the spatial fit of limited dependent variable models. Software packages will be introduced, along with examples for hands-on practice.

  1. Spatial Analysis and Visualization for Economic Geography

Rachel Franklin -Associate Director of Brown’s Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences initiative, Brown University (USA).

This module introduces students to fundamental aspects of spatial data, analysis, and visualization within the subfield of economic geography. Students will learn the basics of working with Geographic Information System (GIS) software to visualize information and to calculate measures such as distance or density. The second portion of the module will cover measures of spatial clustering, visualization of clusters, and exploratory spatial statistics. Hands-on tutorial exercises will accompany all lecture materials. 

  1. Discrete Choice Modeling in Regional Science (using STATA)

Alessandra Faggian - Professor of Applied Economics, Director of Social Sciences, Gran Sasso Science Institute, NARSC President, Co-Editor Papers in Regional Science.

The objective of this module is to introduce students to the use and recent developments in discrete choice modeling with a focus on applications in the regional science field. Discrete choice modeling is widely used especially when dealing with individual microdata (and micro- econometric techniques). The module has a very practical, hands-on approach and Stata labs will be an integral part of the course. 

  1. Academic Writing and Publishing

Giulia Urso -Post-Doctoral Researcher, Social Sciences, Gran Sasso Science Institute

This course introduces how to approach academic writing, exploring the differences among styles and practices required from scientific papers (also in the light of the international journal ranking systems), books, book chapters, working papers, and conference papers. After providing tips on how to frame the most effective publication strategy, choosing among these publication options along the research path, the course will enter the details on how to structure and write these formats.


The Residential School format is a 6-day meeting. It includes time for research and discussion – combining conventional classes, “practicals” and seminars where the participants can present their current research projects. “Off-program” conversations, favoring informal knowledge exchange (during lunch, social events and the field trip), will also be an integral part of the event.

More specifically, the program of activities includes:

-       five mornings (Mon-Fri), devoted to classes from each of the featured contributors;

-       five afternoons (Mon-Fri), focused on labs and two student’s presentation. Large time for deliberation, reflection, sustained discussion and feedback will be foreseen;

-       one social dinner;

-       one half-day visit of the city of L’Aquila.

Participants will be offered:

-       free participation (no fees);

-       shared accommodation and meals;

-       travel reimbursement up to:

€200 for Italian students

€300 for European students

€500 for students coming from the rest of the world

How to apply

The deadline for applications is March 27, 2017.

Complete application should include:

  1. CV
  2. Title of the research project and an extended abstract (1500 words including contribution, theoretical framework, empirical approach and/or first results)
  3. One reference letter from Ph.D. thesis advisors/supervisors 

Applications must be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the following email subject: “Application RSAI-GSSI Summer School” 

Applications that are not complete will not be considered.

Selected candidates will be notified by April 7, 2017. Final ranking will be also published on GSSI website.

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The Regional Science Association International (RSAI), founded in 1954, is an international community of scholars interested in the regional impacts of national or global processes of economic and social change.

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