Markets and Governments: a Theoretical Appraisal



Villa Mondragone, Rome - June, 19th-21st, 2024

“Painting by Enzo Amendola

“Professor Hayek does not see, or will not admit, that a return to free competition means for the great mass of people a tyranny probably worse, because more irresponsible, than that of the State”, George Orwell: “A Review of The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek”, Observer, April 9th 1944.

“It seems to be nothing more than simple and obvious wisdom to compare social institutions as they might be expected actually to operate rather than to compare romantic models of how such institutions might be hoped to operate. [...] The socialist mystique to the effect that the state, that politics, somehow works its way toward some transcendent “public good” is with us yet, in many guises, as we must surely acknowledge”, James Buchanan: “Politics without romance: a sketch of positive public choice theory and its normative implications”, Physica, 1979.

Why a School

The discipline of economics occupies a central role in the social sciences. Its conclusions are a key reference in public discussions. From a theoretical point of view, however, the foundations of the discipline appear far from being unambiguously established. Its basic prescriptions rest on assumptions which still deserve to be more fully understood and explicitly discussed. The MGTA initiative attempts at reexamining a very classic theme in economic thought, the tension between markets and governments, from the perspective of contemporary economic theory.

This year’s summer school will focus on inequality, the design of markets and redistribution.

Market outcomes are shaped by inequalities. Individuals come to the market with differences in skills and productive abilities that reflect differences in socioeconomic backgrounds, the lottery at birth. They also come to the market with differences in preferences, on how much of their time they want to sell for money, what their consumptions style should be and also in their views on the desirability of political interference with market outcomes. 

The design of markets determines to what extent differences in preferences, abilities, income and wealth are amplified or moderated. For instance, the market power of firms affects how much consumers have to pay for goods and services and how much money the recipients of capital income can make. Governments frequently interfere to reach more equitable market outcomes. 

This year’s summer school will discuss  the principles that justify such interventions. It will also look at drivers of inequality in market-based societies, and, moreover, it will consider the question how markets and public policy should be designed in response.     

The school aims at offering a critical review of all these issues. We will alternate traditional lectures by academics who have contributed to different areas of contemporary economic theory, with discussions around the presentation of recently published texts. In particular, the school aims to provide an opportunity to contrast contemporary economic theory with recent developments in political philosophy.


The school is organized over three days at Villa Mondragone, in Monteporzio Catone.

Preliminary Programme

JUNE 19th

  • 9:15h-9:45h: Wake-up Coffee 
  • 9:45h -10:00h: Welcome
  • 10:00h-11:30h: F. Maniquet (UCL Louvain)
    • "Classic and Recent Debates on (Re)Distribution: A Social-Choice theoretical viewpoint"
  • 11:30h-11:50h: Coffee break
  • 11:50h-13:20h: P. Dworczak (Northwestern)
    • "Optimal Redistribution via Income Taxation and Market Design"
  • 13:20h-15:15h: Lunch
  • 15:15h-16:45h: J. Eeckhout (UPF)
    • Book “The Profit Paradox"

JUNE 20th

JUNE 21st


We expect to accommodate a maximum of seventy participants at the school. Interested participants should apply by filling the registration form. The deadline for applying to the school is April 3rd, 2024. Acceptance decisions will be communicated by April 19th, 2024.

To ensure effective participation, and to guarantee that the available seats will actually be filled, the school requires a registration fee of 200 euros. However, we are pleased to announce the availability of several scholarships that will guarantee exemption from the tuition, for all the successful applicants without research funds.


Directions and Accommodations


In what follows you can find useful indications to reach Villa Mondragone


Fiumicino Airport  
From Fiumicino airport take the fast train (LEONARDO EXPRESS) to Termini railway station (departures every 30 minutes, first departure at 06:35, last departure at 23:35, ticket 9,50 €.
A taxi to reach Rome should cost around 40,00/60,00 €.
Frascati downtown can be conveniently reached from Termini central railway station by train. Trains nearly every hour; journey takes about 40 minutes. Tickets are available at the Station and cost 1,70 €.

Ciampino Airport  
The following bus and train services are available from Ciampino:
• the Terravision bus (Roma Termini central station - Roma Ciampino airport )
• the Cotral/Schiaffini bus nightly connections (Roma Termini central station - Roma Ciampino airport )
• the subway + the Cotral/Schiaffini bus (Line A, Anagnina station - Roma Ciampino airport )
• the train + the Cotral/Schiaffini bus (Ciampino railway station - Roma Ciampino airport)

From Termini Railway Station  
Take the underground "A" to the final stop Anagnina (ticket 1 €).
From ANAGNINA underground "A" final stop catch a blue COTRAL bus direction Rocca Priora (bus-shelter n.° 6) to Monteporzio Catone and get off at the Villa Mondragone.
Frascati downtown can be conveniently reached from Termini central railway station by train. Trains nearly every hour; journey takes about 40 minutes. Tickets are available at the Station and cost 1,70 €.

By Car or Taxi/Uber
From highway A1 Milano - Napoli or from highway A24 Roma - L'Aquila/Pescara: follow direction Roma Sud, exit Monte Porzio Catone, then follow signs to Villa Mondragone and Hotel Villa Vecchia (follow the road signs for Frascati).
From downtown Rome:
take the G.R.A. (Grande Raccordo Anulare, the ring highway around Rome) to the highway A1 Roma - Napoli, then exit Monte Porzio Catone. Follow signs to Villa Mondragone and Hotel Villa Vecchia.


Below are some of the hotels in convention with Tor Vergata University in Frascati

Organisers and Contacts

Scientific Organisers

CNRS-TSE and University of Rome Tor Vergata

Andrea Attar

Köln Universität

Felix Bierbrauer

Queen Mary University of London

Roberto Veneziani

Local Organisers

University of Rome Tor Vergata

Eloisa Campioni

University of Rome Tor Vergata

Andrea Piano Mortari

University of Rome Tor Vergata

Guillaume Pommey


Summer School: “Markets and Governments: a Theoretical Appraisal”
c/o Villa Mondragone, Monte Porzio Catone (Rome) Italy

phone: +39 06 7259 5601