Andrea Zaccaria

Andrea Zaccaria

Senior research fellow

Andrea Zaccaria is a researcher at the Institute for Complex Systems (ISC)-CNR and a consultant at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank Group.

He received his PhD in Physics at the "Sapienza" University of Rome, where he applied concepts and methods borrowed from Statistical Physics and the Physics of Complex Systems to the study of financial markets.
As a member of the research and development group of SoSE Spa, one of the main Italian fiscal agencies, he developed a machine learning algorithm to classify taxpayers and detect tax evasion.
His present work at ISC and IFC is focused on the Economic Complexity approach, and in particular on the application of complex networks methodologies, algorithmic tools, and machine learning to development economics.

Email: and[dot]zaccaria[at]gmail[dot]com



  • Merit-based PhD scholarship sponsored by the "Sapienza" University of Rome
  • 2018 Best Paper Award at NetSci, the main conference on Network Science (

Research interests and main achievements

  • 2013-present: Economic Complexity, an innovative, data-driven approach to Economics, combining complexity science and machine learning. This methodology has been adopted by the World Bank Group for the study of about 70 countries. In particular, I focused on: 
    • - The introduction of a directed network of products to study and predict the development of countries [13].
    • - The investigation of the dynamics that make countries escape from the poverty trap [24].
    • - A multilayer approach for the analysis of the interplay among Science, Technology, and Production that is able to connect, for instance, the patenting activity of a given country with its industrial production with a time delay of up to 30 years [32]. Video:
    • - I am a guest editor for a special issue of the journal Entropy, title: Economic Fitness and Complexity (
  • 2016-present: I have shown that firms that diversify their patenting activity in a coherent way have higher productivity [31].
  • 2010-2015: I explained extreme price movements of stocks in terms of microstructural liquidity crises [5, 14] and studied the connection between traders’ strategies and various empirical properties of financial markets [6].
  • 2011-2014: Analysis of financial time series, in particular:
    • - Introduction of a new stylized fact, particularly relevant for extreme events [9], and
    • - Proof that technical trading leads to memory effects in price dynamics [12].
  • 2011-2013: Application of complexity tools (networks, agent-based models, and Kolmogorov complexity, among others) to the development of new income assessment systems for the Italian fiscal agencies. Elaboration of an original algorithm for the detection of tax evasion.
  • 2008-2013: Development of a minimal agent-based model to extract the key features to explain the origin and self-organization of the main empirical properties of financial markets [1, 2, 3, 4, 7].


V.Alfi, L. Pietronero, and A. Zaccaria
Self-Organization for the Stylized Facts and Finite-Size Effects in a Financial Market Model
EPL 86, 58003 (2009)
V. Alfi, M. Cristelli, L. Pietronero, and A. Zaccaria
Minimal Agent Based Model for Financial Markets I: Origin and Self-Organization of Stylized Facts
Eur. Phys. J. B 67, 385-397 (2009)
V. Alfi, M. Cristelli, L. Pietronero, and A. Zaccaria
Minimal Agent Based Model for Financial Markets II: Statistical Properties of the Linear and Multiplicative Dynamics
Eur. Phys. J. B 67, 399-417 (2009)
V. Alfi, M. Cristelli, L. Pietronero, and A. Zaccaria
Mechanisms of Self-Organization and Finite Size Effects in a Minimal Agent Based Model
J. Stat. Mech. P03016 (2009)
M. Cristelli, V. Alfi, L. Pietronero, and A. Zaccaria
Liquidity Crisis, Granularity of the Order Book and Price Fluctuations
Eur. Phys. J. B 73, 41-49 (2010)
A. Zaccaria, M. Cristelli, V. Alfi, F. Ciulla, and L. Pietronero
Asymmetric Statistics of Order Books: The Role of Discreteness and Evidence for Strategic Order Placement
Phys. Rev. E 81, 066101 (2010)
V. Alfi, M. Cristelli, L. Pietronero, and A. Zaccaria
Reconstructing Agents’ Strategies from Price Behavior
In F. Abergel, B.K. Chakrabarti, A. Chakraborti, and M. Mitra, editors,
Econophysics of Order-driven Markets, Proceedings of Econophys-Kolkata V, 109–124.
Springer-Verlag, 2011
M. Cristelli, L. Pietronero, and A. Zaccaria
Critical Overview of Agent-Based Models for Economics
In F. Mallamace and E. H. Stanley, editors,
Proceedings of the School of Physics "E. Fermi", course CLXXVI, 2011, Varenna
e-print ArXiv 1101.1847
M. Cristelli, A. Zaccaria, and L. Pietronero
Universal Relation between Skewness and Kurtosis in Complex Dynamics
Phys. Rev. E 85, 066108 (2012)
A. Tacchella, M. Cristelli, A. Zaccaria, and L. Pietronero
Time Evolution of Financial Cross-Correlation Coefficients across Market Crisis 
Int. J. Mod. Phys. Conf. Ser., 16:82-92 (2012)
A. Zaccaria, M. Cristelli, and L. Pietronero
Reaction to Extreme Events in a Minimal Agent Based Model
In F. Abergel, B.K. Chakrabarti, A. Chakraborti, and A. Ghosh, editors,
Econophysics of Systemic Risk and Network Dynamics, 133–140.
New Economic Windows, Springer-Verlag, 2013
F. Garzarelli, M. Cristelli, G. Pompa, A. Zaccaria, and L. Pietronero 
Memory Effects in Stock Price Dynamics: Evidences of Technical Trading
Sci. Rep. 4, 4487 (2014)
A. Zaccaria, M. Cristelli, A. Tacchella, and L. Pietronero
How the Taxonomy of Products Drives the Economic Development of Countries
PLoS ONE 9 (12): e113770, (2014)
F. Corradi, A. Zaccaria and L. Pietronero
Liquidity Crises on Different Time Scales
Phys. Rev. E, 92, 062802 (2015)
M Cristelli, L Pietronero, A Tacchella, and A Zaccaria
Being fit in the ASEAN countries. An econometric analysis
In Romeo Orlandi, editor ASEAN For Italy. Il Mulino, (2015)
M. Cristelli, A. Tacchella, A. Zaccaria, and L. Pietronero
Growth Scenarios for sub-Saharan Countries in the Framework of Economic Complexity
Working paper. Available at (2015)
A. Zaccaria, M. Cristelli, R. Kupers, A. Tacchella and L. Pietronero
A Case Study for a New Metrics for Economic Complexity: The Netherlands
J. Econ. Interact. Coord . 1, 11:151-169, (2016)
E. Pugliese, A. Zaccaria, and L. Pietronero
On the Convergence of the Fitness-Complexity Algorithm
Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. 225: 1893 (2016)
M. A. Annunziata, A. Petri, G. Pontuale, and A. Zaccaria
How log-normal is your country? An analysis of the statistical distribution of the exported volumes of products
Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. 225: 1985 (2016)
G. Cimini, A. Zaccaria, and A. Gabrielli
Investigating the interplay between fundamentals of national research systems: performance, investments and international collaborations 
Journal of Informetrics. 1,10:200-211 (2016)
E. Pugliese, G.L. Chiarotti, A. Zaccaria, and L. Pietronero
Economic Complexity as a Determinant of the Industrialization of Countrie
Sustaining High Growth in India, 87 Cambridge University Press (2017) 
O. Angelini, M. Cristelli, A. Zaccaria, and L. Pietronero.
The complex dynamics of products and its asymptotic properties
PloS one, 12(5):e0177360, (2017)
E. Pugliese, G. L. Chiarotti, A. Zaccaria, and L. Pietronero
Complex economies have a lateral escape from the poverty trap
PloS one, 12(1):e0168540, (2017)
A. Gabrielli, M. Cristelli, D. Mazzilli, A. Tacchella, A. Zaccaria, and L. Pietronero
Why we like the ECI+ algorithm
arXiv:1708.01161, (2017)
L. Pietronero, M. Cristelli, A. Gabrielli, D. Mazzilli, E. Pugliese, A. Tacchella, and A. Zaccaria
Economic Complexity: "Buttarla in caciara" vs a constructive approach
arXiv:1709.05272, (2017)
A. Tacchella, S. Romano, M. Ferraldeschi, M. Salvetti, A. Zaccaria, A. Crisanti, and F. Grassi Collaboration between a human group and artificial intelligence can improve prediction of multiple sclerosis course: a proof-of-principle study
F1000Research, 6 (2017)
G. Poce, G. Cimini, A. Gabrielli, A. Zaccaria, G. Baldacci, M. Polito, M. Rizzo, and
S. Sabatini. 
What do central counterparties default funds really cover? A network-based stress test answer
Journal of Network Theory in Finance 4 (4), 43-57 (2018)
A. Zaccaria, S. Mishra, M. Cader, and L. Pietronero
Integrating services in the economic fitness approach 
World bank policy research working paper, WPS8485, (2018)
A. Sbardella, E. Pugliese, A. Zaccaria, and P. Scaramozzino
The role of complex analysis in modeling economic growth
Entropy 20 (11), 883, (2018)
A. Zaccaria, M. Del Vicario, W. Quattrociocchi, A. Scala, and L. Pietronero
PopRank: Ranking pages' impact and users' engagement on Facebook 
PloS one 14 (1), e0211038 (2019)
E. Pugliese, L. Napolitano, A. Zaccaria, and L. Pietronero
Coherent diversification in corporate technological portfolios
PloS one 14 (10), (2019)
E. Pugliese, G. Cimini, A. Patelli, A. Zaccaria, L. Pietronero, A. Gabrielli
Unfolding the innovation system for the development of countries: coevolution of Science, Technology and Production
Scientific reports 9 (1), 1-12 (2019)
G. De Marzo, A. Gabrielli, A. Zaccaria, L. Pietronero
Deviations from Zipf's law contain more information than Zipf's law itself
arXiv:1911.04844 (2019)
A. Palmucci, H. Liao, A. Napoletano, A. Zaccaria
Where is your field going? A Machine Learning approach to study the relative motion of the domains of Physics
arXiv:1911.02890 (2019)