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Course 2018-2019 a.y.


Department of Economics

For the instruction language of the course see class group/s below

Go to class group/s: 21 - 22

BIEF (8 credits - II sem. - OBBC  |  SECS-P/01)
Course Director:

Classes: 21 (II sem.) - 22 (II sem.)

Class group/s taught in English

Mission & Content Summary

The course provides students with the knowledge needed to understand the functioning of the economy as a whole, and investigates the determination of important macroeconomic aggregate variables - such as the gross domestic product of a country, the price level, the unemployment rate, the rate of interest and the exchange rate - that play a major role in shaping the external environment in which firms and other economic organizations operate.

  • National Accounting.
  • The goods market and financial markets.
  • Macroeconomic equilibrium and macroeconomic policies in a closed economy.
  • Unemployment.
  • Inflation.
  • The open economy, the balance of payments and the exchange rate.
  • Government debt.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand how the main macroeconomic variables are defined and measured.
  • Illustrate the determinants of the levels of income, inflation and unemployment prevailing in an economy.
  • Explain the macroecomic effects of monetary and fiscal policies, as well as those of other shocks hitting the economy.
  • Recognize the difference in the effects of such policies and shocks, depending on the exchange rate regime adopted.
  • Describe the interactions between financial markets developments and changes in the macronomic equilibrium of a country.
  • Identify the causes of the sustainability, or unsustainability of the deficits (in the government budget, in the trade balance, etc.) incurred by a country, and their likely consequences.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Apply the knowledge acquired during the course to evaluate the likely change in the environment of the firm or organization they will join at the end of the program. In particular:
    • Predict the impact of central banks' decisions on the likely evolution of interest rates, income, demand, etc..
    • Predict the impact of fiscal policy announcements and interventions, and of other shocks, on the same variables.
    • Evaluate and compare the economic forecasts and views on the state of the economy made available in the internet and other media, and utilize the results of such analysis and comparison in the decisions (pricing decisions, portfolio choices, business investment, hiring decisions, and the like) they will be soon called to make in their daily operations.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments

In addition to the traditional face-to face lectures, eight tutorials (some taught by the instructor, some by the Teaching Assistant assigned to each class) are scheduled during the semester. During each tutorials, the concepts introduced during the lectures are used to answer questions, and solve problems, similar to those of which the typical written examination consists.

Furthermore, every week a list of links to very recent articles or blog posts on topics that is soon discussed in class - with comments aimed at clarifying how each of them is related to the models and concepts introduced during lectures - is made available in the page of the course that the students are able to access on the Bboard platform. Some of these readings are used by instructors during their lectures, as the starting point for 'case-study'-like discussions aimed at  showing students the relevance of what just studied to interpret real world current economic events; on some of the remaining readings, notified in advance to students, are asked the questions included in the quizzes that students may decide to take at the end of the traditional written examinations.

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • x x x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  •   x x

    Two written partial examinations (weight in the final grade: 50% each), or a single written general examination. The students' final grade is computed by adding to the grade (at most 30/30) in the written examinations the sum of the three highest scores received in the four quizzes - two on the theory, two on the optional readings - offered during the semester.  The highest score for each quiz is 0,5/30, so that participation in the quizzez can entitle student to at most  1,5/30 additional points.

    Teaching materials
    • O. BLANCHARD, A. AMIGHINI, F. GIAVAZZI, Macroeconomics - A European Perspective, Pearson Education Limited, 2017, Third Edition.
    • G. FERRAGUTO, Macroeconomics - Problems and Questions, Egea, 2018, 5th edition.

    Further readings on the topics covered by the course and on current macroeconomic events are made available during the semester in the Bboard (Optional Readings).


    The above textbooks are those that will be used during the second semester a.y. 2018-19

    Last change 14/12/2018 11:34