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Course 2020-2021 a.y.


Department of Economics

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

CLEAM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/04) - CLEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/04) - CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/04) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/04) - WBB (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/04) - BIEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/04) - BIEM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/04) - BIG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/04) - BEMACS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/04)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

Previous exposure to first-year undergraduate macroeconomic and microeconomic courses is necessary and compulsory. For example: Microeconomics: B.D. BERNHEIM –M.D. WHINSTON, Microeconomics, McGraw-Hill; Macroeconomics: O. BLANCHARD, Macroeconomics, Pearson.

Mission & Content Summary

The course offers a panoramic view of the evolution of economic ideas from classical political economy to the recent developments in macroeconomic and microeconomic theory. In macroeconomics, the depth and breadth of the Great Crisis motivate an overall reconsideration of the relationships between the evolution of macroeconomic ideas and the design and implementation of the concrete economic policies, both in Europe and in the US. In microeconomics, the recent rise of behavioural economics motivates an analogous reconsideration of the evolution of economic ideas concerning decision making, prices, and markets.

  • Introduction

    Part I – Classical Political Economy and History of Microeconomics (Moscati)

    Part II – History of Macroeconomics: Classics, Keynesianism, Monetarism, New Classical Macroeconomics, New Keynesianism, and the Post Great Crisis Debate (Masciandaro).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Explain the evolution of economic ideas from classical political economy to the recent developments in macroeconomic and microeconomic theory.
  • Discuss the crucial role of such evolution in identifying  the present trade-offs that the policymakers face in designing and implementing the economic policy strategies, both at the micro and macro levels.
  • Acting in a more professional way in terms of logic and precision. 
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Choose and apply the appropriate micro and/or macro theoretical framework model to assess the effect of various forms of  policy intervention.
  • Interpret the existing empirical evidence on the micro structures, as well as on the business cycles.
  • Interact in a constructive way,  think critically and address and fix any problem in a more professional way.

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

The learning experience of this course includes, in addition to face-to-face lectures, the solution in class of Event Studies. Those exercises allow students to apply the analytical tools illustrated during the course. Moreover stylized cases are proposed to students and discussed in class with the purpose of applying the models explained during the course. Students are encouraged to bring their own views and to share their insights, using logic and precision.

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •     x

    With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes, the students’ assessment is based on the  written exam.

    • On top the teachers can evaluate  for each student  if his/her participation is professional, i.e. consistent with the UB honor code.
    • The exam is worth 30/30. The exam is composed of 4 questions. Answer all questions. Each question is worth 7.5/30 points (time=90 minutes).
    • To pass the exam the grade has to be at least 18/30. The final mark is the sum of the points assigned to each answer. Laude is possible when the exam is outstanding.
    • Students cannot ask proctors any question on the exam contents, and, however, any proctor answer on the exam questions is irrelevant. You must always motivate your answers. Answers without explanation are not evaluated. Any kind of mistake and/or omission and/or ambiguity is an error, that is worth at least 1 point. You must fill in the box on the top left corner with your personal details and you must sign for acceptance the Rules of the Honor Code. Exams without personal details and signature are not graded. In order to withdraw from the exam, students must sign in the box on the top right corner. Students who do not sign in the appropriate space have their grade registered. Students can decide to withdraw by 15 minutes before the end of the exam. Only students who intend to hand in the exam or withdraw may leave the room, but no student is allowed to leave in the last 15 minutes before the end of the exam. To answer, you must use only the sheets enclosed with the exam, by writing in the proper spaces with a blue or black ink pen (not red) and your handwriting must be readable. In the last sheet, you find a space useful to complete your answers. As rough copy – and not for answering – you can use the back front of the sheets. The solutions are posted in the Course Bboard. The paper show rules – including the date -  are communicated with the grades; students cannot call for postponing/anticipating the paper show and cannot delegate it; no exceptions to the rules.

    Teaching materials

    Slides and readings represent the teaching material. The slides will be posted week by week in the course website. The lecture notes (Part II) will be posted at the beginning of the course. The readings are the following:

    I. MOSCATI, From Classical Political Economy to Behavioural Economics, Milan, EGEA, 2012; Chapters: 1-2-3-4, 9-10-11.

    I. MOSCATI, How Economists Came to Accept Expected Utility Theory: The Case of Samuelson and Savage, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2016.

    D. MASCIANDARO, Macroeconomic Ideas and Business Cycles: One Size Doesn’t Fit All, Lecture Notes, 2019 (available on the Course Blackboard).


    Further (not compulsory and unnecessary for the exam) readings for Part II:

    B.S. BERNANKE, T.F. GEITHNER, H.M. PAULSON, Firefighting. The Financial Crisis and its Lessons, Profile Books, 2019; O. BLANCHARD, R. RAJAN, K. ROGOFF, et al., Progress and Confusion: The State of Macroeconomic Policy, MIT Press, 2016; M. DESAI, Hubris, Yale University Press, 2015; R. HETZEL, The Great Recession, Cambridge University Press, 2012; B. SNOWDON, H. VANE, Modern Macroeconomics, Edward Elgar, 2006; D. RODRIK, Economics Rules, Norton, 2015.

    Last change 20/07/2020 12:04