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Course 2020-2021 a.y.


Department of Economics

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 25

BEMACS (8 credits - I sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/01)
Course Director:

Classes: 25 (I sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

It is strongly recommended to be familiar with the basic concepts taught in an introductory course of Microeconomics.

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 aggregate variables - such as gross domestic product, price level, unemployment rate, interest rate, and exchange rate - that play a major role in shaping the environment in which households, firms, and other economic agents operate. The course also analyzes some of the most popular (fiscal and monetary) policies used to stabilize the economy.

  • National Accounting.
  • The goods market and financial markets.
  • Basic theory of Money.
  • Macroeconomic equilibrium and macroeconomic policies in a closed economy.
  • Unemployment.
  • Inflation.
  • The role of expectations.
  • The open economy, the balance of payments, and the exchange rate.
  • Government debt.
  • The great recession.
  • The determinants of economic growth.

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 macroeconomic environment faced by the firm or organization they join after they graduate.
  • 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 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.
  • Use such analysis in many of the decisions (pricing, portfolio, business investment, hiring, etc.) they are soon called to make throughout their working career.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Online lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • In addition to face-to-face and online lectures, several tutorials (some taught by the instructor and some by the Teaching Assistant assigned to each class) are scheduled during the semester. During each tutorial, the concepts introduced during the lectures are used to answer questions and solve problems that are similar to those on the typical written examination.
  • In addition, the instructor makes available (on the course website on Bboard) a list of links to very recent articles or blog posts on topics that are discussed in class - with comments aimed at clarifying how each of them is related to the models and concepts introduced during lectures.
  • Some of these readings are used by the instructor as the starting point for 'case-study' discussions aimed at showing students how the concepts studied in the course can be used to interpret real-world economic events. Some of the readings, notified in advance to students, may also be the topic of the questions asked in the final exam.

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x x
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • x    

    The assessment of whether the student has achieved the intended learning outcomes above is conducted through two complementary methods:

    1. Two written partial examinations (typically, each with weight 50%) or a single written general examination. 
      • Each exam consists of open questions and multiple-choice questions. The purpose of the exam is to assess whether the student can employ the analytical tools developed throughout the course, even in seemingly novel contexts, as well as formulate a coherent and logical reasoning using the economic concepts studied in class.
      • Students can either take two partial exams (a midterm and a second partial exam at the end of the course) or one general exam at the end of the course. To pass the exam, the grade on the written exam has to be at least 18/30.
    2. Additional points may be awarded for class/online participation. Class participation has two purposes: it helps students be up to speed with lectures and it allows the instructor to make sure students are not falling behind. It is thus strongly encouraged and rewarded accordingly. To ensure class participation and assess students' knowledge correctly, quizzes may be provided by the istructor throughout the course.

    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, April 2020, 6th edition.
    • Lecture notes and other readings are made available during the semester on the course website on Bboard.
    Last change 27/07/2020 12:20