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Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

CLMG (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/02) - M (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/02) - IM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/02) - MM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/02) - AFC (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/02) - CLELI (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/02) - ACME (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/02) - DES-ESS (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/02) - EMIT (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/02) - GIO (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/02) - DSBA (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/02) - PPA (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/02) - FIN (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/02)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Mission & Content Summary

In 1995 advanced economies were responsible for around 60% of the world GDP, while the ‘Developing countries’ covered the remaining 40%. Nowadays, ‘advanced’ economies produce slightly more than 40% of world GDP, while emerging economies account for the rest. China alone accounts for more than 15% of the world share, from little more than 3 per cent in 1995. Trade (world exports) is now almost 30% of world GDP, twice as much than in 1995, while yearly Foreign Direct Investment, the capital and technology of multinational companies flowing across countries in the world, are five times larger, from around $300 Bln per year in the mid 90s to 1.5Trl $ per year. These fast and structural changes are generating profound consequences on societies, requiring new models and tools of analysis to understand them and to develop adequate policy responses. The course introduces you to these state-of-the-art models and tools, using the process of European integration as a benchmark concrete case. By the end of this course, you will be able to use advanced economic and statistical techniques for the analysis and formulation of policy proposals under discussion in the debate on the EU, in particular on growth and innovation, regional disparities and the effects of globalization. To this aim, specific assignments on actual policy problems integrate the course program.


The course is organized around three main sub-sections:

  1. Part I on Economic integration and growth.
  2. Part II on the effects of Economic integration on society.
  3. Part III on Economic integration and regional disparities.

The course covers (among others) in particular:

  • The relation between globalization, firm selection (productivity & growth) and reallocation of resource (working of labor markets).
  • The impact of globalization on political and economic outcomes (e.g. Brexit or income distribution).
  • The (resulting) uneven distribution of economic activities across space (causes, consequences and policy solutions).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Manage large firm-level datasets through adequate econometric software.
  • Calculate productivity at the firm level.
  • Critically assess instrumental variable techniques to establish the impact of economic shocks on societal outcomes.
  • Have a broad knowledge of state-of-the-art models of economic integration and economic geography.
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Apply formal theoretical models, as well as econometric tools, to analyze real & current economic policy issues, especially related to the process of European integration (but not only…).
  • The set of skills developed through the course is increasingly valued in International Organizations where enrolled students typically end up for internships (EC, ECB, UN, OECD, etc…).

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Group assignments
  • Group assignments

Economic theory and econometric tools are directly applied by students (working in groups, 4-5 members) on actual (firm-level) data provided by the course instructor in order to derive a group-specific analysis / solution to the problems tackled.

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •     x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  •   x  
    • Two take-home group assignments (up to 4 students), worth 70 per cent of total marks. The take-home are aimed at providing a solution to economic policy problems currently discussed within the EU and require the use of ‘real’ data provided by the course instructors or available on the EU websites.
    • A final written exam (open book – open questions) makes up for the remaining points.
    • Individual essay (including an analysis of data), on a topic to be agreed in advance, on one of the parts of the course, worth 50 per cent of total marks.
    • A final written exam makes up for the remaining points.

    Teaching materials
    • D. ACEMOGLU, P. AGHION, F. ZILIBOTTI, Distance to Frontier, Selection and Economic Growth, Journal of the European Economic Association, 4:37-74, 2006.

    • C. ALTOMONTE, L. BONACORSI, I. COLANTONE, (2018) Trade and Growth in the Age of Global Value Chains, Baffi-Carefin Working Paper No. 2018-97.

    • M. ANELLI, I. COLANTONE, P. Stanig (2019), We Were the Robots: Automation and Voting Behavior in Western Europe, Bocconi mimeo.

    • ANSELIN L. (1995), Local Indicators of spatial association – LISA, Geographical Analysis, 27(2): 93-115

    • ANSELIN L. (2006), GeoDa: an introduction to spatial data analysis, Geographical Analysis, 38(1):5-22.

    • GIBBONS, S. and H. OVERMAN (2012), Mostly pointless spatial econometrics?, Journal of Regional Science, 52(2): 172–191.

    • I. COLANTONE, R. CRINÒ, L. OGLIARI (2018), Globalization and Mental Distress, CEPR Discussion Paper 10874 (October, 2015), latest version 2018 available at italocolantone.com.

    • I. COLANTONE, P. STANIG (2018a), The Surge of Economic Nationalism in Western Europe, Bocconi mimeo.

    • I. COLANTONE, P. STANIG (2018b), Global Competition and Brexit, American Political Science Review, 112: 201-218.

    • I. COLANTONE, P. STANIG (2018c), The Trade Origins of Economic Nationalism: Import Competition and Voting Behavior in Western Europe, American Journal of Political Science, 62: 936-953.

    • GIUA, M. (2016), Spatial discontinuity for the impact assessment of the EU Regional policy. The case of the Italian Objective 1 regions, Journal of Regional Science, forthcoming.

    • P. KRUGMAN, Scale Economies, Product Differentiation and the Pattern of Trade, The American Economic Review, 70:950-959, 1980.

    • M. MELITZ, The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocation and Aggregate Industry Productivity, Econometrica, 71:1695-1725, 2003.

    • M. MELITZ, G. OTTAVIANO, Market Size, Trade, and Productivity, Review of Economic Studies, 75: 295-316, 2008.

    • PIENKOWSKI  and BERKOWITZ (2015), Econometric assessments of Cohesion Policy growth effects: how to make them more relevant for policy makers?, European Commession DG Regio WP 2/2015

    • Class notes explaining in detail the more technical articles and additional readings are provided when dealing with each specific topic covered in the programme on the Learning Space of the course.
    Last change 02/05/2019 10:31