30326 - INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS (MODULE II -MACROECONOMICS)
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 23
Class-group lessons delivered on campus
Students in this course should have learned introductory micro in such a way as to be familiar with concepts such as supply, demand, equilibrium price, competition, market power. They should also have some familiarity with searching economic information, news and basic data on the web.
To describe and understand the functioning of an economy and to devise the best economic policies an aggregate framework of analysis is offered by macroeconomics. By aggregating markets and agents and by proposing theories of their aggregate behavior, the logic of macroeconomics helps to draw an overall picture of an economy and of its interactions with the rest of the world. In particular, macroeconomics studies the tools, the targets and the institutional settings that characterize monetary and fiscal policies. This course provides the very basic vocabulary to understand macroeconomic analysis, to read fundamental aggregate data and to listen in a critical way the news and the debates on current macroeconomic policies that take place on the media. Special emphasis is given to the international and European dimensions of macroeconomic issues, including the benefits of supra-national cooperation in guiding national economies.
- Introductory definitions: Gdp, inflation, unemployment.
- Aggregate demand and the keynesian idea of macroeconomic equilibrium.
- The balance of payments and the exchange rate.
- Assets markets, the money supply, central banks and monetary policy.
- The general equilibrium of the goods and assets markets.
- Short term stabilization of an open economy with monetary and fiscal policies.
- The labour market, wage and price setting: the short and medium term behavior of aggregate supply.
- The general equilibrium of aggregate demand and supply.
- Policies to control the level of economic activity, employment and inflation.
- European economic integration and the euro area.
- The main international macroeconomic events of the last decade and the current perspectives.
- Use the main macroeconomic words (including, for instance, national income, unemployment, money, depreciation, government budget) in an appropriate way.
- Read and understand the basic points of the major macroeconomic documents and analyses issued by governments, central banks and international institutions and think tanks.
- Understand the economic roots of several political problems and enrich the knowledge of various fields and issues of political sciences with a better consciousness of their main macroeconomic implications.
- Understand and follow with success more specific and advanced courses in economics and political economy.
- Search the basic macro data of an economy and conduct elementary elaborations on them.
- Use a stronger critical filter to judge the main macropolicy discussions on the media.
- Find the sources to deepen their knowledge of m specific macroeconomic theories and data, when needed.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
- Group assignments
- Exercises: review questions on the various topics are distributed and discussed in class or during the teacher's office hours.
- Group assignments: a "news group" weekly reports to the class on the main macroeconomic news dealt with in the international press; a "spot contribution group" very briefly reports to the class on special data-finding assignments or on the teacher's suggestions to go a bit deeper in the topics deal with during face-to-face lectures; "papers" (5 pages) are assigned to groups of 2-5 students to be delivered at the end of the course on topics suggested by the teacher.
With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes, the students’ assessment is based on two main components:
- In-class participation and group assignments (max 3 extra points) aimed to test the students’ ability to interact in a constructive way, to think critically and to analize the current Macroeconomic situation and perspective.
- Written exam (100% of the final grade), consisting of open questions aimed to assess students’ ability to describe the key Macroeconomics concepts illustrated during the course. Students can take a partial written exam and complete the written exam at the end of the course. In this case the weight is: 50% for the partial exam and 50% for the second partial exam. Alternatively, students can take a final written exam that accounts for 100% of the final grade.
- Power point presentations prepared by the teacher.
- Some chapters of a major macro textbook: BLANCHARD, et al., Macroeconomics: a European Perspective, Pearson.
- Are also suggested readings but the teacher's presentations are sufficient to prepare the exam.