30326 - INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS (MODULE II -MACROECONOMICS)
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 23
Class-group lessons delivered on campus
Students should have learned introductory Microeconomics and be familiar with concepts such as demand, supply, market equilibrium, competition, market power and labour supply. They should also have some familiarity with searching economic and financial information, news and data on the web.
This course aims at describing and explaining the functioning of an economy, providing an integrated view of macroeconomic issues and the policies that can be implemented to face them. Macroeconomics deals with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole and proposes theories to investigate and understand its aggregate behavior. Therefore, macroeconomics helps to draw an overall picture of an economy and its interactions with the rest of the world. In particular, it studies the tools, the targets, and the institutional settings that characterize fiscal and monetary policies. The course will make students familiar with current macroeconomic events, analyzing them from an international perspective. It provides students with the tools needed to understand and evaluate macroeconomic aspects, read fundamental aggregate data, and be able to understand the news and the debates on current macroeconomic policies. Special emphasis is given to the international and European dimensions of macroeconomic issues, including the benefits of supra-national cooperation in guiding national economies. Moreover, the course will also deal with the macroeconomic impact of Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war.
- Introductory definitions - GDP, inflation, unemployment - and data analysis
- The goods market: composition of GDP, equilibrium output, investment, and saving
- Financial markets: demand and supply of money and monetary policy
- The labour market, wage and price setting, the natural rate of unemployment: the short and medium-term behavior of aggregate supply.
- Policies implemented to affect economic activity, employment, and inflation
- Open economy: trade dynamics, the balance of payments, and exchange rates
- European economic integration and the Euro area
- The main international macroeconomic events of the last decade and current perspectives
- The macroeconomic impact of Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war
- Define and explain the main macroeconomic terms and variables (including, for instance, national income, gross domestic product, unemployment, money, depreciation, government budget)
- Recognize, explain and summarize the most important points of macroeconomic reports and analyses issued by governments, central banks, and international institutions
- Identify and describe the main economic mechanisms lying behind the most relevant political issues
- Enrich the knowledge of topics related to various fields and aspects of political sciences with a clear awareness of their main macroeconomic implications
- Describe and explain the current and future macroeconomic implications of Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war
- Understand and follow more specific and advanced courses in economics and political economy
- Search, understand and interpret the main macroeconomic data, making comparisons, evaluations, and basic predictions
- Apply the theories and tools analyzed during the course to understand the main macroeconomic issues faced by policymakers
- Evaluate the main fiscal and monetary policies implemented by governments and central banks, predict the impact of central banks' decisions on the likely evolution of interest rates, income, demand, etc., and predict the impact of fiscal policy announcements and interventions, and of other shocks, on the same variables.
- Read/listen critically to the main macroeconomic articles/discussions on the media
- Find the sources to deepen the knowledge of specific macroeconomic issues and data
- Formulate opinions and reasoning on macroeconomic topics and policies
- Face-to-face lectures
- Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
- Group assignments
- Exercises: review questions on the various topics will be given to students and/or discussed in class
- Group assignments:
- students will be divided into groups of 4-5 students.
- they will be required to prepare a presentation on a macroeconomic topic suggested by the teacher or by students and, in any case, accepted by the teacher.
- topics will be related to the main macroeconomic news and data dealt with in the international press, theories, and models discussed in class
- each group will be required to deliver a report, at the end of the course, on the topic analyzed
|Continuous assessment||Partial exams||General exam|
With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes, students’ assessment is based on two main components:
- in-class participation and group assignments aimed to test the students’ ability to interact in a constructive way, think critically and analyze the current macroeconomic situation;
- written exam, consisting, for example, of exercises, open questions, multiple-choice questions, aiming at assessing 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.
- Slides/handouts prepared by the teacher.
- O. BLANCHARD, A. AMIGHINI, F. GIAVAZZI, Macroeconomics - A European Perspective, Pearson Education Limited, 2021, 4th Edition.
- Suggested readings