Course 2023-2024 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. It 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
  • Macroeconomic equilibrium and macroeconomic policies in a closed economy
  • Unemployment and inflation
  • The role of expectations
  • The open economy: saving and investment, the exchange rate, trade policies
  • Government debt
  • The determinants of economic growth
  • The great recession

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 their role when shocks hit 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 or demand.
  • Predict the impact of fiscal policy announcements and interventions on the same variables.
  • Compare the performance of different economies.
  • Evaluate the economic forecasts or views on the state of the economy found in the internet and other media.
  • Use such analysis in many of the decisions (pricing, portfolio, business investment or hiring) they are soon called to make throughout their working career.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Interactive class activities on campus/online (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


  • In addition to face-to-face and online lectures, some tutorials (taught by the instructor and by the Teaching Assistant) 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) links to recent articles or blog posts on topics that are discussed in class 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.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  x 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 thanks to optional quizzes throughout the course. Their aim is to help students be up to speed with lectures and it allows the instructor to make sure students are not falling behind.They are thus strongly encouraged and rewarded accordingly. 

Teaching materials


  • O. BLANCHARD, A. AMIGHINI, F. GIAVAZZI, Macroeconomics - A European Perspective, Pearson Education Limited, 2021, Fourth Edition.
  • G. FERRAGUTO, Macroeconomics - Problems and Questions, Egea, April 2020, 7th edition.
  • Lecture notes and other readings are made available during the semester on the course website on Bboard.
Last change 04/06/2023 08:18