Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Economics

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 13
BESS-CLES (7 credits - II sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/01)
Course Director:

Classes: 13 (II sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

Students should be comfortable with the basic microeconomic concepts. Consumers: individual demand curves, aggregate demand curves, choice under uncertainty, labor supply, intertemporal choice (consumption-saving decisions). Firms: production functions, cost minimization, profit maximization and individual supply curves, aggregate supply curves. Markets: competitive equilibrium in the long-run, general equilibrium, Pareto efficiency, monopoly. Concept of Nash equilibrium in Game Theory.

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 macroeconomic aggregate variables - such as the gross domestic product of a country, the price level, the unemployment rate, the rate of interest, the exchange rate, and the stock of public debt - that play a major role in shaping the external environment in which households, firms, and other economic organizations operate.


  • National accounting.
  • The goods and financial markets.
  • The IS-LM model.
  • The labor market.
  • The Phillips curve.
  • The IS-LM-PC model.
  • Financial markets and expectations.
  • Openness in goods and financial markets.
  • The Great Recession.
  • Government debt.
  • Long-run growth.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Explain how the main macroeconomic variables are defined and measured.
  • Illustrate the determinants of the income level, the inflation rate, the unemployment rate, the interest rate, and the debt to income ratio prevailing in an economy.
  • Identify the macroecomic effects of monetary and fiscal policies, as well as those of exogenous shocks hitting the economy.
  • Recognize how the effects of such policies and shocks differ, depending on the exchange rate regime adopted.
  • Describe the interactions between financial markets developments and changes in the macronomic equilibrium of a country.
  • Summarize the causes of sustainability of the deficits (in the government budget, in the trade balance, etc.) incurred by a country, and their likely consequences.
  • Indentify the main drivers of long-run growth and explain the role of capital accumulation.


At the end of the course student will be able to...

Apply the knowledge acquired during the course to evaluate the likely short-run and long-run evolution of the economic environment where the firm or organization they join at the end of the program operates, from both a domestic and international point of view. In particular, students are able to:

  • Predict the impact of central banks' decisions on the likely evolution of interest rates, aggregate output, aggregate demand, etc..
  • Predict the impact of fiscal policy announcements and interventions, and of other shocks, on the same variables.
  • Evaluate and compare the economic forecasts and views on the state of the economy made available on the internet and in other media, and utilize the results of such analysis and comparison in the economic decisions (pricing decisions, portfolio choices, business investment, hiring decisions, and the like) they are soon called to make in their work environment.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)


In addition to the traditional face-to face lectures, six tutorials (some taught by the Instructor, some by the Teaching Assistant) are scheduled throughout the semester. During each tutorial, the concepts introduced in class are used to answer questions, and solve problems, possibly like those of which the typical written examination consists. Furthermore, links to recent articles or blog posts on topics discussed in class - with comments aimed at clarifying how each of them is related to the models and concepts introduced during lectures - are made available, at regular intervals, on the course web page that students can access on the Bboard platform. Students are encouraged to go through the readings on an individual basis, to verify their understanding of the topics discussed in class, and their relevance for interpreting real world economic events.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  x x


With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes, the students’ assessment is based on a written examination (100% of the final grade). The written exam consists of exercises and/or open questions, aimed at assessing students’ ability to:

  • Apply the analytical tools illustrated during the course.
  • Solve macroeconomic models and explain their implications.
  • Identify the macroecomic effects of monetary and fiscal policies.
  • Describe the interactions between financial markets developments and changes in macronomic equilibria.

The exam also consists of short statements (true or false) to discuss, aimed at assessing students’ ability to:

  • Precisely define the main macroeconomic variables and concepts.
  • Articulate economic reasoning.
  • Correctly apply the knowledge and skills acquired 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 end of term exam. Alternatively, students can take a final written exam that accounts for 100% of the final grade. At their discretion, students can take two quizzes, consisting of multiple choice questions on optional readings. Quizzes follow the partial and general exams. Taking the quizzes can entitle students to a maximum of 1.5/30 additional points. If present, additional points will be added to the final grade obtained in the written examination.

For non attending students assessment is based on the written exam (either two partial exams or one final written exam with the same content and weight distribution of those applied to attending students) and quizzes.

Teaching materials


  • O. BLANCHARD, A. AMIGHINI, F. GIAVAZZI, Macroeconomics: A European Perspective, Pearson, 2017, Third edition.
  • G. FERRAGUTO, Macroeconomics - Problems and Questions, Egea, 2018,  Fifth edition.
  • Lecture notes written by the Instructor.
  • Optional readings and other study materials.
  • Slides and further readings on the topics covered by the course are made available on the Bboard  during the course. Slides are an essential study guide: they are considered part of the teaching material.
Last change 01/06/2019 08:57