Course 2017-2018 a.y.



Department of Economics

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - M (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - IM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - MM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - AFC (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - CLEFIN-FINANCE (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - CLELI (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - ACME (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - DES-ESS (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - EMIT (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - GIO (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

The topics covered in the course have been developed by Nobel Memorial Prize laureates. You learn about some of the most important contributions to contract theory and market design by Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom (Nobel Prize winners 2016) and by J. Tirole (2014), to mechanism design by Leonid Hurwicz, Eric S. Maskin and Roger B. Myerson (2007), to asymmetric information by George A. Akerlof, Michael Spence, Joseph E. Stiglitz (2001) and William Vickrey (1996).
This course introduces the student to two advanced topics in Microeconomics: asymmetric information and general equilibrium with time and uncertainty. The goal is to provide students with the analytical tools required to read and understand the current economic literature and its debates.

Course Content Summary

  • General equilibrium in exchange economies.
  • Pareto optimality and Welfare Theorems.
  • General Eequilibrium with time and uncertainty.
  • Introduction to asset pricing.
  • Hidden information: screening.
  • Hidden action: moral hazard.
  • Introduction to Signaling and Competitive Screening.
  • Dynamic contracts and Auctions.
  • Applications to optimal income taxation and financial contracting.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods


During the course, the students will be able to test their knowledge and understanding of the material by mean of a series of problem sets which will be solved in class. In order for the Teaching Assistant to evaluate the problem sets they must be written with a scientific editor (such as, for example, TeX, LaTeX, Lyx, ScientificWorkplace, Scientifc Word, or World with equation editor) and printed or handed in .pdf format.

The exam grade will be based on a Written Exam at the end of the course.


Examination is based on topics and exercises presented during the course. References are:
  • P. BOLTON, M. DEWATRIPONT, Contract Theory, MIT press.
  • J.H. COCHRANE, Asset Pricing, Princeton University press.
  • J.J. LAFFONT, D. MARTIMORT, The Theory of Incentives, Princeton University press.
  • I. MACHO-STADLER, J.D. PEREZ-CASTILLO, An Introduction to the Economics of Information: Incentives and Contracts, Oxford University press.
  • M.D. MAS-COLELL, M. WHINSTON, J.R. GREEN, Microeconomic Theory, Oxford University press.
  • B. SALANIE, The Economics of Contracts, MIT press.
  • Slides and other teaching material are distributed during the course.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)


Good knowledge of Microeconomic at undergraduate level and knowledge of (nonlinear) static optimisation.

Last change 19/05/2017 10:28