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Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Economics

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 15 - 16 - 17 - 18

CLEAM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - WBB (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - BIEM (6 credits - II sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/01) - BIG (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - BEMACS (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01)
Course Director:

Classes: 15 (II sem.) - 16 (II sem.) - 17 (II sem.) - 18 (II sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

Previous exposure to introductory undergraduate macroeconomic and microeconomic courses is highly recommended in order to know the fundamentals needed to follow this course. Suggested readings (non-compulsory, but recommended) to review concepts given for granted for this course are the following. For microeconomics: B.D. BERNHEIM, M.D. WHINSTON, Microeconomics, McGraw-Hill. For Macroeconomics: O. BLANCHARD, Macroeconomics, Pearson.

Mission & Content Summary

The course is in two sections. Section 1 analyses current monetary and financial policies. It focuses on the relevant contemporary business cycle issues in order to enhance the macroeconomic knowledge of the students involved in managerial studies. Section 2 introduces students to the debate on globalization from the viewpoint of international trade in goods and services in order to give them a better understanding of the causes and consequences of international trade and of the effects of trade policies. The presentation relies on real world data and examples, highlighting in particular the policy implications of the theoretical analyses.

  1. Section 1: Monetary and Financial Economics.
    • Introduction: Macroeconomics for Business.
    • Macroeconomics: General Principles and Multiple Equilibria.
    • The Global Financial Crisis: Discovering its Drivers.
    • The Great Moderation: Efficient Markets, Economic Policy Rules  and Macroeconomic Stability.
    • The Great Deviation: Lax Monetary Policy and  Financial Deregulation.
    • The Great Recession: Financial Bubbles and Economic Crises.
    • The Great Liquidity Trap: Unconventional Monetary Policies and the Austerity Debate.
    • Rethinking Macroeconomics: Evolution or Revolution?
  2. Section 2: International Trade.
    • Introduction: Key concepts and facts.
    • The Ricardian Model: Labor Productivity and Comparative Advantage.
    • The Specific Factors Model: Fixed factors and Income Distribution.
    • The Heckscher-Ohlin Model: Factor Intensity and Factor Endowments.
    • The “Standard Trade Model”: Countries’ Differences and Gains From Trade.
    • External Economies of Scale: Threshold Effects and Learning-By-Doing.
    • Market Power and Imperfect Competition: Creative Destruction and Firm Selection.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Explain the the relevant contemporary business cycle issues in order to enhance their macroeconomic knowledge as students involved in managerial studies.
  • Use in a more effective way logic and precision, which are crucial professional skills.
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Choose and apply the appropriate framework to assess the concrete business cycle episodes.
  • Interpret the empirical evidence on the effects of  economic policy measures.
  • Interact in a constructive way,  think critically, address and fix in a more professional way a given problem. 

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)

The learning experience of this course includes, in addition to face-to-face lectures, the solution in class of  Event Studies. Those exercises allow students to apply the analytical tools illustrated during the course.  Moreover stylized cases are proposed to students and discussed in class with the purpose of applying the models explained during the course. Students are encouraged to bring their own views and to share their insights, using logic and precision.

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

    Attending students: with the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes, the students’ assessment is based on a  written exam. On top the teacher can evaluate for each student if his/her class participation is professional, i.e. consistent with the UB honor code.

    • Written Exam: the exam papers are the same for all students, including those who attended the course in previous years. Mock exam questions are discussed during the course. Two procedures are available for all students:
      1. Written Partial Exams:
        • First Partial Exam: Monetary and Financial Economics.
        • Second Partial Exam: International Trade.
        • The questions in each Partial Exam are two and compulsory (time=45 minutes). The grade of each question is 7.5/30; to pass each partial exam the grade has to be at least 9/30. The overall grade is the sum of the two partial grades (each grade has to be at least 9/30).
      2. Written General Exam. The questions of the General Exam are four and compulsory (time=90 minutes). The grade of each question is 7.5/30; to pass the exam the overall grade has to be at least 18/30.
    • Students cannot ask proctors any question on the exam contents, and, however, any proctor answer on the exam questions is irrelevant. You must always motivate your answers. Answers without explanation are not evaluated. Any kind of mistake and/or omission and/or ambiguity is an error, that is worth at least 1 point. You must fill in the box on the top left corner with your personal details and you must sign for acceptance the Rules of the Honor Code. Exams without personal details and signature are not graded.
    • In order to withdraw from the exam, students must sign in the box on the top right corner. Students who do not sign in the appropriate space have their grade registered. Students can decide to withdraw by 15 minutes before the end of the exam. Only students who intend to hand in the exam or withdraw may leave the room, but no student are allowed to leave in the last 15 minutes before the end of the exam.
    • To answer, you must use only the sheets enclosed with the exam, by writing in the proper spaces with a blue or black ink pen (not red) and your handwriting must be readable. In the last sheet, you find a space useful to complete your answers. As rough copy – and not for answering – you can use the back front of the sheets.
    • The solutions are posted in the Course Bboard. The paper show rules – including the date -is communicated with the grades; students cannot call for postponing/anticipating the paper show and cannot delegate it; no exceptions to the rules.

    Non attending students: Students’ assessment are based on the written exam ( see the above mentioned rules which are  applied to attending students).

    Teaching materials
    • Class slides and readings – i.e. lecture notes for Section 1 as well as selected chapters of the textbook for Section 2 - represent the teaching materials of the course. The class slides are posted week by week on the website of the course. The lecture notes - the overall document is compulsory - are posted at the beginning of the corresponding section. The textbook selected chapters are announced week by week. All class slides and readings are compulsory exam materials and have to be carefully prepared for the exam independently from the time allocated to them in class. Regular attendance is crucial for not falling behind. If the students miss a lecture, it is their responsibility to make up for the lecture notes and announcements made in class. Summing up:
    • Textbook for Section1: Lecture Notes: Money, Finance and the Business Cycle. Economics and Politics. A Primer.
    • Textbook for Section 2: P. KRUGMAN, M. MELITZ, M. OBSTFELD, International Economics, Theory and Policy, Prentice Hall, 2014, 10th edition, Chapters 1-8 [KMO]. Selected chapters by topic:
      • Introduction: Key concepts and facts - KMO: Chapter 1-2
      • The Ricardian Model: labor productivity and comparative advantage - KMO: Chapter 3
      • The Specific Factors Model: fixed factors and income distribution - KMO: Chapter 4
      • The Heckscher-Ohlin Model: factor intensity and factor endowments - KMO: Chapter 5
      • The “Standard Trade Model”: countries’ differences and gains from trade - KMO: Chapter 6
      • External Economies of Scale: threshold effects and learning-by-doing -  KMO: Chapter 7
      • Market Power and Imperfect Competition: market power and firm selection - KMO: Chapter 8.
    Last change 01/06/2019 08:35