Insegnamento a.a. 2020-2021


Department of Economics

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 6 - 7
IM (6 credits - II sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/01)
Course Director:

Classes: 6 (II sem.) - 7 (II sem.)

Lezioni della classe erogate in presenza

Mission & Content Summary


The balance sheets and overall performance of companies are crucially affected by the functioning of the macro-economy. This makes it necessary for managers to be at least conversant with - if not expert users of - the most common macro data and logical tools of analysis and prediction to better conduct their businesses. Having this in mind, this course aims to enable students to understand the economic environment in which companies operate, thinking in a structured way about the long-run and the short-run features of the macro-economy. In particular, course participants will be challenged to make sense of the implications of the pandemic, of globalization and the ongoing technological revolution on growth, labor markets and inequality. With an eye to shorter run issues, they will also develop their personal views on how to measure and identify recessions and recoveries, how central banks and governments perform their tasks as well as how political and other expected and unexpected shocks affect the main macro variables.


This course is divided into two main parts.

Part One concerns the development of economies in the long-run and globalization.

-          Determinants of economic growth

-          Demographic change and growth

-          Structural reforms and productivity

-          New technologies, firms and labor markets

-          Global value chains, macroeconomic interdependences, and the pandemic


Part Two concerns the functioning of the economy in the short run:

-          Overview of current trends in the world economy

-          How to measure and predict the state of the economy

-          Finance and the macro-economy

-          What central banks do

-          What governments do. And how they make their debts sustainable or not

-          Why exchange rates matter and what determines their trends

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Recognize the main determinants of long-run growth and the impact of structural factors
  • Identify the challenges and the opportunities for firms of demographic change
  • Explain the costs and the benefits of globalization and the implications for business
  • Identify the trade-offs firms face in managing global operations
  • Recognize the impact of technological change on the economy and the consequences for companies
  • Understand and master basic and advanced tools of macroeconomics for analyzing media and company news
  • Understand the manifestation and the causes of recessions and recoveries in the data
  • Understand how Governments and central banks’ policies may accelerate growth, counteract business fluctuations and affect exchange rates


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Analyze media and company news about the economy
  • Analyze the most important macroeconomic variables
  • Evaluate economic policies and discuss their impact
  • Discuss the growth impact of economic policies
  • Assess pros and cons of globalization
  • Evaluate trade-offs faced by global companies
  • Interpret the macro effects of innovation and technology

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Group assignments


The learning experience of this course includes, in addition to face-to-face lectures, group assignments, to improve students' ability of working and cooperate in groups and to develop critical thinking on economic issues. 

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  x x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes, students’ assessment is based on two main components:


1.Written exam (80% of the final grade).

The written exam consists of open-ended and closed questions.

Open-ended questions are aimed at verifying the ability of students of applying the tools developed during the course. They may include: short excerpts of articles, charts and tables to verify students’ ability of interpreting and discussing media and company news about the economy, extracting relevant information and applying the most suitable tools and concepts; short questions aimed at verifying students’ capability of discussing the implications of economic policies or shocks; finally, short statements to be discussed to assess students’ ability to articulate economic reasoning.  

Multiple-choice questions are aimed at verifying the learning and understanding of the macroeconomic concepts discussed during the course.


Students can take a partial written exam and complete the written exam at the end of the course.

The two partial exams are equally weighted to calculate the final grade.


2. Group assignment (20% of the final grade): aimed to test the students’ ability to interact in a constructive way and to think critically.

Teaching materials


Lecture notes and readings will be available in the Blackboard page of the course. 

Last change 26/06/2020 20:18