Insegnamento a.a. 2023-2024


Department of Economics

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - M (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - IM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - MM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - AFC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - CLELI (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - ACME (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - DES-ESS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - EMIT (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - GIO (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - DSBA (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - PPA (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01) - FIN (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

To feel comfortable in this course a student should be familiar with intermediate or advanced concepts in microeconomics, basic knowledge of production functions, with methods of constrained and unconstrained optimization, and with basic knowledge of univariate and multivariate di fference and differential equations.

Mission & Content Summary


The course's target is to understand income and wealth inequality, the forces generating them, and the extent to which policy intervention can affect them. The course includes an empirical documentation of the facts, a structured analysis, and a synthesis of the mechanisms generating them via analytical dynamic models.


1. The Solow Model of Economic Growth and Basic Endogenous Growth Theory
2. Inequality Across Nations: Development Accounting and Structural Transformations
3. Inequality within nations I: Determinants of the labor share and its evolution in Europe and across the world
4. Inequality within nations II: Determinants of individual Income and Wealth inequality, and their evolution over time
5. Introduction to Income and Wealth Taxation
6. Heterogeneity, Occupational Choice and Innovation
7. Automation, Inequality and Taxation of Robots

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


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

Master concepts such as welfare, inequality, economics growth, financial wealth, labor share, tax elasticity, saving rate. Identify the key sources of inequality and economics growth. Describe the appropriate redistributive policies to make aggregate economies less unequal at the minimal cost for allocative efficiency andgrowth. Being able to solve a dynamic model.


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

At the end of the course student will be able to... Interpret and assess the phenomena and the inequality and long-term dynamics of the aggregate economic systems through economic theory. Choose and apply the proper model to understand which economic policy is more appropriate to solve the trade o  between inequality and efficiency.

Teaching methods

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


The learning experience of this course includes, in addition to face-to-face lectures, the solution of in class of problem sets assigned to students throughout the course, and a guided take home assignment. Those exercises allow students to apply the analytical tools illustrated during the course and to solve dynamic models of growth. Home assignements are integral part of the course. In those assignments students are asked to solve formal exercises as well as to perform descriptive analysis of economic data.


The take home assignment is solved in groups and it can be completed using basic suftware such as excell. Also R, Stata or Pyton are of course addmitted tools. The targhets of the take home are: (i) foster productive collaborations, (ii) give students acess to basic datasets on cross-courty aggregate panel data and (iii) introduce students to the basic empirical tecniques in macroeconomics.  

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


Non attending students are treated equally to attendign stdents. Problem sets and the Take home assignment will partially count to the final grade.

Teaching materials


1. Chancel and Piketty (Journal of the European Economic Association, 2021): Global Income Inequality, 1820-2020: The Persistence and Mutation of Extreme Inequality
2. Mankiw, Romer, and Weil (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1992): A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth
3. Hall and Jones (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1999): Why Do Some Countries Produce so much more Output per Worker than Others
4. Lucas Robert (American Economic Review, 1990): Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?
5. Acemoglu Daron: Introduction to Modern Economic Growth; Chapters 1, 2, and 8.
6. Barro and Sala-i-Martin: Economic Growth, 2nd Ed.; Chapters 6 and 7.
7. Duarte and Restuccia (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2010): The Role of the Structural Transformation in Aggregate Productivity
8. Lucas Robert (The RAND Journal, 1978): On the Size Disatribution of Business Firms
9. Garcia-Santana, Moral-Benito, Pijuan-Mas and Ramos (International Economic Review, 2019): Growing like Spain: 1995-2007.
10. Karabarbounis and Neiman (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2014): The Global Decline of the Labor Share
11. Acemoglu and Restepo (Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2018, 33(2), pp. 3-30) Automation and New Tasks: How Technology Displaces and Reinstates Labor.
12. Acemoglu and Restepo (American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings, forthcoming); Unpacking Skill Bias: Automation and New Tasks
13. Stancheva (Annual Review of Economics, 2020,12, pp. 801-831) Dynamic Taxation
14. Guerreiro, Rebelo and Teles (2022, mimeo) Should Robots Be Taxed?
15. Piketty, Thomas Capital in the 21st Century, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 2014.
16. Saez and Zucman (NBER Working Paper 20625, 2014), Wealth Inequality in the United States since 1913: Evidence from Capitalized Income Tax Data.
17. Scheuer and Slemrod (NBER Working Paper 26207, 2019) Taxation and the Super-rich

Last change 29/05/2023 16:48