Insegnamento a.a. 2020-2021


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 divided into 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 economic globalization. The aim is to provide students with a better understanding of the causes and consequences of international trade and international production, as well as of the effects of trade policies. Lectures relyon economic theories and empirical applications.


  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?
    • Covid-19 pandemic: effects and perspectives
  2. Section 2: International Trade.
    • Introduction: Key concepts and facts.
    • The Ricardian Model: Labor Productivity and Comparative Advanta
    • The Heckscher-Ohlin Model: Factor Intensity and Factor Endowments.
    • The “Standard Trade Model”: Countries’ Differences and Gains From Trade.
    • External Economies of Scale and the International Location of Production.
    • Market Power and Imperfect Competition: Creative Destruction and Firm Selection.
    • Firms in the Global Economy: Export Decisions, Outsourcing, and Multinational Enterprises

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.
  • Recognize and distinguish the main macroeconomic drivers
  • Recognize the main causes and consequences of international trade
  • Explain the impact of trade policies on welfare and income distribution
  • Identify the costs and the advantages of international production
  • 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.
  • Interpret the today macroeconomic situation, to draw the future paths
  • Discuss the causes and consequences of international trade
  • Analyze the impact of different trade policies on welfare and income distribution
  • Assess the costs and the benefits of international production
  • Critically analyze and discuss the impact of different economic policies
  • Interact in a constructive way with peers to reach a common goal
  • Address in a professional way the analysis of economic issues. 

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


The learning experience of this course includes, in addition to face-to-face lectures, Group Assignments and Class Discussions using an online discussion forum.

Group assignments allow students to apply the analytical tools illustrated during the course, develop teamwork skills and improve their capacity of writing formal reports. 

Class discussions give students the possibility of expressing ideas and interacting with peers, improving critical thinking skills and writing ability in a less formal context.

Assessment methods

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


Evaluation methods are the same for attending and non-attending students. 


With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes, students’ assessment is based on a written exam, a group assignment and class discussions. 


  • Written Exam (WE) – weight = 75%:

The written exam is aimed at verifying knowledge and understanding of the concepts introduced during the course. Moreover, the exam evaluates students’ ability of expressing in a clear and logic way the concepts learnt.

The (general) written exam is composed by 2 essay questions, one on Section 1: Monetary and Financial Economics and one on Section 2: International Trade. The exam is open-book.

Essay questions may require to explain concepts, discuss statements, graphs, data or policy measures, derive analytical results, provide an opinion about economic issues using on the tools developed during the course.

The written exam will be held online with the use of Respondus Lockdown Browser.

The written exam can be divided into 2 partial exams: the midterm exam on Section 1, composed by 1 essay question, and a final exam on section 2, composed by 1 essay question. Only students passing the midterm exam with a grade of at least 18/30 have access to the final partial exam on Section 2 of the course. Students with a grade lower than 18/30 in the midterm exam must sit the general written exam.


For students taking partial exams, the written exam grade (WE) is the simple average of the grades obtained in the two partial exams. 


  • Group Assignment (GA) – weight=25%:

Students will be assigned to a group. Each group should develop a report on an assigned topic.

Group assignments are aimed at verifying students’ ability of working in teams and their capacity of writing formal reports on economic issues.


Peer evaluation: Students will be asked to evaluate groupmates’ effort in the group project. In case of insufficient participation, the grade of the group project will not be considered for the free rider student.


  • Class discussions (CD) – up to 2 additional points:

Four themes of discussion will be proposed to students in a dedicated online forum in Blackboard. This activity is aimed at assessing students’ skills of critical thinking and their ability of developing and properly expressing their personal ideas on the economic issues proposed, as well as their interaction abilities.

These discussions will give students additional points that will be added to the calculated grade.


Final grade

Two cases must be distinguished:

  • If GA > WE: the final grade is the weighted average of the grades obtained in the written exam and the group assignment plus the additional points obtained with class discussions. 

Final grade = 0.75 * WE + 0.25*GA + CD


  • Otherwise, the final grade is equal to the grade obtained in the written exam, plus the additional points obtained with the class discussions.

Final grade = WE + CD

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, Global edition, 11th edition,  2018, Pearson. 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 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.
    • Firms in the Global Economy: Export Decisions, Outsourcing, and Multinational Enterprises - KMO: Chapter 8
Last change 11/12/2020 11:35