Insegnamento a.a. 2008-2009



Department of Economics

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 6
IM-LS (6 credits - I sem. - CC)
Course Director:

Classes: 6 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

About one third of the classes is targeted at creating a common language, by recalling the basic conceptual framework of economic theory about determinants, patterns ed effects of the processes of national and regional integration and specialization in the world economy, in terms of trade and international direct investments, with reference to markets of labor, capital and technologies, as well as to main policy instruments (various forms of protectionism and trade distortions, bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations). The remaining two thirds of the course are spent in discussing, with continuous active students' participation, several topics and related public controversies concerning recent trends and episodes of globalization of markets, firms, industries, factor services. Due attention is given to data identification and interpretation, to major available empirical evidence, to implications of different scenarios for strategic decisions of firms, governments and international organizations.

Course Content Summary

  • Countries’ absolute and comparative advantages. Gains from trade, terms of trade and factor income redistributive impact of markets liberalization.
  • Static and dynamic scale economies, product differentiation, imperfect competition. Technological imitation and competition among Countries. How relevant is a Country’s pattern of sectoral specialization for its sustainable growth and welfare.
  • Firms’ multinational expansion, outsourcing and competitiveness. Europe as area of origin and destination of foreign direct investments.
  • Advantages and costs from protection of domestic industries against import competition and/or public support to “national champions”. Role of the WTO.
  • Growth, openness, social disequilibria (poverty, inequalities between and within Countries) and quality of institutions.
  • Trade liberalization, and global commons (environment, climate, water etc.).
  • Perspectives on world trade and investment patterns. The role of BRICs.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Written individual exam at end of the course (60%) and evaluation of student group homeworks.


  • C.S. Hill, International Business, 6th edition, McGraw-Hill
  • K., P.R. and M. Obstfeld, International Economics, 7th edition, Pearson International (selected chapters)
  • Additional materials made available in learning space
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 29/04/2008 14:17