The course aims at providing general and in-dept understanding of the theoretical and practical motivations underlying the government intervention in the economic system, focusing in particular on the macroeconomic framework.
The emphasis is on the macroeconomic dimension of public policies. In this view, the course’s Learning objectives are directed towards the understanding of the main macroeconomic theories and models, widely accepted by scientific community, as well as towards the understanding of some of the main issues discussed in the current debate on macroeconomic policy. The topics also include a simplified discussion of the main analytical models applicable to macroeconomic policy issues.
Expected learning outcomes:
Knowledge and understanding: the student should be able to understand the themes and problems related to the public intervention in the economic system and to the main macroeconomic policy issue; he/she should also know the main mechanisms of an economic system, viewed as an integrated whole. These knowledge should include
Applying knowledge and understanding:
the student should be able to understand the themes and problems related to the public intervention in the economic system. To this end, theoretical and analytical scheme for the study and then evaluation of the macroeconomic policies – fiscal, monetary and exchange rate – will be exposed in classroom lessons, with the aid of real-world examples and applications. These applications and themes can also be discussed during student’s assistance time.
Making judgements: the student should be able to use the acquired knowledge also in an autonomous way, by also applying them to specific issues and problems, such as the specific features of some forms of monetary policy (i.e., interest rate instruments, quantitative easing) and of some forms of fiscal policies (expansive, restrictive policies, public debt or deficit control and sustainability etc.). He/she should also be able to make an educated appraisal and judgement on the possible effects of different policies on the basis of the current macroeconomic theory.
Communication: the student should be able to answer in a clear and thorough way to the questions of the written examination and to those of the possible oral examination.
Lifelong learning skills: the student should be able to show a good learning ability, by widening, for example, his/her knowledge with use of relevant bibliographic references, The student should also be able to analyze and evaluate the impact and the constraints related to the policy schemes in relevant economic sectors.
General knowledge and reasoning ability. Knowledge of the basic concepts of microeconomics is required. Some basic knowledge of mathematics, if previously acquired by the student, can facilitate the learning process. For students lacking these prerequisites, an integration including a relevant bibliographic references will be provided.
Part I (24 hours)
Macroeconomics as a science. Data and information in macroeconomics. The National Income: sources and usage. The monetary system: role, functions and structure. Inflation: causes, effects and social costs. Open economy. Unemployment. Economic Growth: i) capital accumulation and demography; ii) technology, empirical data and economic policy.
Part II (24hours)
An introduction to economic fluctuations. Aggregate demand side: i) the IS-LM model; ii) applications of the IS-LM model. Revisiting the open economy model: foreign exchange regimes and the Mudell-Fleming model. Aggregate supply side and the inflation-unemployment trade-off.
Part III (24 hours)
Stabilization policies. Public debt. Topics in the microfoundation of macroeconomics: i) aggregate demand of consumption; ii) aggregate investment function. The financial sector: the debate on financial markets’ efficiency, on their potential imperfections and on the relationship between real and financial crisis.
Classroom Lessons; classroom exercises; extra learning material and supports is available on the online platform Moodle. The course also includes additional and integrative material provided in blended modality via the same platform Moodle.
ITALIAN EDITION: N.G. Mankiw, M. P. Taylor, Macroeconomia, Zanichelli, Bologna. – chapters: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, 11, 12,13,14, 15,16, 18, 19, 20. Additional material for the textbook is available from the editor website (registration required).
As an alternative, the following English version can also be used:
ENGLISH EDITION: N.G. Mankiw, M. P. Taylor, Macroeconomics, Cengage Learning Emea, 4th edition, chapters: chapters: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, 11, 12,13,14, 15,16, 18, 19, 20.
Lecture notes, slides, exercises and other material used at lesson is made available from the teacher on the e-learning platform: MOODLE : http://126.96.36.199/moodle/
The assessment is based on a written examination which is composed (circa 60) of thematic questions and (circa 40%) of numerical exercises and application on the topics discussed at lesson.
NOTE: the exam can be done in English upon direct request. In this case, the student must send an e-mail to the teacher in order to communicate his/her request for an exam in English.
In order to evaluate the depth in understanding general theoretical knowledge, the classwork includes open questions on the program’s topics. In their answers the students should be able to show and illustrate the fundamental concepts acquired during their studies. In order to evaluate the ability to apply economic models discussed at lesson in the suggested readings, some mathematical discussion and/or exposition of models and theories discussed at lesson can be required. The written examination is made up of six questions; to each of them a maximum of 6 mark-points is allocated up to grand total of 36 (extra points above 30 signal for a possible laude). The laude can be assigned is the student shows, in his/her answers, a particular ability to deepen the topics mentioned in the examination’s questions. The duration of the written examination is 1 hour and 15 minutes. During the examination, the use of notes, books and informatics devices (smartphone, tablet, pc, ecc.) is not allowed.
An oral examination can also be held, in case the teacher judges it useful to better ascertain the student’s knowledge. The vote of the oral examination is expressed in scale from 0 to 30, and it is averaged with the vote of written examination (equal weighting) in order to determine the final vote.
The teacher can offer to the students also a mid-term written examination, which is made up of 4 questions; to each of them a maximum of 9 mark-points is allocated up to grand total of 36 (extra points above 30 signal for a possible laude). In a successive exam session (within the first three summer/autumn exam dates), the students must pass a written examination made up of four questions, related to the remaining part of the study program; the evaluation will follow the same scheme of the mid-term examination. The final mark will be determined by computing the average value between the mid-term and the final examination.