Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

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Second semester
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Course description

The course aims at providing general and issue-specific knowledge of the institutional and theoretical motivations of public action in the economic system. The emphasis is on the microeconomic dimension of public policies. Learning objectives are directed towards three main areas: policies aimed at shaping and regulating the functioning of the market system; issues related to distributive problems; evaluation of policy programs through cost-benefit analysis.

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 market regulation; should also know the main instruments used to asses and analyze the rationale behind the main programs of intervention affecting the markets’ functioning.
Applying knowledge and understanding: the student should be able to apply the acquired knowledge to the main intervention schemes and economic policies. To this end the teacher will discuss and illustrate some different examples and specific cases of economic and regulation policies during the lessons; for non-attending students, assistance time will be provided.
Making judgements: the student should be able to use the acquired knowledge in an autonomous way, by also applying them to specific issues and problems, such as: specific regulation schemes for markets characterized by specific forms on competition (or lacking thereof); dynamic and efficiency features of social security systems and redistribution programs; different methods for the internalization of externalities of kwon relevance.
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. Some basic knowledge of microeconomics, if previously acquired by the student, can facilitate the learning process; this is basically covered by the first-level courses offered by the Parthenope University in the economic area. For students coming from different first-level degree programs, an integration including a relevant bibliographic references will be provided.


Part I:
General features of microeconomic policies: objectives, instruments and models (8 hours).
Resource allocation, economic efficiency and economic equilibrium (8 hours).
Analysis of efficiency and dynamic equilibrium properties of social security schemes in life-cycle models; analysis of the efficiency of the market system under risk; implications for insurance markets (12 hours).
Part II:
Market regulation and allocative efficiency: (i) price regulation, information asymmetries, competition, monopoly and anti-trust (12 hours)
Market regulation and allocative efficiency (II): externalities and public goods, taxation and creation of property rights (12 hours)
Part III:
Income distribution and welfare: redistributive policies, welfare analysis and equilibrium. Different concepts of economic and distributive justice. Effects of Social security and redistributive systems. (10 hours)
Cost-benefit analysis: evaluation of public policy projects and related technical instruments; relationships between welfare analysis and cost-benefit analysis (10 hours)

Teaching Methods

During the lessons the issues mentioned in the study program will be discussed and presented, together with applications and examples such as specific cases of regulation in typical markets or sectors. Additional didactic and support material is made available through the e-learning online platform Moodle, where slides presentation used at lesson can be found, together with additional material for deepening a number of thematic issues.


- Acocella N. (2003) Le politiche microeconomiche, Carocci, Roma (selezione di capitoli).
- Marzi, Prosperetti, Putzu (2001) La regolazione dei servizi infrastrutturali, il Mulino, Bologna (selezione di capitoli).
- Lecture notes provide by the teacher.

Learning assessment

The assessment is based on a written examination composed of thematic questions aimed at evaluating the actual achievement of the objectives on part the students. 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 the economic models discussed at lesson and in the suggested readings, mathematical proofs of some theorems 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 if the student shows, in his/her answers, a particular ability in deepening the topics of the examination’s questions. The duration of the written examination is 1 hour and 30 minutes. During the examination, the use of notes, books and informatics devices (smartphone, tablet, pc, etc.) is not allowed.
An oral examination can also be held, if the teacher judges it useful to better ascertain the student’s knowledge. The vote of the oral examination is expressed in a scale from 0 to 30, and it is averaged with the vote of written examination (with 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.

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