|SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR||SECS-P/01|
Economics aims at studying economic phenomena both at the individual level (microeconomics) and at the aggregate level (macroeconomics). The discipline uses inductive and deductive methods based on the construction of abstract theoretical models. These methodological tools represent the analytical foundation for analyzing individual choices, social well-being, public economy, the opportunity of a possible intervention of the State on the economy, as well as economic policies.
The course provides the essential tools for understanding the incentives that move economic agents in a context of market interaction or strategic interaction.
The course of Economics offers the essential tools required to understand the incentives underlying the choices of rational economic agents who find themselves operating in a certain market or in a situation of strategic interaction with other agents.
During the lectureres the basic notions of microeconomics and macroeconomics will be provided by highlighting their practical applicability to current economic issues. Special attention will be paid by the teacher to the aspects of the discipline that lead to a better knowledge of the institutional mechanisms underlying national and international economic policy. At the end of the course, students will be able to have their own opinion about the current economic debate and will have developed a firm awareness of the limits of the discipline. The acquisition of the main tools exploited by the economic theory, will allow students to carry out independent research and analyze current economic events from a new perspective and with greater discernment.
In order to attend in the most profitable way the course of Economics, a basic knowledge about the relationships between algebraic variables is strictly necessary. The concepts studied by economists can be often conveyed in numerical form and economic variables can be illustrated by means of graphs (or Cartesian diagrams) which are the main tools for analyzing their patterns. Graphs and diagrams serve mainly two purposes. First, in the formulation of economic theories they offer a synthetic and a visual representation of the theoretical frameworks taken into consideration, which is usually more easily understood than the corresponding analytical expressions that instead relies on systems of equations. Moreover, in the analysis of economic data, graphs allow students to highlight how economic variables are correlated with each other and to asess their temporal trend.
The course is given through lectures, for a total of 54 hours (equal to 9 CFU), during which the main economic models collected in the syllabus will be presented and analyzed.
Part 1: Concepts and mechanisms
I. The things we study and how we do it
1. Economics, problems and solutions
2. A way of reasoning and behaving
3. Principles and methods of economic analysis
4. Economic policy
5. Levels of analysis
II. What is a market?
Part 2: Consumers and firms
III. Constraints and choices
1. What is behind the demand curve?
2. The set of possible alternatives
4. Consumer’s choice
IV. People and the market
1. Quantity demanded and changes in income
2. Quantity demanded and price changes
3. Income effect and substitution effect
4. Consumer surplus
V. How to produce goods
1. Short and long term
3. Technological constraints
VI. Firms and markets
1. Production and costs
2. Cost functions
3. How much and whether to produce
Part 3: How markets work
VII. Perfect competition
1. Determinants of supply and demand
2. Equilibrium in perfect competition
3. Social well-being
4. How the market reacts
VIII. Imperfect competition
1. Market power
2. Market forms
IX. Risk, uncertainty and information
1. Risk and uncertainty
2. Manage risk
3. Asymmetric information
X. Market and public intervention
1. Rules and taxes
2. Public intervention and market functioning
3. The State also has problems
XI. Factor markets and finance
1. Goods and services, labour and capital
2. Labour market
3. Production possibilities
4. Time and savings
5. Speculation and finance
Part 4: Macroeconomics
XII. The Markets in the economic system as a whole
1. Interactions between markets
2. National accounts
3. Aggregate prices and aggregate production
4. Macroeconomic patterns
Bertola G., Lo Prete, A. (2020), Istituzioni di economia, seconda edizione, Il Mulino (ISBN: 978-88-15-28496-9)
Office hours: By appointment, send an e-mail to email@example.com
MARCO GUERRAZZI (President)
ILHAM KSEBI (Substitute)
ALESSANDRA VENTURINI (Substitute)
All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.
In order to assess the acquisition of the required skills, a written test will be performed at the end of the course. Depending on the number of attending students, the teacher may also decide to plan mid-term tests. Non-attending students will have the chance to face the entire exam program by means of an oral test that will also collect a written part.
Both the written and the oral test aim at verifying the students’ skills and the acquisition of the basic theoretical notions addressed during the course. Through the answers given to general questions, it will be verified whether students are able to:
- identifying and defining economic concepts using the appropriate technical language;
- reasoning in an independent manner by using the conceptual models studied during the course.
During the oral test, addressed to non-attending students, a plurality of questions will be raised by the exam committee with the aim of assessing the proper understanding of the topics collected in the syllabus of the course. After the written test, aimed at attending students, the exam committee will evaluate the understanding of the topics covered during the lectures.
In general, students will have to demonstrate that they understood the importance and the meaning of the various topics covered in the course of Economics by discussing microeconomic and macroeconomic models.
Attending the course of Economics is not compulsory. However, given the technical contents of the discipline, attending the lectures is strictly recommended.