cod. 1004548

Academic year 2017/18
2° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Economia applicata (SECS-P/06)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
63 hours
of face-to-face activities
9 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

a. Knowledge and understanding. The course aims at making students able to understand the endogenous and exogenous changes regarding the multinational enterprise. The necessary way to reach it can be divided in four steps: a) to learn the behavior of the firm according to industrial organization; b) to analyze the multinational enterprise, even as a leading firm of a global value chain; c) to assess and to to understand the rules of working of an international global value chain; d) to examine the public attitude, both at a State and at supranational institution level, towards firms, by way of industry, innovation, energy and environment policies. The analysis of case studies for relevant industries (automotive and photovoltaic), for single countries or for relationships between countries provides examples of what is studied. By grasping such competences the student can understand the effective behavior of the current enterprise more easily.
b. Applying knowledge and understanding. At the end of the course the students obtain competences about the features of an enterprise working in the international market (including public policies towards it) and attitudes to gain a job within the management of a multinational enterprise or within the board of a national or supranational institution actively dealing with enterprises.
c. Making judgements. By the course the students become able to make judgments allowing them to analyze and foresee the bunch of the conducts of the multinational enterprises and of the public policies towards them. Moreover the student presentations allows them to making judgements to choose the topic of their presentation and to present what they feel the more interesting issues.
d. Communication skills. The course instructs the students to deal with people within the multinational enterprise and to participate to the dialog between public boards and firms. Furthermore within the course from time to time a group of students has to present its contribution to the other students, and manage the discussion during the hour latterly. All this is expected to strengthen the communication skills of the students.
e. Learning skills. The course teaches the students how to learn, pushing them to search other-than-book information sources like newspapers or Internet sites and news; to listen to different speakers, and even to follow more advanced courses with a respectable level of independence.



Course unit content

The main aim of the course is to analyze the features and the behavior of the firms when acting on the international market as multinational enterprises. The course will pay attention also to the interactions between the firms and on the influences of the national and international institutions through industrial policies. In the final phase of the course the students hold presentations on issues analyzed during the lessons and regarding countries, industries or firms, all selected by them. The used language is English. The detailed contents are the following.
• The neoclassical theory of the firm and other models
• Collusion
• Oligopoly
• The structure of the market
• Strategic behavior
• Product differentiation
• Pricing policies and auctions
• Innovation strategies
• Horizontal and vertical m&a
• The multinational enterprises
• Global value chains
• Firm outsourcing and offshoring through input-output tables
• Energy and eco-innovations
• Industrial relationships within the multinational enterprises
• National industrial policies
• Policies to attract foreign investments
• International industrial policies
• The international economy during the crisis: a firm perspective
• Contributions by the students: single countries, industries, firms

Full programme

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The same exam texts for attending people (i.e. students participating to the presentations), for Erasmus students and for non attending people:
A. Ninni, «Lessons of International Industrial Economics», e-book by Giappichelli (TO), 2015, (3 copies at the library of the University):,9215881;slides from the seminar of V. Valli about Japan or S. Korea;
slides from the seminar of G. Balcet about the global value chain in the “automotive” industry;slides from the seminar of A. Ninni about the global value chain in the photovoltaic industry;Arrighetti, E. Breda, R. Cappariello, M. Clemens, A. Ninni, D. Schumacher, “Competitiveness in manufacturing. Germany vs. Italy – a comparison”, wp of Dipartimento di Economia, (only the contributions of Arrighetti-Ninni and Breda-Cappariello)

Teaching methods

Traditional lessons, presentations by the students, discussion of them.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written examinations test how the students learnt the course. The time for each examinations is two hours: the student has to answer to four open questions. So the knowledge and the comprehension of the issues are verified (point a): being open questions, also the way to apply them is tested (point b). Furthermore, as the opening of the questions involves more than one reply, the students can show their independence in judging (point c). The written examinations allow the teacher to test and possibly to rectify the communication skills of the student (point d), at least in the written form which is still the most diffused communication way in the world (when there is no strict closeness). Finally the student is requested also to apply himself to other presentations than those made by the teacher, that shows to have gained flexibility in learning (point e).

Other information

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