cod. 1006757

Academic year 2016/17
2° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Politica economica (SECS-P/02)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
63 hours
of face-to-face activities
9 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in - - -

Learning objectives

Expected Learning results:

Knowledge and understanding:
the student learns how economic systems work, how they interact and how they evolve across time.

The aim is to provide the tools required to analyze and understand:
- the determinants of growth and decline of the main macroeconomic variables at a world-wide level;
- the way how these variables interact at the world-wide level;
- the effects of international trade on the economy;
- the way the governments and the international economic institutions can affect the main economic variables in the aim of increasing economic welfare;
- history and functioning of multinational corporations.

Applying knowledge and understanding:
- obtaining the tools required to describe the equilibrium of simple micro and macroeconomic international models;
- obtaining the tools required to understand and elaborate the main economic statistics at a world-wide level;
- obtaining the tools required to assess the impact of economic policies in the short, in the medium and in the long run.

Making judgements:
- developing the necessary skills to assess the results of micro and macroeconomic studies and of economic policies.

Communication skills:
- developing the necessary skills to explain critically the results of economic studies and the scenarios described by economic statistics both to expert and to non-expert people in the field of economics.

Learning ability:
- developing the necessary skills to explain briefly complex issues by means of economic data, charts and analytical formulae.


A basic level of knowledge in the field of micro and macroeconomics.

Course unit content

First part
- An introduction to international economics;
- Early Trade Theories: Mercantilism and the Transition to the Classical World of David Ricardo
- David Ricardo and Comparative Advantage
- Extensions and Tests of the Classical Model of Trade
- The Basis for Trade: Factor Endowments and the Heckscher-Ohlin Model
- Empirical Evidence of the Heckscher-Ohlin Model
- Gains from Trade in Neoclassical Theory
- Balance of Payments
- Free trade versus Protectionism
- Finance and Globalization: focus on the financial crisis in 2007
- Globalization, Low wages and culture
- Globalization and the Environment

Second Part

- An introduction to globalization and transnational corporations (TNCs)
- Foreign direct investment (FDI): evolution and concepts
- Early theories of FDI: Marxist approaches, Neoclassical paradigm, Hymer’s seminal work
- The product life cycle theory
- Transaction cost approaches and Dunning’s eclectic framework
- Evolutionary theories of the TNCs
- New trade theories and the activities of TNCs
- Nation-states and TNCs’ strategic behavior
- Resources, networks and the TNC
- Innovation and the TNCs
- Effects of TCNs on labor, trade and balance of payments

Full programme

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First part: D. Appleyard, A. Field, International Economics, McGraw-Hill, 2017 (8th Edition)

Second part: G. Ietto-Gillies, Transnational Corporations and International Production, Edward Elgar, 2012 (2nd edition)

Teaching methods

During the course the basic notions about micro and macroeconomics in a world-wide environment are provided and the main theories describing the functions of economic systems and multinational corporations are discussed by means of lectures. Lectures are flanked by tutorials where statistics and numerical examples are proposed to the students which represent a simplified description of the main theoretical models, with the aim to give them the opportunity to solve some of the typical problems in international economics such as the determination of the equilibrium of global economy and the definition of the effects of economic policies in such an environment. Moreover, some case studies discussing the functioning of multinational corporations will by discussed.

Assessment methods and criteria

First part

2/3 Written examination, 3 open questions out of which students can choose two. 1/3 class presentation of a topic chosen among those proposed.

Second part

2/3 Written examination, 3 open questions out of which students can choose two. 1/3 class presentation of a topic chosen among those proposed.

Other information

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