cod. 1007392

Academic year 2020/21
2° year of course - Second semester
- Donatella BAIARDI - Fabio LANDINI
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

Learning objectives

This course aims to provide students the basics of the international economic theory and the determinants of the evolution of international trade and multinational corporations.
At the end of the course, the student should be able to:
1. analyze, understand, and explain the determinants of growth and decline of the main economic variables at a world-wide level;
2. explain the effects of international trade on the economy;
3. express an opinion concerning how the most important economic policy authorities (governments and the international economic institutions) can affect the main economic variables in the aim of increasing economic welfare worldwide;
4. understand the history, the functioning and the importance of multinational corporations.
5. obtain the tools required to understand and elaborate the main economic statistics at a world-wide level;
6. attend an interview on economic issues (concepts, definitions, implications) with professionals and/or public sector operators;
7. use the techniques of analysis of macroeconomics and microeconomics, in order to 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

The first part of this course is taught by Prof. Baiardi, and the following topics are covered during the lectures:
1. An introduction to international economics;
2. Early Trade Theories: Mercantilism and the Transition to the Classical World of David Ricardo;
3. David Ricardo and Comparative Advantage
4. Extensions and Tests of the Classical Model of Trade;
5. The Basis for Trade: Factor Endowments and the Heckscher-Ohlin Model and its empirical Evidence;
6. Gains from Trade in Neoclassical Theory;
7. Balance of Payments and economic Policy in the Open Economy Under Fixed and Flexible Exchange Rates;
8. Free trade versus Protectionism;
9. Finance and Globalization: focus on the financial crisis in 2007;
10. Globalization, Low wages and culture.
The second part is taught by Prof. Landini, and the following topics are covered during the lectures:
1. An introduction to globalization and transnational corporations (TNCs)
2. Foreign direct investment (FDI): evolution and concepts;
3. Early theories of FDI: Marxist approaches; Neoclassical paradigm, Hymer’s seminal work;
4. The product life cycle theory;
5. Transaction cost approaches and Dunning’s eclectic framework;
6. Evolutionary theories of the TNCs;
7. New trade theories and the activities of TNCs;
8. Nation-states and TNCs’ strategic behavior;
9. Resources, networks and the TNC;
10. Innovation and the TNCs;
11. 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), chapters: 1-6, 8-9, 15, 17, 19, 25, 26.
Additional material is also available on the Elly platform
Second part: G. Ietto-Gillies, Transnational Corporations and International Production, Edward Elgar, 2012 (2nd edition).

The slides used to support lessons are also available and they will be loaded weekly on the Elly platform. To download the slides, you need to subscribe to the online course. The use and study of the textbook is fundamental for the effective preparation of the exam; the slides are used only as a teaching support and do not replace the textbook under any circumstances.

Teaching methods

Acquisition of knowledge: live streaming lessons carried out remotely through the Teams platform.

Acquisition of the ability to apply the analysis methodologies: active presentations
Acquisition of the autonomy of judgment: active presentations. The course is organized in 2 teaching modules. Each module includes 28 hours of lesson and 5 hours of presentations.
Acquisition of learning skills: During the lessons, the theoretical concepts and models of international macroeconomics and microeconomics will be introduced with an application to the behavior of multinational companies. Lessons will favor students' participation and critical evaluation of the main topics discussed.
Acquisition of technical language: The students will also be exposed to collections of case studies and scientific articles with the object of applying the theoretical knowledge discussed during the lessons to practical problems. Each student will have the opportunity to choose a case study or a scientific article to present individually or in a small group (maximum two students). During the presentations, the teacher will facilitate discussion by the rest of the classroom so as to make presentations an active part of the course.
The teacher is available during student reception hours for explanations on lessons and presentations.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam, carried out remotely, and held on the Teams platform until the state of emergency due to the pandemic has ended.

The final student evaluation is carried out as follows:
With reference to the first module (Prof. Baiardi): an intermediate test (oral exam) is scheduled at the end of the course. Students can choose to be questioned either exclusively on the entire program or the entire program with the possibility of presenting a case of study chosen from those suggested by the lecturer during the course. For those attending the exams scheduled during the official calendar, the oral exam will be carried out only on the entire program.

With regard to the second part (Prof. Landini):
Two alternative paths that must be chosen by the student:
- Innovative path
the final exam has two steps:
1) an individual or small group presentation (up to two students) of a case study or a scientific article to be held during the course. The student must demonstrate that he understands, and is able to apply, the fundamental concepts discussed during the lessons to the specific case at hand (the score ranges from 0 to 10).
2) an oral examination at the end of the course. The questions will be related to the topics discussed during the course (the score ranges from 0 to 20).

- Traditional path
The final exam consists of a single oral exam, after having enrolled online during the official schedule of the department. Questions will be related to the whole book (each score ranges from 0 to 30).

During the course students will be required to declare the assessment path they intend to undertake and students who will choose the innovative course will be given the opportunity to choose the case study or scientific article to be presented during the course.
The final score will consist of the arithmetic means of the scores obtained in the two modules: Prof.ssa Baiardi and Prof. Landini.

The honors will be awarded to those particularly deserving students who have obtained the full evaluation in the exam and have overall demonstrated an appreciable systematic knowledge of the topic, an excellent ability to apply the knowledge acquired to the specific problem in question, a considerable autonomy of judgment, as well as a particular care in the formal drafting of the exam.

During the exam it is not allowed to consult any educational material or electronic device.

The final results are published on the Esse3 portal. Students can view the exam, after taking an appointment with the teacher.

Other information

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