cod. 03568

Academic year 2023/24
3° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Politica economica (SECS-P/02)
Discipline economiche-politiche
Type of training activity
54 hours
of face-to-face activities
8 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding.
The student is expected to know the basic concepts and
principles of economic policy. In particular, the
student is expected to acquire the fundamental knowledge related to: the
“logic” of economic
policy; individual and social preferences; the pareto criterion and the new
welfare economics; theories of justice and social welfare functions; social
preferences and institutions; fundamental elements of
macroeconomics; monetary policy, fiscal policy.
Applying knowledge and understanding.
The student will be able to maintain and discuss clearly, through
appropriate arguments, possible proposals and considerations related to
economic policy issues, such as the logic of economic policy or the
efficiency of diverse economic policies on the basis of different
theoretical models.
Making judgements.
At the end of the course students will have acquired the ability to
critically interpret the main economic events at the center of the national
and international debate of economic policy, by evaluating their logic and
effects in the light of the different approaches and theoretical models
Communication skills.
Students will be able to communicate their own comments and ideas on
the issues of economic policy analyzed in the course to various
interlocutors effectively and appropriately.
Learning skills.
Student will acquire the ability to undertake, in the most independent
way possible, the analysis and the understanding of the logic behind
alternative economic policies and of their potential effects.


The exam of Political economy is propedeutic to the exam of Economic

Course unit content

The subject of the course is the analysis of the economic action of the
public sector. The course is divided into four main parts.
The first part considers the definition of criteria or objectives of economic
policy. This part focuses on the following topics: individual and social
preferences; the pareto criterion and the new welfare economics;
theories of justice, social welfare functions and social optimum; social
preferences and institutions (state and market). This part also presents a
focus both on the evolution of the welfare state and on the concept of “second
welfare” and on the concept of corporate social responsibility.
The second part introduces some fundamental elements of
macroeconomics in order to analyze the economic policy at a macro
level. This part analyzes: the simple keynesian model, the IS-LM model, and the idea of multi-level
a p p r o a c h . Finally, this part presents an analysis of the notion of GDP
as an indicator of welfare and discusses the Easterlin Paradox.
The third part considers the monetary policy, the fiscal policy and aspects
related to microeconomic policy.
The last part of the course analyzes the European integration, focusing
on the theory of the Optimum Currency Area, evaluating costs and
benefits of a common currency. This part also analyzes the Maastricht
criteria and discusses the idea of expansionary austerity.

Full programme

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N. ACOCELLA, Fondamenti di politica economica, Carocci editore, 2011,
chapters 1,2,3,4,5 and 6 (with respect to chapter 6 only sections 9 and
V. VALLI, A. GEUNA and R. BURLANDO, Politica economica e
macroeconomia, Carocci editore, 2010, only chapters: 1,2,3, 6,
11 and 12.
N.G. MANKIW and M.P. TAYLOR, Principi di economia
Settima edizione, 2018, only chapter 37.
F. MAINO e M. FERRERA (a cura di) (2013), Primo Rapporto sul Secondo
welfare in Italia, Centro di Ricerca e Documentazione Luigi Einaudi. Only
the introduction - Ferrera M. and the first chapter "Tra nuovi bisogni e
vincoli di bilancio: protagonisti, risorse, innovazione sociale" - Maino F.
F. MAINO e M. FERRERA (a cura di) (2019), Nuove alleanze per
un welfare che cambia
Quarto Rapporto sul secondo welfare in Italia; Solo introduzione e
paragrafo 1.1 del primo capitolo, "Un rinnovato protagonismo per
stakeholder e corpi intermedi?
Il secondo welfare, tra evoluzioni concettuali e sviluppi empirici" di Maino
F. e Razetti F.
Additional exam reference texts may be indicated on the Elly platform prior to the start of the course.

Teaching methods

Didactic activities will be conducted mainly through frontal lessons.
However, students will be involved in the activities through questions and
discussions. Moreover, optional work in groups will be proposed.
The slides will be uploaded on Elly ( on a weekly basis.
They may help either attending or non-attending Students in preparing
their exam, but they do not substitute for the handbook.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam and possible additional oral exam.
Written test (1 hour and 15 minutes).
The knowledge and understanding will be assessed with two open
questions (each worth 5 points), which ask a short answer that is
specifically aimed at verifying the knowledge of the concepts and
principles discussed in the course.
The communication skills, the ability to apply the acquired knowledge through appropriate arguments and reflections and the autonomy of
judgment will be assessed with two open questions (each worth 10
points), structured on several points which require the articulation of a
discourse which integrates different notions acquired during the course in
a coherent and logical way.
Learning skills will be assessed on the basis of an assessment across the
various answers to the different questions of the exam.
The integrative and optional oral test is performed in a separate day.
Students who
have obtained a written test score of at least 16/30 are admitted to the
oral test. For students who take the oral test: the questions of the oral
test concern all the issues of the course and the number of questions is
not less than two.

Optional work in groups realized during the course can add up to 3 points
to the final evaluation.

Other information

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