cod. 1010935

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - First semester
- Gianluca CAPONE - Marco MAGNANI
Academic discipline
Politica economica (SECS-P/02)
Type of training activity
63 hours
of face-to-face activities
9 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding
• The student will understand at the end of the course:
how consumers and firms make their choices
how markets work
how an economy works and how it evolves across time.

Applying knowledge and understanding
• The student will acquire the basic tools of micro- and macro-economic analysis which allow to identify the incentives driving the decisions of economic agents and the conditions characterizing the equilibrium of a market and of an economy, in different time lapses (short-run, medium-run and long-run).

Autonomous judgement
• Developing the necessary skills to evaluate the optimality of consumers and firms from the perspective of their economic objectives
• Developing the necessary skills to identify the causes of changes in the parameters characterizing the equilibrium in a single market and in the whole economy.
• Developing the necessary skills to assess the results of macroeconomic studies and of economic policies

Communication skills
• Developing the necessary skills to explain critically the results of micro and macro-economic studies and the scenarios described by economic statistics both to experts and non-experts in the field of economics

Learning ability
• Developing the necessary skills to briefly explain complex issues by means of charts and analytical formulae.


In order to pass the exam you need to be able to:
Interpret the equation of a line (i.e. slope and intercept);
Manipulate a line (i.e. change the slope or the intercept);
Compute and interpret a growth rate (i.e. percent change);
Read and manipulate a graph in the Cartesian (x,y) space;
Solve systems of two equations with two unknowns.
The first exercise session will focus on the prerequisites notions listed above.

Course unit content

A one semester introduction to the basic principles of both microeconomics and macroeconomics. Students will be introduced to the big questions of Economics and the key ideas that define the economic way of thinking.
They will become familiar with the basic analytical tools for data representation and economic analysis. Microeconomics topics will include the basics of supply and demand, the behavior of consumers and businesses, and how markets operate. Macroeconomic topics will include the fundamental components of gross domestic product (GDP),
the problems of inflation and unemployment, and the impact of government fiscal and monetary policies.
The course's intended audience is students who did not graduate in economics and need an introductory course.

Full programme

1. The capitalist revolution
2.Technology, population, and growth

3. Scarcity, incentives, and choice
4. Social interactions, property and power
5 The firm: owners, managers, employees, consumers.
6. Demand and Supply
7. Markets dynamics and efficiency

8. General notions
8.1 National accounts
9. Aggregate demand and equilibrium in a closed economy
9.1 The aggregate consumption function
9.2 The equilibrium in the goods market
9.3 The multiplier
10. Investment
10.1 Firms’ investment decision
11. The money market
11.1 Demand and supply for money
11.2 Money market and goods market
12. The transition from the short-run to the medium-run
13. The labour market
13.1 The labour market: Supply and Demand
13.2 The trade-off between unemployment and inflation
13.3 Unemployment and business cycle


The Core Team. "The Economy", Oxford University Press, 1st Edition, 2022 (reprint), (chapters 1-8, 11-12).
O. Blanchard, A. Amighini, F. Giavazzi "Macroeconomics: a European perspective", 2021 (chapters 2-5, 7-9).
Slides: will be uploaded on Elly platform.

Teaching methods

Organization: 12 weeks.
Part I – Introduction + Microeconomics
Part II – Macroeconomics
Classes will be both theoretical AND applied, including exercises and applications to real world problems.
Non-attending students should check the teaching material and the instructions provided by the teacher through the Elly platform.
Both teachers are available during their office hours for students to clarify the lessons and exercises

Assessment methods and criteria

2 options will be available:
- Option 1: final exam in any of the official exam sessions.
- Option 2: midterm exam (50% of final grade) during the term + 2nd partial exam (50% of final grade) in the winter exam session after the course end.
All exams are written.
During the exam it is forbidden to consult notes, slides, books and any electronic device. Small pocket calculators are allowed.

Both the midterm and second partial exam last 1 hour and include: 1 numerical exercise, worth 10 points; 1 long-answer questions, worth 10 points; 6 closed/multiple answer questions which are worth 2 points each.
The final exam consists of two parts (Micro + Macro) and lasts 2 hours. Each part includes: 1 numerical exercise, worth 10 points; 1 long-answer questions, worth 10 points; 6 closed/multiple answer questions which are worth 2 points each.

In order to pass the exam, a student shall obtain 18 points in both the two midterm exams, or in both parts in the final exam. Honors are awarded to students who reach the maximum score, i.e. 32 points, in both the two midterm exams or in the final exam.

Knowledge and learning ability will be tested by the short-answer questions. The skills in applying knowledge will be tested by the numerical exercise. Judgement and learning abilities will be tested by the long-answer question which requires a wide and in depth argumentation. The ability to properly communicate by means of technical language will be evaluated through the analysis of the language used to answer this question.

Each students receives his/her grade through the Elly page (for midterms) or the ESSE3 system (for all other exams) within the two weeks following the exam. The registration for the exam is mandatory.

Other information