Learning outcomes of the course unit
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 and aspects related to
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
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
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.
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 policy.
Course contents summary
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 on the evolution of the welfare state and on the concept of “second welfare”.
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,
the AD-AS model, models in open economies, 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.
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 10).
V. VALLI, A. GEUNA and R. BURLANDO, Politica economica e
macroeconomia, Carocci editore, 2010, only chapters: 1,2,3,4,5, 6,
11,12,13, 14, and 17.
N.G. MANKIW and M.P. TAYLOR, L’essenziale di economia, Bologna,
Zanichelli, 2012, only chapter 29.
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. https://www.secondowelfare.it/edt/file/PRIMO_RAPPORTO_SUL_SECONDO_WELFAR...
F. MAINO e M. FERRERA (a cura di) (2019), Nuove alleanze per
un welfare che cambia
Quarto Rapporto sul secondo welfare in Italia; Only the introduction and Section 1.1. of the first Chapter "Un rinnovato protagonismo per stakeholder e corpi intermedi?
Il secondo welfare, tra evoluzioni concettuali e sviluppi empirici" di Maino F. e Razetti F.
Online lectures through Teams.
The lectures will be articulated in three parts. In the first part students will be asked to answer questions (mainly closed-ended questions) related to the topics presented in the previous lecture. The second part provides a frontal lecture phase. The third part consists in work in groups on the new topics introduced in the second part of the lecture.
The slides will be uploaded on Elly (elly.gspi.unipr.it) 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.
Recorded lessons will be available on Elly.
Assessment methods and criteria
The questions of the oral test may cover all the issues of the course and the number of questions is not less than three.
The oral test aims at assessing the knowledge and understanding of the basic concepts and principles of economic policy; the skill to communicate on the issues of economic policy analyzed in the course appropriately; the ability to discuss, through appropriate arguments, possible proposals and considerations related to economic issues related to the topics discussed in the course; the ability to critically interpret the main economic events related to the topics considered in the course.
An insufficiency assessment is determined by the lack of knowledge of the contents of the course and by the inability to express themselves adequately to the topic.
During the first semester, because of the persistence of the health emergency and depending on its evolving, the exams may take place either in mixed mode (viz. in attendance, but with the possibility of taking it even remotely for students who submit a specific request to the teacher), or only online for everyone (that is, remotely). Before the exam, the teacher will timely give information about the chosen modality through the Esse3 system.
In relation to the COVID-19 health emergency, the exams of 8 September 2020 and of 27 October 2020 will be oral through MS Teams. See http://selma.unipr.it/ for instructions. Students will be provided few days before with instructions concerning the participation in the exam. During the exam knowledge and understanding described in the learning outcome will be evaluated on a scale from 0 to 30.