ECONOMICS OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Upon successful completion of this course the students are expected to be able to:
- understand and explain the economic rationale of the EU integration process and its main policies;
- apply economic tools to evaluate the impact of EU policies on various stakeholders;
- assess the risks and the opportunities facing European companies within the context of the EU trade policy
- evaluate possible solutions to the most important unresolved problems of the EU, namely unemployment, the productivity gap, inequalities and the sovereign debt crisis.
More in general:
- conduct an empirical research applying the acquired tools to a particular context:
- communicate the results of an empirical research through a ppt presentation or a written report.
Introductory microeconomics and macroeconomics or equivalent
Course contents summary
The course focuses on the economic analysis of the current development of the EU, its main policies and prospects. More particularly, it concentrates on the process of economic integration and its main stages, like the Customs Union and the Single Market, and on the accompanying micro-policies (agriculture, regional, competition, labour, trade). At the macro-level it will take into consideration the Monetary Union and the euro, the European Central Bank and its monetary policy, the fiscal policies. Finally it will discuss the hottest current issues: the productivity gap vis-à-vis foreign competitors, the debt crisis, austerity policies, the debate about the euro exit, Brexit and the proposals for reform of the EU.
1. Introduction: a brief history of European integration. Federalism versus intergovernmentalism, deepening versus widening.
2. The theory of economic integration and its main economic stages.
3. Trade policy tools and the EU Customs Union.
4. The Single European Market.
5. The EU budget.
6. Accompanying micro-policies: agriculture, regional and cohesion, competition, labour, trade.
7. The stages of the European Monetary Union and the theory of Optimum Currency Areas.
8. Costs and benefits of a common currency.
9. The European Central Bank and its monetary policy.
10. The Maastricht convergence criteria.
11. Fiscal policies, the Stability and Growth Pact and the Fiscal Compact.
12. The EU after 60 years of integration: the relative importance of the EU in the world economy, trade relations and global value chains.
13. Some unsolved issues: growing productivity gap, unemployment and inequalities
14. The sovereign debt crisis. The case of Greece.
16. To be or not to be in the euro? Reform proposals of the euro versus centrifugal pressures.
- Economics of European Integration - 5th edition, by Richard Baldwin and Charles Wyplosz, McGraw Hill, paperback 2015.
- Economics of Monetary Union - 11th Edition, by Paul De Grauwe, Oxford University Press, paperback, 2016.
-The European Union: Economics, Policy and History, 3/e, by Susan Senior Nello, McGraw Hill, paperback, 2011.
- The titles of some compulsory readings will be indicated at the end of each set of slides.
The course includes formal, but interactive, lectures by the instructor, presentations by the students on agreed-upon topics related to the course and class discussion. All the slides presented in class by the instructor will be posted on the net after being discussed in class. A password will be given during the first class. Case studies and videos on the most relevant issues will be presented and discussed in class. Students are responsible for consulting the dedicated website on a regular basis in order to know in advance the general lines of the subjects and to be able to contribute actively to class discussions.
Updates and additional material are posted on the website of the course.
In preparing for lectures students are also encouraged to extend their study beyond required readings to related papers or newspaper articles.
Students are kindly asked to observe the following courtesy rules:
1. Arrive in class on time; do not leave early without prior explicit instructor’s approval
2. Keep your mobiles and laptops off; do not chat with your classmates
3. Prepare presentations and hand in assignments on time. No late submissions are allowed.
Assessment methods and criteria
Although no intermediate formal test will be offered, students will be evaluated in a continuous way on the basis of their participation to the class discussions and of their presentations. The final two-hour exam is written and based on three closed questions on the content of all the slides, class discussions and compulsory readings. Grade is based on the final written exam (60%), on class participation (20%) and on students’ in-class presentations (20%). Final grades will be published within two weeks from the date of the exam.