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, 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, competition, 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: income and wealth inequalities, 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 inter-governmentalism, 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. Some accompanying micro-policies: agriculture, competition, trade.
6. The stages of the European Monetary Union and the theory of Optimum Currency Areas.
7. Costs and benefits of a common currency.
8. The European Central Bank and its monetary policy.
9. The Maastricht convergence criteria.
10. Fiscal policies, the Stability and Growth Pact and the Fiscal Compact. Did the austerity policies benefit the Eurozone?
11. The EU after 60 years of integration: the relative importance of the EU in the world economy, trade relations and global value chains.
12. Some unsolved issues: unemployment and inequalities
13. The sovereign debt crisis. The case of Greece.
15. To be or not to be in the euro? Reform proposals of the euro versus centrifugal pressures.
- The Economics of European Integration, by Richard Baldwin and Charles Wyplosz, McGraw Hill, 6th edition, paperback, 2019.
- Economics of Monetary Union, by Paul De Grauwe, Oxford University Press, 12th edition, paperback, 2018.
- The titles of some compulsory readings will appear at the end of each set of slides.
The course includes formal, but interactive, lectures by the instructor and class discussions. All the slides will be posted on the net before each lesson and then discussed in 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. While 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.
Assessment methods and criteria
ATTENDING STUDENTS will be evaluated in a continuous way on the basis of their participation to the class discussions. The final 90 minutes exam is written and based on three closed questions on the content of all the slides, class discussions and compulsory readings indicated at the end of each set of slides. No electronic devices are allowed during the exam. Grade is based on the final written exam (70%) and on class participation (30%). The ‘cum laude’ will be given only in case of exceptional performances in both aspects of the evaluation.
For NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS the final 90 minutes exam is written and based on three closed questions upon the following programme:
- The Economics of European Integration, by Richard Baldwin and Charles Wyplosz, McGraw Hill, 6th edition, paperback, 2019 – Chapter 1; chapters 4 to 9; chapters 11 to 12; chapter 19.
- Economics of Monetary Union, by Paul De Grauwe, Oxford University Press, 12th Edition, paperback, 2018 – Chapters 1 to 11.
The ‘cum laude’ will be given only in case of exceptional performances.
Final grades will be published on the Esse3 platform within two weeks from the date of the exam.