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 European Union, its main structure 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 common commercial policy. Special attention will be devoted to the tariff war and to the consequences of Brexit. 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 debt crisis, austerity policies, the debate about the euro exit and the proposals for reform of the EU.
1. Europe in the world economy
2. A brief history of European economic integration.
3. Trade policy tools.
4. The theory of economic integration and its main economic stages.
5. The EU Customs Union and the Single European Market.
6. Global Value Chains and supply-chain trade.
7. Value added trade and the place of Europe.
8. The capture of value.
9. The development of the world trade system.
10. EU multilateral, bilateral and unilateral trade policy.
11. The trade war.
12. The economic consequences of Brexit.
13. The theory of Optimum Currency Areas.
14. Benefits and costs of a common currency.
15. The stages of the European Monetary Union.
16. The European Central Bank and its monetary policy.
17. The Maastricht convergence criteria.
18. Fiscal policies, the Stability and Growth Pact and the Fiscal Compact.
19. The debate about the austerity policies.
20. The sovereign debt crisis. The case of Greece.
21. Costs and benefits of leaving the euro.
22. The impact of COVID-19 on Europe and the policy responses.
23. Which reforms for the EU and the euro?
For the students who wish to deepen their knowledge, the two reference books are:
- 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.
For the moment, the course will be taught online. Teaching will be prevailingly synchronous (streaming through the Teams platform, discussions, Q&A sessions).
Overall teaching provision will consist of presentations-illustrations of contents by the teacher via streaming.
Streaming lessons will last 40 minutes (including the moments of students’ interaction).
Interactive teaching will find a relevant place under the form of: 1) Explanations through FAQs or web forum; 2) Short students’ interventions; 3) structured e-tivities (students’ individual reports, exercises or case-studies)
All the slides will be posted on the Elly platform before each lesson and then discussed with the students’ participation. Case studies and videos on the most relevant issues will be presented and talked over 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 in scientific journals or newspaper articles.
Students are kindly asked to observe the following courtesy rules:
1. Connect on time to the Teams platform for online classes; do not leave early without prior explicit instructor’s approval;
2. Prepare assignments on time.
Assessment methods and criteria
Students will be evaluated in a continuous way on the basis of their participation to the class discussions and of the fulfilment of the assigned tasks. The intermediate and final online exams are oral and based on at least three questions on the content of all the slides, class discussions and compulsory readings. Final grade is based on the intermediate online oral test (30%), on the final online oral exam (30%) and on students’ class participation (40%). The ‘cum laude’ will be given only in case of exceptional performances in all three aspects of the evaluation.
Final grades will be published on the Esse3 platform within two weeks from the date of the final exam.