03576 - Economics

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Statistical Sciences (cod. 8873)

Learning outcomes

The course introduces students to the core principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics. The course is made of two modules. For the microeconomics module, topics include the basics of how markets function, of how economic agents behave, and of their interaction in the market. At the end of the course students are expected to: (a) be able to analyse the choices of consumers and firms; (b) understand the mechanisms underlying the interaction between consumers and firms; (c) analyse the role of public policy with respect to market failures. The macroeconomics module introduces the basic tools that are needed to understand macroeconomic equilibrium. At the end of the course students are expected to: (a) know the definition of the main macroeconomic variables; (b) understand the determinants of aggregate demand and aggregate supply, and of macroeconomic equilibrium in the long run and in the short run; (c) understand the mechanisms behind fiscal and monetary policy.

Course contents


  • Introduction: individual decisions and interactions.
  • Market demand and supply. Elasticities.
  • The theory of consumer choice.
  • Firms in competitive markets.
  • Markets, efficiency, and welfare.
  • Market inefficiency: public goods, externalities and asymmetric information.
  • Non-competitive markets: monopoly and oligopoly
  • Labour market. Income inequality.
  • Interdependence and gains from trade.


  • The data of macroeconomics.
  • Economic growth.
  • Unemployment.
  • Saving and investment.
  • The financial system.
  • Money. Inflation.
  • IS-LM.
  • Aggregate demand and supply.
  • Effects of fiscal and monetary policies on aggregate demand.
  • Inflation and unemployment.
  • International macroeconomics.

Contents of the course are identical for students who attend lectures and those who do not.


The following book is the reference one for the course. Alternative books can be suggested upon request.

N. G. Mankiw and M. P. Taylor, Principles of Economics

Teaching methods

Traditional lectures with slides. For each topic, theoretical lectures will be followed by examples from the real world.

Exercises and tests.

Four exercise sessions with the course tutor are scheduled in addition to standard lectures.

Assessment methods

The exam is aimed at assessing whether students have understood basic economic concepts and whether they can apply them to simple economic cases. Assessment is by written exam and it includes multiple choice questions, questions testing knowledge of definitions, open questions and simple exercises in line with those covered in the lectures. The number of questions depends on their difficulty.

Final marks are out of 30, with equal weight given to micro and to macro. The total mark is the sum of marks for each section; marks available are indicated on the exam sheet as appropriate. The minimum score assigned to each answer is zero: there is no negative mark for wrong answers. The maximum score that students can receive for answers that are correct and complete is 30 with distinction. The minimum pass grade is 18/30. 

Students are not allowed to bring support material (textbooks, notes, internet enabled devices etc.).

First-year students can take two partial exams: the first on microeconomics and the second on macroeconomics. These partial exams are scheduled, after week five and ten of lectures, respectively. Those who wish to refuse their mark for the partial exams will take the overall exam during the standard exam sessions.

Students may refuse the grade only once. The grade has to be considered for the whole exam; it is not possible to maintain the grade for just one of the two parts of the exam.

First-year students attending the course can take a total of 6 multiple choice tests, on a weekly basis during the course and according to an agreed calendar, for a maximum overall score of 6/30. This can replace the corresponding multiple choice section of the exam whenever the student is happy with the grade, and provided that the exam is taken by the end of February.

Each of the two partial exams lasts 45 minutes. The overall exam lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes.

In case exams have to be administered online in relation to the health emergency, course assessment will include an oral exam.

For any additional information please see the course web page within InsegnamentiOnLine (IOL)

Teaching tools

Students can find the detailed program, lecture slides, any additional material, exercises given in the classes, exam results and any other information in InsegnamentiOnLine (IOL).


Office hours

See the website of Renata Bottazzi


No poverty Quality education Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.