81531 - Economic Inequality and Sustainability

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Rimini
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Resource Economics and Sustainable Development (cod. 8839)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the successful student has acquired a working knowledge of the basic issues, both technical and theoretical, regarding the definition and measuring of economic inequality. S/he is also acquainted with the main issues concerning the connection between inequality amd sustainability, with particular emphasis on economic performance in the short and in the long run.

Course contents

  1. Introduction: General perspectives on economic development and income distribution: stylized facts, comparative analysis, and theoretical approaches.

  2. Basic tools and ideas: (a) sustainability; (b) measurement: inequality, polarization and poverty.

  3. Applications and case studies: (a) Global inequality; (b) Distribution, redistribution and growth; (c) Poverty traps; (d) Polarization and conflict.


Some background knowledge of basic micro and macro theory (at the undergraduate level) is highly recommended. Useful general material for the course is provided by P.J.Lambert, The Distribution and Redistribution of Income, Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2001; M.P.Todaro and S.C.Smith, Economic Development, Addison-Wesley, Boston, 2012. Further references and a list of readings will be provided in class.

Teaching methods

This is a taught course with lectures.

Assessment methods

The exam consists of an oral discussion of the material covered in class; it will possibly held online, depending on the overall health situation. Students are required to register in advance for the exam through AlmaEsami according to the general rules of the School of Economics and Management. Grading is on a 30 point basis, with minimum pass grade 18/30 (18-23: sufficient; 24-27: good; 28-30: very good; 30 plus distinction: excellent). Depending on the number and willingness of students, classwork and essay writing may be organized, the assessment of which will be worth up to one third of the final grade

Teaching tools

Most lectures will involve topics presentation by the teacher and class discussions. Handouts will be available for students.

Office hours

See the website of Corrado Benassi


No poverty Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities

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