04839 - Regional Economics

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Gaetano Alfredo Minerva

  • Credits 5

  • SSD SECS-P/01

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Economics and Economic Policy (cod. 8420)

Academic Year 2014/2015

Course contents

In order to attend successfully the classes, it is recommended that students have passed a Microeconomics class at the level of Laurea Magistrale (such as 32424 - Advanced Microeconomics). The programme of the course is the following:

Topic 1: Introduction and some stylized facts (BGM Chap. 1)

Topic 2: The Dixit-Stiglitz model of monopolistic competition (CMT Chap. 3; BGM Chap. 3)

Topic 3: Interregional trade and market size (CMT Chap. 4; BGM Chap. 3)

Topic 4: The Core-Periphery model (CMT Chap. 6; BGM Chap. 3 e Chap. 4)

Topic 5: The gravity equations of trade (CMT Chap. 5)

Topic 6: Measuring the spatial concentration of economic activity (CMT Chap. 10)

Topic 7: Agglomeration, transport costs and economic growth(Minerva & Ottaviano, 2009)

Topic 8: Economic geography and international inequality (Redding & Venables, 2004)

Reading group: Some classes will be devoted to oral presentations by students (to be delivered through a Power-Point or Pdf) of a scientific article chosen by the lecturer. Each article will be presented by a group of students under the supervision of the lecturer. The article has to be chosen from the following list (articles are available in Pdf format in the section Teaching Material):

1) Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Lafourcade, Miren & Mayer, Thierry, 2005. "The trade-creating effects of business and social networks: evidence from France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 1-29, May.

2) James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.

3) Thomas J. Holmes & John J. Stevens, 2002. "Geographic Concentration and Establishment Scale," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 682-690, July.

4) Hanson, Gordon, 2005. "Market potential, increasing returns and geographic concentration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-24, September.

5) Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2011. "Schooling Supply and the Structure of Production: Evidence from US States 1950-1990," NBER Working Papers 17683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

6) Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.

N.B. The list may be modified according to the number of students that will attend the classes.


Although classes are taught in Italian, the course textbooks are in English. The first textbook, abbreviated as CMT, is:

Combes P.-P., Mayer T., Thisse J.-F. (2008) Economic Geography: The Integration of Regions and Nations, Princeton University Press. ISBN: 978-0-691-13942-5. A copy of this textbook is available for borrowing at the Library of the Department of Economics in Strada Maggiore 45.

The second textbook, abbreviated as BGM, is:

Brakman S., Garretsen H., van Marrewijk C. (2009) The New Introduction to Geographical Economics, Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0-521-69803-0. Two copies of this textbook are available at the Library of the Department of Economics in Strada Maggiore 45 (one copy is available for borrowing, the other is not); another copy of the book is available for borrowing at the Library Walter Bigiavi.

For Topic 7 the reference will be Minerva G.A., Ottaviano G.I.P. (2009) "Endogenous growth theories: agglomeration benefits and transportation costs," in R. Capello, P. Nijkamp (eds.), Handbook of Regional Growth and Development Theories, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

For Topic 8 the reference will be Redding S., Venables A. J. (2004) "Economic geography and international inequality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, 62(1), pages 53-82.

Assessment methods

The final mark of the exam, up to 33 points that correspond to an evaluation of 30 cum laude, is obtained in the following manner.

28 points are assigned on the basis of a written exam on the topics covered in the class. The remaining 5 points are assigned on the basis of the oral presentation delivered during the seminar session and on the basis of a question in the written exam dealing specifically with some of the articles presented during the seminars.

In order to be given the 5 points dealing with the articles of the seminar session, those who could not attend the classes and could not present during the seminar session have to give an oral presentation of a scientific article (to be to be delivered through a Power-Point or Pdf) freely chosen from the list above the same day of the exam, soon after the written examination. Moreover, students who could not attend classes will have to answer during the written exam a question about some of the papers covered during the seminars.

If the student (independently from whether he attended the classes or not) does not contribute to the seminar sessions and does not answer during the written exam the question about the seminars' papers, the maximum mark he can obtain is 28, which corresponds to the points he can get from the topics covered during the lectures.

Some old exams of previous sessions are available here.

Office hours

See the website of Gaetano Alfredo Minerva