Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Decent work and economic growth Industry, innovation and infrastructure Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student has acquired a detailed vision of the long run trends of advanced economies, with special reference to the two strategic agents of their history: entreprises and States. Enterprises are studied to identify advantages and disadvantages of their forms, while the analysis of the economic policies of States aims at showing whether they have promoted growth or produced crises and stagnation. This approach guarantees a critical comprehension of the main factors affecting change in our societies.

Course contents

The program includes the following topics:

1. Introduction and the role of institutions. Birth of the modern market economy

2. Idustrial revolutions and financial structures

3. Creation of the international economy and the working of the gold standard

4. Forms of entreprise: the corporation (including the state-owned one)

5. Forms of enterprise: small and medium size companies, districts and clusters

6. Forms of enterprise: cooperatives and non-profit

7. Networks, value chains and pluralism

8. Varieties of economic policies and country cases: Great Britain, USA, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan and China

9. The first great crisis 1929-33 and the failure of economic policies

10. Economic policies during the Bretton Woods system and the golden age

11. Success and failures of the European Union

12. The age of neo-liberalism: globalization, financialization and instability

13. The second great crisis 2008-13 and  the economic policies designed to overcome it

14 Conclusions and new challenges


V. Zamagni, Perchè l'Europa ha cambiato il mondo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2015.

P. De Grauwe, I limiti del mercato. Da che parte oscilla il pendolo dell'economia?, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2018.

F. Mazzei, V. Volpi, La rivincita della mano visibile. Il modello economico asiatico e l'Occidente, Milano, Egea, 2010.

Teaching methods

Lectures and in class discussions

Assessment methods

The exam is made up of two parts, with weight 50-50: a written test with four essay questions amd a paper of at least 6000 words to be agreed upon with the teacher, who will help in the identification of the adequate bibliography. Those who complete the written exam at the end of the course are allowed to supply the paper within the subsequent month. All other students will have to bring the paper with them the day of the written exam.

Teaching tools

Mterials will be distributed during the course.

Office hours

See the website of Vera Negri