40430 - Principles of Economics

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

he course introduces students who do not have any prior knowledge of economics to the basic principles of the discipline. Topics include the basics of how markets function, of how economic agents behave, and of macroeconomic analysis. These topics will be related to examples from the real world and current economic events. At the end of the course students are expected to have acquired the knowledge necessary for more advanced economics courses, and to understand and critically evaluate economic and public policy debates.

Course contents

The detailed syllabus and references will be made available at the beginning of the course.

The syllabus is the same for all students, whether attending lectures or not.

MICROECONOMICS (prof. Renata Bottazzi):

1. Introduction: What is Economics?

2. Supply and Demand, Perfect Competition

3. Elasticity and Taxation

4. The Production Decision: Inputs and Costs

5. Monopoly, Oligopoly and Monopolistic Competition

6. Externalities and Public Goods


1. Definitions and Measures: National Income, Gross Domestic Product, Cost of Living, Inflation and Deflation, Unemployment Rate

2. Economic Growth and Long-Run Convergence

3. Financial Markets and Central Banks

4. Production and Employment in the Short Run

5. Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy


For microeconomics:

Paul Krugman, Robin Wells, Essential of Economics, 4th edition, Worth Publishers, 2017;

Details on chapter selection will be provided in the lectures.

For macroeconomics:

Blanchard O. Macroeconomics, Prentice-Hall 2003.

Teaching methods

Traditional lectures with slides.

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

Assessment methods

Assessment is by written exam. The exam is divided into two parts: microeconomics and macroeconomics. Each part includes multiple choice questions, questions testing knowledge of definitions, open questions and simple exercises in line with those covered in the lectures.

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

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.

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 at InsegnamentiOnLine (IOL).

Office hours

See the website of Renata Bottazzi

See the website of Giovanni Maria Mazzanti