40430 - Principles of economics

Course Unit Page


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

Decent work and economic growth

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

This course provides a non-technical introduction to the main ideas of Economics. After taking this course students will be able to face alone further Macroeconomics and Microeconomics topics.

Course contents

This class will cover the following topics:


Thinking like an economist. Ten principles of economics. (2 hours)

Interdipendence and the gains from trade. (2 hours)



How markets work: the forces of supply and demand. (2 hours)

Implications for government policies. (2 hours)

Compettitive markets and economic efficiency. (2 hours)

The effects of international trade on social welfare. (2 hours)

Market failures and the role of the public sector: externalities and public goods. (4 hours)

Firm behavior: the costs of production, firms in competitive markets, monopoly. (6 hours)

Monopolistic competition. (2 hours)



The data of macroeconomics: the nation's income, the cost of living and the unemployment. (6 hours)

Production and growth. (2 hours)

Money and prices in the long run. (2 hours)

Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply. (2 hours)

The Influence of Monetary and Fiscal Policy on Aggregate Demand. (2 hours)


N. Gregory Mankiw, Mark P. Taylor, Essentials of Economics, 6th Italian Edition, Zanichelli 2016.

Teaching methods

The lessons will be offered both in class and online, via the Microsoft Teams platform.

To attend the lectures online, students are strongly advised to use a wired connection, because it is more stable than a WiFi one.


Assessment methods

The exams will be offered online until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. When it will be possible, we will resume in-class exams.

Written online exam (90 minutes). The exam will include 3 to 4 open questions. Calculators will be allowed, while any use of cell phones will be strictly forbitten.

Any form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.

Students are required to attend at least 70 per cent of the scheduled classes, unless they are not taking this class as an elective.

The grade will go from 30 to 18, depending on the level of understanding of the relevant material, and the quality of the writing output. The student has the right to refuse the passing grade obtained only once.


-Outstanding grasp of the course material.

-Excellent writing output


-Substantial understanding of the course material.

-Good writing output


-Discreet understanding of the course material.

-Discreet writing output


-Sufficient understanding of the course material.

-Sufficient writing output.

Negative assessment

-Scarce understanding of the course material.

-Scarce writing output.

Teaching tools

Blackboard and chalk (in class).

Office hours

See the website of Luciano Messori