00995 - Economic History

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student is in a position to understand correctly the evolution of the world economy from the agrarian pre-industrial era to the present post-industrial society. Specificallky the student will be able to: - assess how an advanced organic economy functioned, with its energetic limits in comparison with the present mineral-based energy economy; - appreciate the different paths of development of a number of the today advanced nations; - understand how countries have internationalized first and then globalized - acquire knowledge on cycles, bubbles, failures of planned economies, effects of wars.

Course contents

The program has two parts.

The first is concerned with industrial revolution in England and in Western economies.

The most important themes will be the following: innovation processes, relationships between economies and institutions, recent develompment and its effects on the society.

The second part deals with the business history in general and with reference to big corporations, industrial districts, state-owned enterprises, cooperatives .


V. Zamagni, Dalla rivoluzione industriale all'integrazione europea, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1999.

P.A. Toninelli, Storia dell'impresa, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2006 (except chapter I).

Moreover, the following essays about different types of enterprise are suggested:

P. Battilani, Da istituzione marginale a fattore di modernizzazione economica: l'impresa cooperativa in Italia nelle seconda metà di Novecento, in «Imprese e storia», n. 37, 2009, pp. 9-58.

V. Zamagni, Evolution of Business History Models from Chandler to the Present, with an application to the Italian Context, in G. Dossena (a cura di),Entrepreneur and Enterprise. Lights and Shadows from the Italian Experience, Milano, McGraw Hill, 2009, pp. 307-317.

T. Menzani, La macchina nel tempo. Storia della meccanica strumentale italiana dalle origini all'affermazione in campo internazionale, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2011 (only chapter II).

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons

Assessment methods

For those who attend lectures, the exam will be made up of two written parts, one at the end of the first set of lectures and one after the second set of lectures . In each case there will be two open questions and two brief questions, with one hour and 20 minutes of time for the answers. Starting with the date of the second written exam a comprehensive exam will be offered to all other students and to those who have not received a positive grade in the first partial exam, consisting of four open questions and four brief questions, with two hours to answer them.

Teaching tools

Lessons will be supported by slides.

The lessons will be videotaped and made available on Teams.

Office hours

See the website of Tito Menzani