82203 - Global Economic History

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Mauro Carboni

  • Credits 8

  • SSD SECS-P/12

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Forli

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Economics and business (cod. 9202)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


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

Quality education Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to outline the process leading to the formation of the modern world economy in a broad institutional, cultural and chronological perspective. Special attention will be devoted to the waves of economic revolutions western Europe was home to and the global impact they had. At the end of the course students are able to: (a) understand the main factors and stages of global and European economic development; (b) grasp the complexity of historical processes; (c) understand concepts, principles and issues drawn from the social and economic sciences; (d) appreciate the constant interplay of economic systems, institutions, social and cultural dimensions.

Course contents

Issues in economic history and theories about economic development

A) Premodern economic conditons and trends (XI - XVIII centuries)

  1. Agricultural systems and demographic patterns
  2. A medieval world-system?
  3. Civilizations and patterns of trade across Eurasia
  4. The European commercial revolution
  5. The plague and its consequences
  6. Overseas expansion of Europe: globalization and divergence
  7. War, technology, and trade
  8. The European model of the fiscal-military state
  9. The making of Atlantic economies: emigration, slavery, plantations, and empires
  10. The economies of Asia and European intrusion
  11. The wheels of commerce: the rise of consumer culture
  12. Institutions and the financial revolution
  13. The "unbound Prometheus": the first industrial nation and the great divergence

B) From industrialization to globalization (XIX-XX centuries)

  1. The spread of industrialization
  2. State, capitals and technological innovations
  3. Patterns of economic retardation and recovery
  4. The "visible hand"
  5. The great wave of globalization: trade, immigration and capital flows (1870-1914)
  6. The Economic consequences of World War I
  7. Competing economic models and their global impact
  8. The disintegration of the world economy and the great depression of the 1930s
  9. The new world order and the reintegration of the world economy after 1945
  10. The golden age of growth and the new welfare state (1950-1973)
  11. Emerging economies and the process of decolonization
  12. The oil crisis and the third industrial revolution
  13. The rise of Asia: tigers, dragons, and the new global age
  14. Specialization, globalization, and global imbalances


Required textbooks:

R. Cameron, L. Neal, A Concise Economic History of the World, Oxford University Press, 2015 (5th edition)

F. Amatori, A. Colli (eds), The Global Economy. A Concise History, Routledge-Giappichelli 2019

Lecture slides, additional resources, and bibliographic references will be posted on the School e-learning platform:


Teaching methods

Lectures with slides and audiovisual materials

Assessment methods

Oral exam.

Students attending classes on a regular basis may present a book review agreed with the instructor to make up part of the final grade.

Grades are awarded in the following fashion:

<18 failed
18-23 sufficient
24-27 good
28-30 very good
30 e lode excellent



N. B.: Changes to the exam format may have to be introduced to meet COVID-19 emergency guidelines. Any change will be announced in a timely fashion.


Teaching tools

PC, projector.

Slides and additional recommended readings available on the School e-learning platform.

Office hours

See the website of Mauro Carboni