40430 - Principles of Economics

Course Unit Page


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

No poverty Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course introduces students 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 course consists of two modules: Microeconomics (Prof. Elena Argentesi) and Macroeconomics (Prof. Giovanni Maria Mazzanti)

Topics of the first module (Microeconomics)

  1. Introduction to economics
  2. Supply and demand
  3. Elasticity
  4. Demand
  5. Perfectly competitive supply
  6. Market efficiency
  7. Monopoly
  8. Oligopoly
  9. Externalities and public goods

Topics of the second module (Macroeconomics)

  1. Introduction to macroeconomics
  2. Short-run
    - Short-run economic fluctuations
    - The IS-LM model
  3. Stabilizing the economy:
    - Fiscal and monetary policy
    - The AD-AS model


Frank, Bernanke, McDowell, Thom, Pastine, Principi di economia, 4° edizione, McGraw Hill, 2013.

Teaching methods

Traditional lectures. 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. 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 Virtuale.

Teaching tools

Slides and teaching materials for the first module will be available after each lecture on the Virtuale platform.

Office hours

See the website of Elena Argentesi

See the website of Giovanni Maria Mazzanti