Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Giuseppe Pignataro

  • Credits 8

  • SSD SECS-P/01

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Politics Administration and Organization (cod. 9085)


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

No poverty Gender equality Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course introduces students to the basic principles of the economics. 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 presence of this course in a master's course as PAO is motivated by the need to respond to a series of economic curiosities present in the public debate (and typical of organizational policies) without the use of analytical/ mathematical or abstract instruments that often scares the students pulling them off the study of economics.

This exam will get some responses to issues discussed in everyday life, explaining a series of economic phenomena at the global or local level through concrete examples and the support of massive use of newly acquired data. We will try, for example, to introduce in simple ways different methodologies and tools used in public policies to understand how it can be helpful under certain conditions to intervene in the markets by correcting problems of efficiency and/or equity in the system.

We will deal with different topics generally not covered in introductory courses of economics. First, the course aims to introduce the student to the fundamental principles of economic theory plus a series of alternative arguments present in the social sciences. Among others, we will study the basic principles of market functioning, the behavior of economic agents, and the essential elements of macroeconomic analysis regarding current economic or financial news. The topics related to auctions, taxation, information economy, and economic inequality associated with the theme of economic growth are some of the issues addressed according to current theoretical concepts and a comparison with data. The program is in progress and will be naturally updated over the next months.

At the end of the course, the student is expected to acquire competences necessary to face moderately advanced economics courses and to elaborate the issues at the center of the economic debate in a critical thinking.



Principi di Economia Politica: Teoria ed Evidenza Empirica, Seconda Edizione (2020). Autori: Daron Acemoglu, David Laibson, John List.

Additional papers, op-ed articles, chapters or general materials will be provided to students during the lessons.


Plan of the lessons (totally in progress) based ONLY on the book chapters (plus the additional documents).

1. Principi e pratica dell’Economia (Chapter 1)

2. Metodologie e questioni economiche (Chapter 2)

3. Ottimizzazione: la scelta migliore (Chapter 3)

4. Commercio internazionale (Chapter 8)

5. Esternalità e beni pubblici (Chapter 9)

6. Lo Stato nell’economia: imposte e regolazione (Chapter 10)

7. I mercati dei fattori di produzione (Chapter 11)

8. Teoria dei Giochi e gioco strategico (Chapter 13)

9. Trade-off che coinvolgono tempo e rischio (Chapter 15)

10. L’economia dell’informazione (Chapter 16)

11. Aste e contrattazioni (Chapter 17)

12. Economia sociale (Chapter 18)

13. Il reddito aggregato (Chapter 20)

14. La crescita economica (Chapter 21)

15. Perché esiste uno sviluppo diseguale? (Chapter 22)

Teaching methods

The teaching method includes lectures and interactions between (subgroups of) students. It will be crucial to attend as many lessons as possible due to the particular topics covered during the lessons. Lessons will be in Italian.



The course is organized with a part of lectures taught online on MS TEAMS and another taught in presence. The number of students allowed in class is determined on the basis of class capacity and by the health and safety provisions that deal with the pandemic emergency. In case more students want to attend classes in presence than permitted by the rules, a system of shifts will be organized so to allow students to participate. Regardless of the health-related conditions and the specific organization of the course, students will be able to follow the lessons of the entire course remotely on MS TEAMS.


This is true upon potential changes in the pandemic situation.

Assessment methods

Assessments: a (potential) written test that includes multiple choices and open questions - an option is the preparation of a paper (3000 words) to be presented at the end of the course. The latter depends on the number of attending students.

Teaching tools

During the course, the teacher will provide additional material to complete the theoretical lessons.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Giuseppe Pignataro