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 Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course aims at analysing the long run development of the world economy since the birth of the modern economy, showing the varieties of approaches and solutions to innovation and crises. The main topics are the following: 1) interrelations among technologies, institutions and culture; 2) forms of enterprise and their advantages and disadvantages; 3) financial systems and the relation bank-enterprise; 4) the role of governments; 5) the major world crises that have retarded progress but also offer opportunities of improvement. At the end of the course students have acquired a long run vision of economic development and are in a better position to understand the transformations that are necessary today to maintain a dynamic but sustainable economic path for the future.

Course contents

The program of the course includes the following topics:

1. Introduction and the role of institutions. Rise of the modern market economy, industrial revolutions and banking structures

2. Diffusion of industrialization and birth of an international economy. Role and functioning of the gold standard.

3. Forms of enterprise: the corporation (also state-owned)

4. Forms of enterprise: SMEs, cooperatives and non profit. Creation of networks

5. Economic policies and country-cases: the Anglosaxon world

6. Economic policies and country cases: Germany and Italy

7. The first major world crisis of 1929, WWII and the New International Economic Order.

8. The golden age and the EU

9. Globalization, financialization and instability. The second major world crisis of 2008

10. The rise of Asia and the third major world crisis of 2020. Conclusions.



V. Zamagni, Perchè l'Europa ha cambiato il mondo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2015

V. Zamagni, Forme d'impresa, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2020.

Additional bibliography will be supplied for the paper.

Teaching methods

Lectures and in class discussions

Assessment methods

The exam is made up of two parts, with weight 50-50. An in class written exam with four open questions and a 6000 words paper on a topic freely chosen by the student within the scope of the course, to be agreed upon with the teacher.

Office hours

See the website of Vera Negri