01424 - History of Economic Thought,,,,,

Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being Quality education Decent work and economic growth Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

This course is designed to introduce students to the main schools of economic thought and the intellectual context in which each school thrived.

At the end of the course students will be able to:

- understand the main schools of economic thought;

- grasp the main theoretical issues debated;

- connect economic theories, economic systems and economic policies.

Course contents

Part I - Birth and establishment of a new discipline: from the Scholastics to the classics
- From the Scolasticism to the Mercantilism
- Mercantilist commercial and monetary theories
- Forerunners of Classical Political Economy: W. Petty; D. North, B. Mandeville, P. Boisguillebert, R. Cantillon
- The laissez-faire Revolution : Quesnay and the physiocrats
- Galiani and the Italians
- Adam Smith: from the Theory of Moral Sentiments to the Wealth of the Nations and return
- Beyond Smith: J.B Say and J. Bentham
- T. Malthus and D. Ricardo: from the Theory of Rent to the Labour Theory of value

Part II. - The development of economic thought during the 19th and 20th centuries

- Marx and the Critique of Political Economy

- J. Stuart Mill's Synthesis
- Forerunners of Marginalism in Englans, France and Germany
- The Triumph of Utilitarianism and the Marginalist Revolution: S. Jevons; C. Menger; L. Walras
- English Neoclassical Economists: A. Marshall and Pigou; Sraffa's criticism of the Marshallian theoretical system
- Neoclassical Theory in USA, Sweden and Austria
- " The Years of High Theory": from J. Schumpeter to J.M Keynes
- After Keynes: Neo-Keynesians, Monetarists; Post-Keynesians.


A. Roncaglia, Breve storia del pensiero economico, Laterza, Bari-Roma, 2016

Slides provided by the teacher, included in the platform


Teaching methods

Frontal lessons

Attendance at lectures is strongly recommended and ensures a "bonus" when assessing knowledge

Assessment methods

Written exam on platform EOL, on site

The exam consists of 28 questions (14 for Module I; 14 for Module II). The questions are a mix of quizzes (12 per module) and essays - "componimenti" - (2 per module). For each correct quiz 1 point is awarded; for each composition up to a maximum of 3 points. The questions of the I and II modules are evaluated separately: both modules must be sufficient (the sufficiency corresponds to 9 points). The final grade is the sum of the scores obtained in the I and II modules (max score 18 per module).

The "essays" are open questions.

In case of insufficiency in one of the two modules the exam will result INSUFFICIENT and will have to be repeated.

Regarding the evaluation of the exam, the following correspondence between descriptors and marks in thirtieths is reported

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

Teaching tools

Pc; Beamer

Office hours

See the website of Massimo Fornasari