SECS-P/02 - 9 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff

Office: Palazzo delle Scienze, Corso Italia 55, 95129 Catania (stanza 22, IV piano)
Phone: +39-095 7537741
Office Hours: mercoledì 16-18; giovedì 12-13,30

Learning Objectives

  1. Knowledge and understanding:The course aims at analysing the goals of the economic policy of allocative efficiency, income distribution and macroeconomic stabilization in the national and international context, with particular interest to the european context. The analysis is carried out on the ground of both a positive and a normative approach to point out the role of the different ideologies to define both the priorities in the political agenda and the instruments adopted (or not adopted) by the policy-makers. The student has to know the issues treated in the course and to develop his own understanding skills, also through a deductive approach that allows him to apply the theoretical schemes explained in the course to interpret the most recent economic policy problems. Considering the teaching profile, the ways of delivery the contents of the course are front lectures, with the support of slides, and official documents of economic policy that can stimulate the participation of the students during the classes.

  2. Applying knowledge and understanding: The student has to be able to apply the knowledge acquired to understand what are the criteria to define, if necessary, the priorities among the different economic policy objectives and to compare and evaluate the instruments on the basis of their underlying ideology and effectiveness. From the teaching point of view, referring to the most important present case studies, at national and international level, during the classes, represents a good opportunity to evaluate different economic policy receipts and to understand that, according to the peculiarities of the economic context, the priority in the objectives to pursue and the kind of economic instrument might change. The analysis of the case studies is carried on through the appropriate quantitative data and statistics coming from official documents. This approach allows to verify the skills of the student in the interpretation of quantitative data to understand economic phenomena, that is to verify her/ his capacity of “knowing how to do”.

  3. Making judgments: The economic policy is a social science and therefore the priorities of the objectives, the choices operated and its role itself can be different according to the theoretical approach adopted. The student has to be aware that the different economic policy receipts come from different theoretical approach (sometimes based on a different ideology) and has to develop a critical approach and autonomy of judgment in the solutions of the case studies proposed. These skills can be improved stimulating the discussion and an active participation of the student during the classes, even through the participation to intermediate and final written essays and oral discussions, taken in account for the final exam. Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previuos statements and the exam will consist in an oral discussion.

  4. Communication skills: During the course the student has to improve and develop the knowledge of the technical and economic language to use in an appropriate way as an useful instrument of communication especially to introduce herself /himself in the job market. He has to be able to distinguish the determinants of the main economic phenomena that nourish the economic policy debate (market failures, inflation, unemployment, public and external debt, economic growth) and to use the technical and economic language both in the written and in the oral form. The seminars can represent a good opportunity for the student to interact with academic and institutional experts and deepen the knowledge of selected issues treated in the course; they contribute to reinforce her/ his interaction skills and critical approach to the fundamental economic policy issues.

  5. Learning skills: The learning skills of the student has to be checked not only at the end of the course but during the classes, stimulating the participation and teaching the method of studying economic policy. The study of economic policy, compared to other economic disciplines, requires to combine the study of the theoretical models with the study of the different historical and institutional environments. The main teaching instruments adopted are the following: lectures (front or remotely) with teaching materials mostly available on the on-line platform (”Studium”), seminars, exercises. The learning skills are tested for what concerns both the theoretical and the applied aspects (i.e. “to know how to do”) by intermediate tests that allow to know what is the average degree of the learning of the class. The exam is organized in a written test and an oral discussion. Learning assessment may also be carried out on line, should the conditions require it. In this case, the exam will be organized only in an oral discussion.

Course Structure

Teaching is based on formal lectures; slides and official documents published by the main national and international institutional organizations are presented to update and deepen the theoretical knowledge and to solicitate the partecipation of the students to the debate. To develop the ability to treat economic policy problems also through analitycal instruments, exercises are presented and solved in classroom at the end of the theoretical explanation of each content of the course.

Detailed Course Content

Economic policy and conflicts. The normative theory of economic policy. The welfare economics. Policy instruments to correct microeconomic failures: externalities and asymmetric information

The regimes of the macroeconomic disequilibrium. The level of the aggregate income in the fundamental models of the macroeconomic analysis. The fiscal policy. The budget policy in the Eurozone.

Regulations of the microeconomic failures of the market: the market power and the antitrust policy.

Income distribution and social welfare. The welfare state: the social security systems.

The role of money and the monetary policy. The monetary policy in the Eurozone.

Inflation and the anti-inflation policy. Deflation. The Phillips curve. Growth and development policy.

The balance of payments and currency rates. Macroeconomic policy in open markets: the IS-LM-BP model. The European integration process: main European institutions and economic policies. The economic policy in the era of globalization.

Textbook Information

1. Cellini R., Politica Economica. Introduzione ai modelli fondamentali. McGraw-Hill, Milano, III edition, 2019.

2. Marelli E. - Signorelli M., Politica economica. Le politiche nel nuovo scenario europeo e globale, Giappichelli, Torino, II edition 2019.

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