SECS-P/02 - 9 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff

Email: cucciati@unict.it
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 pointing out the role that the supranational policies and, particularly, the policies carried on by the European institutions play in the present process of international financial and economic integration. The widespread euro skepticism requires that students have to be introduced to the main historical, institutional and economic policy facts that are at the origin of the european economic integration. From the economic point of view, the main micro- economic and macro-economic theoretical models that explain the reasons of the european economic reason are introduced. In the microeconomic part, the models of open economy with discriminatory trade liberalization, the scale and market size effects, the growth and factor market integration, that justify economic integration, are presented. A focus is carried on labour markets and migration. These theoretical approaches are applied to the analysis of the european microeconomic policy in agricolture, regional development, competition and trade. In the macroeconomic part, the student studies the monetary policy of the European Central Bank and the fiscal policy of the European Union. Following the Optimum Currency Area theory, costs and benefits of a monetary union are studied. The causes of the 2008 Eurozone crisis and the consolidation fiscal policies that followed in the Euro-countries are treated. The solutions (Banking Union, Quantitative Easing), that have been introduced, and other policies, still under discussion, are critically analysed; they push the choice between a strenghtening or a slackening of the european integration process. These are the fundamental issues that represent the basis of the “knowledge” that the student has to achieve.

  2. Applying knowledge and under standing The student has to be able, both partecipating at the discussion in class, and in working groups to adopt the theoretical models studied and to verify their applicability and their weakness to interpret the present debate on the main european economic policies.

  3. Making judgments The economic policy is a social science and therefore the choices of the objectives, of the instruments and the role itself of the economic policy at the European layer can be different according to the theoretical approach adopted. It is important that the student develops a critical approach and autonomy of judgment on the contents of the course.

  4. Communication skills During the course the student has the opportunity to improve and develop the technical and economic language, achieved at the first level degree course, and particularly to improve the technical and economic English language. The textbook is an English textbook but the teaching of the course is in Italian and the teaching materials, based on the textbook, is also in Italian; it is available on the platform “Studium”, to allow all the students to attend successfully the course. Students are stimulated to participate at the discussions in classroom, to work in team, to develop their interaction capacity, and to present in classroom the results of their studies, based on English academic and institutional materials suggested by the teacher.

  5. Learning skills The learning skills of the student is checked not only at the end of course but also during the classes, stimulating the participation and giving information on the method of studying European economic policy. The study of the European economic policy, compared to other economic disciplines, requires to combine the study of the theoretical models with the study of specific historical and institutional frameworks.

Course Structure

The main teaching instruments adopted are the following: front lectures with teaching materials mostly available on the on-line platform (”Studium”) and seminars of experts and of people from academic, and European institutions. The learning skills are tested for what concerns both the theoretical and the applied aspects by discussions in class and the organization of working groups to deepen the study of the issues presented in class by the teacher. In this way, the teacher can ascertain the average degree of the learning of the class during the classes and can promptly intervene to adopt the appropriate changes, considering the real basic knowledge of the attendants.

Detailed Course Content

Essential historical facts of the European integration process. Institutions and decision making: voting systems.

The European integration: a microeconomic approach. The economic theory of the preferential liberalization agreements. Market size and scale effects (the BE-COMP model). Growth effects and factor market integration. Economic integration, labour markets and migration.

Eu Micro Policies. The common agricultural policy. Location effects, economic geography and regional policy. Eu competition and state aid policy. Eu trade policy.

The European integration: a macroeconomic approach. Essential facts of monetary integration. Optimum currency areas. The monetary policy of the European Monetary Union. Fiscal policies and the Stability Pact. The financial markets and the Banking Union.

The 2008 Eurozone crisis.

Textbook Information

1. Baldwin R. & C. Wyplosz, 2015, The Economics of European Integration, fifth edition, McGraw-Hill Education, Maidenhead, UK.

2. Teaching material in Italian to integrate the English textbook, based on the slides of Baldwin R. & C. Wyplosz, 2015, The Economics of European Integration, fifth edition, McGraw-Hill Education, Maidenhead, UK, available on the on-line platform STUDIUM.

Other texts are suggested for any further clarification and deepening:

Open in PDF format Versione in italiano