Student guide Faculty of Economics A.Y. 2010/11

Aim of the course
1. To place political economy within the framework of the social sciences, underlining the potentialities and limitations of the discipline for analysing and understanding contemporary societies;
2. to approach the topics of political economy from a critical and problems-oriented perspective;
3. to equip students with the methods and tools for understanding macroeconomic theory and real-world situations.
The course is centred on the study of the aggregate functioning of economic systems. More specifically, the course begins by analysing the various components of aggregate demand and their determinants, the interactions between the real economy and monetary variables, the labour market and consequently the aggregate supply. The principal interactions between different economies will be studied, with particular attention to the process of monetary integration in Europe and the workings of the European Monetary Union. These conceptual frameworks will then be used to analyse the principal macroeconomic problems of the contemporary economy: unemployment, inflation, public debt, economic growth. All the topics covered in the course will be continually referred to the real-world contemporary economy, through extensive use of international statistical data and specific case studies exemplifying theoretical problems.
The examination procedure will be communicated by the lecturers during the course and posted on the office notice board.
Reading list
The course will be based on the following book:
Mankiw, G., Macroeconomia, Zanichelli, 3rd Italian edition, 2001.
The list of chapters covered in the examination will be communicated at the start of lectures. Additional lecture notes and reading materials will be set during the course.