Teaching in italian
Subject area
Reference degree course
Course type
Unique Cycle Master's Degree
Teaching hours
Frontal Hours: 45.0
Academic year
Year taught
Course year

Teaching description

Teaching program is provisional and may be subject to changes

English language level  B 2 (or higher): students' language competence will be tested during the first lesson. It is important for students intending to take this exam to have already passed an "Economics" or "Political Economy" exam.

Innovation is a driving force of economic change and development, and the understanding of - at least some of - its dimensions is the main aim of this course. The starting point will be a concise review of the theories of innovation, with specific reference to Classical, Neoclassical and Schumpeterian-evolutionary School of thought. Then the  course will focus on the Schumpeterian-evolutionary ideas of development and change. The themes which will be tackled concern: the role played by firms in market economies, the definition of innovation (e.g. product and process innovation), the role of knowledge, the role of R&D, technological paridgms, systems of innovation, technological persistence, 'presumptive anomaly' and technological change. Some attention will also be devoted to the specificity of innovation in the service sector (as distinct from the industrial sector). Science, technology and innovation policies will also be explicitly referred to. 

Knowledge and understanding. The course aims to broaden the students' knowledge and understanding; the course contents make explicit the complexity issues behind the phenomenon of innovation in which economic, 'pure' technological, scientific and public operator intervention aspects are explicitly considered.

Applying knowledge and understanding. The theoretical tools provided and the case studies referred to, will enable students to independently develop the ability to apply what they have learnt to new situations (e.g. the emergence of new technologies that may displace existing technologies, and the possible response of the latter). 

Making judgements. The phenomenon of innovation is very complex, and within the complexity one looks for threads that 'explain' the occurrence of innovation. However, in many cases the answers are not necessarily unambiguous, so students will be stimulated to provide answers that do not necessarily have to follow those indicated by the lecturer. 

Communication skills. During the course, an attempt will be made to involve students, thus stimulating active participation that will make any gaps in communication skills explicit. 

Learning skills. A specific effort will be made to stimulate students' learning abilities: indeed, given the plurality of dimensions that characterise the innovation phenomenon, the ability to learn will be tested and consequently stimulated. 

Standard lessons, occasionally accompanied by ad hoc seminars, will be the main vehicle of the course. Active participation of the students will be sought.

Oral exam at the end of the course. The student will be asked to answer to a minimum of six questions, aimed to ascertain the understanding of the core issues explained during the lessons and seminars. The final evaluation will also take into account the student's expounding capability. Students attending at least 80% of the lessons will have the possibility to take a mid-term oral exam, thus splitting the exam  itself into two halves.

from end of May 2024, dates to be defined

Theories of innovation; Schumpeter "Mark I" and Schumpeter "Mark II";  knowledge in technology and knowledge in science;  market structure and innovation; technological paradigms; technological systems and systems of innovation; technological persistence through the 'sailing-ship effect'; accelerated technological change through 'presumptive anomaly'; case studies (e.g. semiconductors vs superconductors).

The teacher provides all the files required in pdf form (please see the link: 'teaching materials'), which include: Introductory chapter of the book edited by G. Antonelli and N. De Liso "Economics of structural and technological change" ; chapter II and IV from J.A. Schumpeter "Theory of economic development"; chapter VII and VIII  from J. A. Schumpeter "Capitalism, socialism and democracy", etc.

Second Semester (dal 02/03/2028 al 15/05/2028)

Exam type

Type of assessment
Oral - Final grade

Course timetable

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