Teaching in italian
Subject area
Reference degree course
Course type
Bachelor's Degree
Teaching hours
Frontal Hours: 64.0
Academic year
Year taught
Course year
Reference professor for teaching
MOSCA Manuela

Teaching description

Microeconomics and Macroeconomics

From the birth of economic science to the most recent theoretical developments: the thinking of the great economists of the past, the scientific revolutions, the flourishing of ideas, the historical events that generated them, the way they have made their way, the liberal economics, socialist thought. Here are some of the contents of this exciting and interdisciplinary course that will allow you to look at the economy with the breadth of historical perspective. Student will learn the contributions to economic analysis elaborated by various economists (including Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Jevons, Walras, Marshall, Keynes), as well as the distinctive features of schools and strands of economic thought (Physiocracy, Classical Economics, Marginalism , Neoclassical Economics, Keynesian Economics).

At the end of the course the student is expected to

  • know the main approaches to economic science in a historical perspective, and understand the different methods of studying the history of economic thought
  • use the tools acquired during the course to interpret the current economic reality in the light of past theories, making comparisons and, where possible, find parallelisms between the theories and the contexts of the past and the present
  • be able to look at economic theory with a critical attitude and develop the awareness that a plurality of theoretical paradigms existed to explain economic phenomena
  • be able to orient themselves in the history of thought and distinguish between the classical situations and the scientific revolutions that have characterized the development of economic theories
  • have the basic skills necessary to further deepen the history of economic theories, both as an investigation and as a temporal extension.

The class will follow a particular process, combining periods of class participation and discussion with traditional lecture format conducted by the Professor. The method of delivery of teaching may vary as a result of the social distancing measures linked to the Covid-19. Emergency.

The final exam is oral, it consists of three questions, chosen from the handbook, on the topics addressed during the course (questions for review and discussion). The disabled student and/or with DSA who intends to take advantage of an individualised intervention should contact the Disability Integration office of the University of Salento at paola.martino@unisalento.it. The examination procedures may vary following the social distancing measures linked to the Covid-19 emergency.

1. Chapter 1. Introduction. The Central Focus of Modern Economic Thought. Our approach to the History of Economic Thought. The role of heterodox economists. The problem of Presenting Diversity. Methodological Issues. Benefits to be gained from the study of the history of economic thought.
2. Part one: preclassical economics. Chapter 2. Early preclassical economics. Early preclassical economic thought. Greek thought. Scholasticism.
3. Questions for Review and Discussion.
4. Chapter 3. Mercantilism. Influencial Precursors of Classical Thought: Mun, Petty, Mandeville, Cantillon, Hume.
5. Physiocracy: natural law, the interrelatedness of an economy. Physiocratic economic policy.
6. Questions for Review and Discussion.
7. Part two: Classical economic thought, and its critics. Chapter 4. Adam Smith. Smith's Analysis of Markets and Policy Conclusions. The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. International Trade.
8. Value theory. Distribution theory. Welfare and the General Level of Prices.
9. Questions for Review and Discussion.
10. Chapter 5. Ricardo and Malthus. David Ricardo, a theorist's theorist. The Malthusian population doctrine. Ricardo: Method, Policy, Scope. Ricardo's model. Ricardo's theory of land rent. 
11. Ricardo's value theory. Ricardian distribution theory. Comparative advantage. Stability and Growth in a Capitalistic Economy.
12. Questions for Review and Discussion. 
13. Chapter 7. Karl Marx. An overview of Marx. Marx's Economic Theories.
14. Marx's analysis of capitalism.
15. Questions for Review and Discussion. 
16. Chapter 6. J.S. Mill and the Decline of Classical Economics. Post-Ricardian Developments. J.S. Mill: the background of his thought. Millian economics.
17. Part three. Neoclassical economic thought. Chapter 8. Historical Links. Jevons, Menger and Walras. A revolution in theory? Inadequacies of the classical theory of value.
18. Questions for Review and Discussion. 
19. Chapter 8. What is utility? Comparison of Utility. Utility functions. Utility, Demand and exchange. The value of factors of production. Evaluation of Jevons and Menger. Classical versus the Emerging Neoclassical Theory of Value.
20. Chapter 9. Marginal productivity theory.
21. Questions for Review and Discussion.
22. Chapter 11. Walras and the general equilibrium theory. Walras's General Equilibrium System. Vilfredo Pareto.
23. Antonio de Viti de Marco. Documentary-movie
24. Questions for Review and Discussion.
25. Chapter 10. Alfred Marshall and Neoclassical Economics. Scope of economics. Marshall on method. Understanding the complex. The problem with time. The Marshallian cross. Marshall on Demand. Consumer's surplus. Taxes and welfare.
26. Marshall on Supply. Marshall on Distribution. Quasi-Rent. Stable and Unstable Equilibrium. Economic fluctuations, money and prices.
27. Questions for Review and Discussion.
28. Chapter 15. Keynesian Macroeconomics. The contextual Nature of the General Theory. The rise of the keynesian multiplier model: 1940-1960
29. Keynesian Policy. Keynes's Philosophical Approach to Policy.
30. Questions for Review and Discussion.
31. Mock exam
32. Discussion of the mock exam results

H. Landreth - D. C. Colander, History of EconomicThought, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1994.

Second Semester (dal 24/02/2022 al 31/05/2022)

Exam type

Type of assessment
Oral - Final grade

Course timetable

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