Economic History

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course focuses on the evolution of the World economies from the early ones in which Malthusian pressures on population were the dominant historical fact to ones in which population growth and rising per capita income had become the norm. The course has an interpretative approach and it is meant to provide students with the historical skills necessary to understand the unravelling of current economic phenomena e the genealogy of the ongoing scenarios.
Expected learning outcomes
Expected learning outcomes (nuovo testo da inserire in W4)
At the end of the course, students are expected to have a good command of the events, dates, concepts and main interpretations concerning economic history. In addition, they will be able:
- to single out and evaluate the critical hairpin bends in the paths of evolution of a regional/national economic system, the multiple positions of the State towards it, and the strengths or critical points represented by the workforce;
- to understand and evaluate, through a comparative approach, the role of institutions in conditioning and determining, over the long run, the main characteristics and types of economic and financial systems, as well as their evolutionary dynamics;
- to reflect on the role of national and international contexts in providing opportunities and/or placing constraints on growth and develompent, as well as on the action of businesses and entrepreneurs;
- to carry on a critical analysis of economic/entrepreneurial choices and decision-making processes in relation to inertia and traditions, technological factors (or limits), and short or long term crises;
- to argument along the space-time axis the importance of institutions, technological innovations, markets, State actions, business and entrepreneurship for economic growth.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First trimester
Course syllabus
The nature and extent of 'smithian' economic growth in pre-industrial era:
· The generative process of the social and economic framework; the dynamics of pre-industrial cities and municipalities; the dialectics between popular belief, subjective mind-set and 'high' culture.
· The role of trade guilds and their function in a new perspective, opposite to the traditional view that reckoned them backward organizations.
· The ability of intermediaries to reduce uncertainties of informal credit market.
· The role of institutions in the economic growth; the dialectics between certification of rights, legal contracts and trust and their function in fostering economic growth, specifically technological innovations.
Regional determinants and patterns of the modern economic evolution from XVIII to XX cc:
· The prototypical example of Modern Economic Growth and relative decline: England (XVIII-XX).
· Genealogies of 'heretical' economic evolution (Italy, Scandinavian countries, Asian Tigers, ).
· Convergence and inequality.
· Globalization and its challenge to Western World.
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisite is needed
Teaching methods
Lectures, videos
Teaching Resources
The attending students must study in addition to their class notes and the slides up-loaded in the Ariel site the book by G. Berta, Che fine ha fatto il capitalismo italiano? Bologna, Il Mulino, 2016.

The non attending students must study:
-V. Zamagni, Perché l'Europa ha cambiato il mondo. Una storia economica, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2015 ;
-G. Berta, Che fine ha fatto il capitalismo italiano? Bologna, Il Mulino, 2016
Assessment methods and Criteria
The assessment is based on a written final exam, composed of multiple choice and open ended questions. While
the multiple choice section is aimed at verifying the learning outcomes of the course (critical thinking, problem solving, ability to communicate), the open ended questions are intended to ascertain the command of the ideas, events, dates, political dynamics related to the themes of the course.
SECS-P/12 - ECONOMIC HISTORY - University credits: 9
Lessons: 60 hours
Thursday 3-5 p.m.