Global firms and markets

A.A. 2020/2021
6
Crediti massimi
40
Ore totali
SSD
SECS-P/08
Lingua
Inglese
Obiettivi formativi
Il corso si propone di:
· Fornire agli studenti una conoscenza delle principali caratteristiche delle imprese nei paesi in via di sviluppo e delle più importanti determinanti della loro produttività.
· Aiutare gli studenti a cogliere le implicazioni dei risultati della ricerca accademica sulle politiche economiche di sostegno alle imprese.
· Sviluppare negli studenti la capacità di giudicare criticamente l'evidenza empirica, con particolare attenzione all'inferenza causale e alle metodologie di valutazione di impatto delle politiche economiche.
· Offrire occasioni di mettere in pratica tali capacità attraverso l'analisi di dati empirici, la discussione in gruppo, la scrittura di revisioni critiche della letteratura e di proposte di ricerca indipendente.
Risultati apprendimento attesi
Gli studenti acquisiranno una serie di strumenti che saranno utili per il loro futuro, sia all'interno che all'esterno dell'università:
· Conoscenza dei vincoli istituzionali, di mercato, infrastrutturali e sociali che gravano sulle imprese nei paesi in via di sviluppo, che sarà utile per comprendere il dibattito pubblico attuale sulle politiche per lo sviluppo, ma anche quello relativo alle riforme strutturali nei paesi sviluppati.
· Il focus del corso sugli aspetti metodologici permetterà agli studenti di acquisire l'abilità di valutare criticamente affermazioni relative a nessi di causalità tra fattori economici e sociali e l'impatto delle politiche economiche.
· La varietà di metodologie valutative aiuterà gli studenti a migliorare la loro abilità di lettura critica di articoli accademici, di analisi di dati empirici e di scrittura, capacità che saranno utili per il loro futuro lavoro di tesi, soprattutto grazie al focus su temi di interesse dello studente all'interno del programma del corso.
Programma e organizzazione didattica

Edizione unica

Responsabile
Periodo
Primo trimestre
The lectures of the course will take place online. Given the challenges of online teaching, three key goals guide the definition of the main features of the course:
1. Ensuring continuous student engagement throughout the course.
2. Monitoring student engagement and progress throughout the course.
3. Fostering students' interaction with the instructor and with each other.

Consistent with these goals, the following features are envisioned:
· Live online classes will feature
o online polls, to monitor students' engagement and understanding of the topics being covered; and
o opportunities for discussions in pairs or small groups on specific topics or empirical evidence;
· Live online classes will also be recorded, and lecture slides will be shared, to facilitate students' independent learning. All the course material will be saved on the Ariel course page.
· Reading, and possibly media, material will be provided before live lectures: students will be required to familiarize themselves with the material before the lectures, so that more time can be devoted during the lectures to the discussion of the material, and less to frontal teaching.
· In order to incentivize students to read the material before lectures, the evaluation for the course will in part consist in short quizzes on the material and will reward students' participation to the live lectures.
· A forum will be created within the course page on Ariel for students to interact with the instructor and each other on the required course material and more in general on the topics of the course.
· In person office hours, for small groups, will be held weekly to ensure also in person interaction with the instructor for students who wish or can attend. Similar opportunities for online office hours will be given to students not able to access the University.
Programma
Students will find on the course Ariel website the detailed course calendar and the lecture slides, containing all the information on required readings for each lecture.

The course will cover the following topics:
Topic 1 - Intro, Development Accounting and Growth Models: We review key results of the development accounting literature and classic growth models. We examine barriers to growth in developing countries.
Topic 2 - Institutions: We discuss the role of institutions in determining investment and productivity. In particular, we will focus on property rights and contract enforcement; corruption and distortions; taxation and entry regulations. When looking at entry barriers and taxes, we will discuss the roots of informality.
Topic 3 - Entrepreneurship and Development: We discuss the basic features of firms in developing countries. We review the evidence on return to capital, ask how market imperfections may limit enterprise growth, and review the micro-level evidence on constraints for firm growth in developing countries.
Topic 4 - Credit Markets in Developing Countries: Financial markets play a crucial role in economic development by allowing those who have talent or skills but limited money to undertake investments. We review theories on how financial market frictions may affect choices and productivity of individuals and firms. We look at evidence on the importance of financial market frictions in developing countries.
Topic 5 - Microfinance: How does the standard microfinance model work, and how did microfinance make lending to the poor a viable and sustainable policy? What is the impact of microfinance on business development and poverty alleviation? How can we improve the access to financial services and increase savings among poor households? What is the role of complementary skills, social networks, cultural and psychological factors?
Topic 6 - Insurance: Risk plays a crucial role in the lives of the poor. We'll review evidence on the determinants of and constraints to insurance take up and the impact of insurance on firms.
Topic 7 - Infrastructure: Access to infrastructure, such as transport, energy and more recently internet, is an important determinant of firm productivity. Studies of developing country settings allow to evaluate and quantify the impact of infrastructure on firms.
Topic 8 - Management: What are the drivers of forms productivity in developing countries? What is the role of management? We review the recent literature on management practices and productivity. We then discuss the role of complementarity inputs, institutional quality and relational contracts in determining firms' productivity.
Topic 9 - Intra-household norms and behavioral issues: Given that much of production in developing countries occurs within the household, it is important to understand how intra-household decisions are made in order to explain firm productivity. Similarly, behavioral issues are particularly binding for the poor, and are another key determinant of entrepreneurs' behavior.
Topic 10 - Empirical methods: The impact evaluation problem and its solutions. Informal overview of empirical methods and their application to development economics papers on firms. This is a cross-cutting topic.
Prerequisiti
Propaedeutical exams: Optimization, Research Methods, Advanced Microeconomics.
Metodi didattici
Live lectures: lectures will consist of live presentations over slides, with the inclusion of pair or small group discussions; and online polls and quizzes. The lectures will take place on Teams (or Zoom). Students will be informed of the time of the lectures and connection details both through direct invitations from the platform and through announcements on Ariel.

Recorded videos: it is possible that specific topics will be covered by short recorded videos.

Classes: classes for the course will be joint with the Advanced Computer Skills course, held by Professor Anna Rosso. Students will attend Professor Rosso's classes, which will cover the basic usage of Stata and applications to datasets relevant to the topics of the course. Part of the assignment will consist in conducting basic replication analysis using Stata.
Materiale di riferimento
The main material for the course are the lecture slides, which will be regularly uploaded on the course Ariel website.

Students will also find on the course Ariel website the detailed course calendar and the lecture slides, containing all the information on required readings for each lecture.

In general, there is no required textbook for the course. The main study material are slides and academic papers. Three useful books are:
· Ray, D. Development Economics. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008.
· Banerjee, A. V. and E. Duflo. Poor Economics. New York: Public Affairs, 2011.
· Mullainathan, S. and E. Shafir. Scarcity. Henry Holt and Company, 2013.
· Banerjee, A. V. and E. Duflo. Good Economics for Hard Times. New York: Public Affairs, 2019.

In particular, the two books by Banerjee and Duflo are warmly suggested reads for any student, beyond their use within the course.

Selected chapters of these books will be assigned as recommended reading for the relevant week's topic.
In addition, articles from academic journals will be assigned as required or recommended reading and reviewed in the lectures and classes.
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
Evaluation criteria
A combination of assignment methods is planned, in order to evaluate and reward:
· Knowledge of the learning material
· Participation and engagement
· The ability to assess the empirical evidence critically and to draw policy implications from it
· Data analysis skills
· The ability to ask new questions starting from the learning material

Attending students
· Participation (20% of the final grade): participation will be monitored during the live lectures, in terms of participation to the group discussions and pertinent interventions; and in the online forum, in terms of contributions to the discussions on the reading material.
· Ongoing evaluation (20% of the final grade): part of the evaluation will involve quizzes on the live lectures, reading material or other teaching material, to be administered throughout the duration of the course.
· Assignments: there will be two group assignments
o Stata assignment (30% of final grade): students will be required to replicate a piece of analysis (e.g., a regression table or a graph) from an academic paper discussed during the lectures and the Stata classes. The groups for this assignment will be formed by the instructor.
o Referee report (30% of final grade): students will be asked to choose a working paper, from a list provided by the instructor taken from leading working paper series in (development) economics, on a topic of their choosing out of the ones covered during the course; to comment it critically; and to identify potential directions for further research. The groups for this assignment will be formed by students, based on their interests in the different topics.

Non-attending students
Written exam: the exam will include a part with multiple-choice questions and a part with open questions. Some of the questions will cover the topics of the Stata classes, thus they will concern commands, data management and analysis using Stata.

Final grade of the Global Firms and Markets (GFM) course
The GFM course is composed of two parts (taught by Professor Barba and Professor d'Adda). Each part weighs equally towards the final grade. In particular:
· In order to pass the overall course, students need to have passed both parts of the course
· For students who passed both parts of the course, the final grade is the average of the grades they got in each part
· Students do not need to take the two parts of the exam simultaneously (i.e., within the same exam session), but can take each part in a different session, if they so wish. Both parts of the exam must be passed by the November 2021 exam session: after that, students will have to refer to the following academic year syllabus and evaluation method.
SECS-P/08 - ECONOMIA E GESTIONE DELLE IMPRESE - CFU: 6
Lezioni: 40 ore
Siti didattici
Docente/i
Ricevimento:
In sabbatico
stanza 12
Ricevimento:
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Stanza 12, DEMM