Global firms and markets

A.A. 2022/2023
Crediti massimi
Ore totali
Obiettivi formativi
Part 1:
The first part of the course will be devoted to an advanced treatment of the theory and empirics of international trade, starting from the analysis of comparative advantage and then moving on to the new trade theory with imperfect competition and economies of scale.
The second part will introduce heterogeneous agents and examine internationalization choices from the point of view of the firm.
The third part will examine the theory and the empirics of multinational firms.

Part 2:
The course objectives are:
- Help students understand the main features of firms in developing countries and the major determinants of their productivity.
- Guide students in drawing policy implications from the findings of academic research on firms in developing countries.
- Foster the development among students of the ability to critically evaluate the empirical evidence, specifically in terms of causal inference, drawing on a basic knowledge of impact evaluation methodologies.
- Offer opportunities to practice critical thinking and policy evaluation skills through the analysis of empirical data, group discussion and writing of critical reviews of the literature and of independent research proposals.
Risultati apprendimento attesi
Part 1:
This module aims at training students on the advanced theory and empirics of international trade and of the internationalisation of firms' activities.
Students will become familiar with standard models of international trade with representative as well as heterogeneous agents, and with the notion of heterogeneous firms' characteristics.
Students will examine why and how firms become multinationals.
By analysing various market structures, students will develop analytical tools necessary to evaluate firms' internationalization choices.

Part 2:
Students will acquire a set of skills that will be useful for their future, both within and outside academia:
- Knowledge on the key institutional, market, infrastructural and social constraints faced by firms in developing countries, which will prove useful in understanding the current debate on development policies, but also on structural reforms in developed countries.
- The focus of the course on methodological aspects will help students acquire the ability to critically evaluate claims of causality and assess the impact of policy interventions.
- The range of assignments for the course will improve students' ability to read critically an academic article, will give them the opportunity to practice their data analysis and writing skills, and will inform their future thesis work by encouraging to think in depth about a topic of their choosing within the course curriculum.
Programma e organizzazione didattica

Edizione unica

Primo trimestre

Part 1. (Prof. Barba Navaretti)
Lecture 1: Introduction
Lecture 2: The Gains from Trade
Lecture 3: The Ricardian Model
Lecture 4: The Heckscher-Ohlin Model
Lecture 5: Imperfect competition
Lecture 6: Increasing Returns to Scale
Lecture 7: Trade in Intermediate Inputs and Wages
Lecture 8: Heterogeneous Firms and the International Markets
Lecture 9 and 10: Horizontal vs. Vertical FDI

Part 2. (Prof. d'Adda)
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.
The program may undergo changes depending on students' interests and requests for specific topics relevant to development economics, such as conflict, environmental conservation, Covid-19, etc.
Propaedeutic exams: Optimization, Research Methods, Advanced Microeconomics.
Metodi didattici
Part 1. (Prof. Barba Navaretti)
All lectures and exercise sessions will take place in presence. These lectures and exercise sessions could be also streamed online, using MS Teams or Zoom, due to the potential restrictions to classroom's capacity.

Part 2. (Prof. d'Adda)
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 in the classroom. Students will be informed of the time of the lectures 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 held by Federico Segato. The initial classes will review the basic usage of Stata. The remaining classes will be devoted to the critical discussion and replication of results from papers covered during the lectures. Finally, one class will be devoted to writing tips. The skills acquired and practiced during the classes - data analysis, critical review of academic paper and writing skills - will be useful for the course assignment: the Stata task will consist in conducting basic replication analysis using Stata, and the critical writing task will ask students to critically review a paper.
Materiale di riferimento
Part 1. (Prof. Barba Navaretti)
Apart from academic articles that will be posted on Ariel, main textbooks for the course are:
Barba Navaretti G., and T. Venables, 2005, Multinational Firms in the World Economy, Princeton University Press.
Feenstra R. C., 2004, Advanced International Trade. Theory and Evidence, Princeton University Press (F).
Markusen J. R., J. R. Melvin, W. H. Kaempfer, and K. E. Maskus, 1995, International Trade. Theory and Evidence.

Part 2. (Prof. d'Adda)
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 to read, 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.
Students are strongly invited to review the material from the Advanced Computer Skills course before the start of the lectures. The material is available on the Ariel site of the course at
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
Part 1. (Prof. Barba Navaretti)
Both attending and non-attending students have to pass the final exam which is worth 100% of the final grade. Students may achieve additional points by solving problem sets distributed during the course and/or by presenting and discussing academic papers.
Global Firms and Markets course is composed of two parts (Prof. Barba Navaretti's and Prof. d'Adda's). In order to register their grade, students have to pass both parts of the course. Each part is worth equally and the final grade is the average of the grades that a student gets from each part.

Part 2. (Prof. d'Adda)
Evaluation criteria:
A combination of assignment methods is planned, in order to evaluate and reward:
· Knowledge of the learning material
· Participation and engagement (for attending students only)
· 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:
· Ongoing evaluation (50% 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. In particular, there will be 4 quizzes, and this component of the grade will be made by the sum of the 3 best scores. In other words, the worst quiz grade will not count for the final grade.
· Assignment (35% of final grade): there will be one group assignment, composed as follows
o Stata task: 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.
o Critical writing: students will be asked to comment critically an academic paper; and to identify potential directions for further research.
o The groups for this assignment will be formed by the instructor.
· Participation (7.5% of the final grade): participation will be monitored during the live lectures, in terms of participation to the group discussions and pertinent interventions (7.5%).
· Attendance (7.5% of the final grade): 70% attendance to the lectures and classes is required. Answers to the online polls will testify attendance to the lectures.

Non-attending students:
Oral exam: the oral exam will include short-answer questions, similar to the ones featured in the quizzes for attending students, and more open, discussion-type questions. Some of the questions will cover the topics of the Stata classes, thus they will concern commands, data management and analysis using Stata.
Written exams may be adopted upon request of the totality of students enrolled to an exam session, at discretion of the instructor.

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 2022 exam session: after that, students will have to refer to the following academic year syllabus and evaluation method.
Lezioni: 80 ore
Siti didattici
In sabbatico
stanza 12
Lunedì 16-18. Martedì 14:30-15:30. Si richiede agli studenti preferibilmente di fissare un appuntamento inviando una mail al docente, o di richiedere un appuntamento al momento via email o messaggio su Teams.
Stanza 219, Via Livorno