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Second Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[11/77]  ECONOMICS AND FINANCE [77/00 - Ord. 2017]  PERCORSO COMUNE 6 36


The main purpose of the course is to introduce students to major models in terms of economic development at the regional level, with a special focus on European regions.
The course aims at providing insights into both intermediate and advanced of a homogeneous and coherent theoretical framework which is benchmark in the discussion of all the main issues of the economy growth and regional economics. Continuous use of historical and thematic analysis examples are provided to assess the relevance of the issues discussed and proposed models. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand and analyze the dynamics at the level of regions and countries in different economic scenarios. In addition, students will be able to assess, from both a theoretical and empirical point of view the role of markets and the government in influencing the economic dynamics.
The course will allow students to study two different specific topics in economics, as presented in the theoretical and empirical literature. The purpose is to analyze with students the capacity of economic instruments to explain the so-called stylized facts, and to understand the role of the main determinants of growth.
The topics covered in class will be analyzed through the use of real data and appropriate statistical tools to assess data and the students will be asked to complete some exercises on dataset which are collected on major databases on the web. Students will develop specific skills in the use of data and key statistical indicators and will also be able to develop independent judgment and critical thinking in interpretation of empirical evidence.
The use of actual cases, theoretical explanations and discussion in the classroom activities will allow students to improve their learning and communication skills, which will be used in their future professional career.


The student must know the basic principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics and some basics of mathematics.


Regional Economic Development brings together two analytical areas: theories of development or growth and location theory.
The location theory (that studies the distribution of space activities) has a microeconomic and static approach, which considers agglomeration and accessibility, a physical-metric space, and factor allocation.
The theory of growth/ development (which studies economic growth) has a macroeconomic and dynamic approach, which considers the production process as the result of the combination of production factors, such as labor, physical capital and human capital.
We will present the main theoretical paradigms favoring an "internal" reading of the macroeconomic problems of underdevelopment and the lack of growth of regions and countries. We address firstly the issues of the definition and measurement of economic development and the gaps between countries. Secondly, we present the essential characteristics of the main theories of growth: it starts from the Harrod-Domar theory and the neoclassical model of Solow to get to the new theories of endogenous growth that take into account the role of technological progress. In the second part of the course we focus on the role of geography in determining the levels of wealth of the different regions of the world and in influencing their own economic dynamic processes. Geography in fact acts on an economic system as a source of potential benefits or disadvantages. The spatial proximity reduces production costs, thanks to the powerful synergies that generates, chaining allocation decisions and development processes.

Teaching Methods

Discussion of case studies
Presentations by students in class
Thematic interventions of some experts and related discussion

Verification of learning

Assessment method: two-hour written examination.

The examination questions are intended to assess whether students have acquired the main knowledge of the theories and the methods to carry out applied analysis and are able to use such knowledge to critically assess real case studies.

Therefore, in answering the exam questions, students are required to:
- present and discuss theoretical content
- discuss in a rigorous, logical and consequential way comparative indicators and tables and if appropriate, alternative economic approaches.

To pass the exam (mark 18/30) students have to demonstrate a good understanding of the main issues presented in the course.
The maximum mark of 30/30 (possibly cum laude) will be awarded to students who demonstrate that they have acquired an excellent mastery of the topics of the course, both from a theoretical and applied perspective, and they are able to answer the exam questions by using a rigorous language.

Attending students will be asked if they are interested in preparing a short report (4 pages max) on a region on a theme of their choice that will be part of the evaluation with a weight of 50%. (in this case the number of questions of the written exam is reduced)
The evaluation will take into account the ability to propose an ordered and complete structure, the clarity of exposition, the use of data and indicators, the interpretation based on the theories studied.


The main text is

Economia Regionale, Roberta Capello, Il Mulino (ed 2015)

other text to be read are:

Crescita Economica, David Weil, Hoepli editore

European Commission (2009) Sesta relazione sulla coesione economica, sociale e territoriale; Brussels;

Gianfranco Viesti (2021), Centri e Periferie, Laterza

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