Economic history

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course will provide students with basic knowledge of the dynamics of economic development in the long run, from the beginning of the early modern era to the late twentieth century. By combining narrative and interpretation, it will foster awareness of the complexity of modern economic growth and the multiplicity of factors - institutions, technology, markets, and policies - that have historically caused or inhibited it. Depth of historical perspective acquired via this course will contribute to strengthening students' understanding of some of the most pressing economic challenges that today's globalised world, and countries at different level of economic development within it, face along the path to sustained growth.
Expected learning outcomes
Upon successfully completing this course, students should be able to:
- Describe the main characteristics of pre-industrial economies and demography
- Understand the forces that caused the rise of northwestern Europe over southern Europe starting from the 16th century
- Explain the nature of modern economic growth and how and when it has been achieved in different regions of the world since the industrial revolution
- Explain the dynamics of globalization, the distributional effects it produces and concomitant historical reactions
- Understand the impact of economic crises, especially when coupled with financial crises and when addressed with ill-advised policy responses
- Discuss different explanations of long-run economic growth
- Draw parallels between current and past situations and issues.

Moreover, the course will hone students' analytical skills and further develop their ability to autonomously conduct research via group work assignments, which, by the same token, will train students' ability to effectively communicate the results of their research work, both orally and in written form.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
No changes envisaged.

Teaching methods
Course will be shifted to online synchronous classes using Zoom or Teams platforms.

Assessment method
Oral interview via Zoom or Teams platforms.
Course syllabus
This course offers a perspective on the characteristics of the preindustrial economies and the factors and dynamics of modern economic growth. It extends from the geographic discoveries of the late XV century to the new wave of globalization in the late twentieth century. In greater detail, the main topics covered in the course are the following:
1- A long-run view
2- Economy and demography in pre-industrial Europe
3- The industrial revolution and modern economic growth
4- The international economy and globalization in the long nineteenth century
5- The Great War and the fragile international economy in the interwar years
6- The Great Depression and the rise of the state
7- Growth recipes for the golden age: Western Europe, the Soviet Bloc, Latin America, the Asian Tigers, Sub-Saharan Africa
8- The turbulent '70s
9- Towards a new globalized world.
Prerequisites for admission
Teaching methods
Face-to-face lectures and class discussions.
Teaching Resources
(1) Neal, L., & Cameron, R. (2016). A concise economic history of the world: from Paleolithic times to the present., Fifth edition. New York ; Oxford: Oxford University Press, chapters 5, 6, 7, 11, 14, 15.
(2) Allen, R. C. (2011). Global economic history: a very short introduction, Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, chap. 1.
(3) Amsden, A. H. (2001). The rise of 'the rest': challenges to the West from late-industrializing economies, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-23.
(4) Arrighi, G. (2002). 'The African Crisis', New left review, 15: 5-36.
(5) Eichengreen, B. J. (2007). The European economy since 1945: coordinated capitalism and beyond, Princeton ; Oxford: Princeton University Press, chapters 2, 12.
(6) Mokyr, J. (2007). The European Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and Modern Economic Growth. Max Weber Lecture Series. European University Institute, Florence.
(7) Acemoglu, D., Johnson, S., & Robinson, J. A. (2005). 'Institutions as a fundamental cause of long-run growth'. Aghion P. & Durlauf S. N. (eds) Handbook of economic growth, Vol. 1, pp. 385-472 (only sections 1-4, 8-9).
Assessment methods and Criteria
The assessment method for attending students will consist of a written exam and a group assignment; non-attending students will just take a written exam.
SECS-P/12 - ECONOMIC HISTORY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours