Contemporary economic history (2014/2015)

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Sergio Noto
Sergio Noto
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
secondo semestre dal Feb 19, 2015 al May 29, 2015.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course is focussed on the historical facts and theories that attest the gradual decline of Institutions and economic policies inspired by the traditional view of capitalism both as a competitive market ruled by the law and as the most efficient means of promoting collective interests.
The course is based on two main approaches:
1. the development of economic theory from the death of John Maynard Keynes to Paul Krugman’s International Economics;
2. economic development in leading countries from the post-war era to 2010.
This twofold approach rests on the idea that economic theories and economic facts are not separable and that there is no critical understanding of economic processes without historical comparison. Participation is warmly encouraged not only through actual attendance at the lectures but above all through an active presence, by raising issues and discussing some of the topics of the course in the e-learning forum, within the main purpose of supporting and fostering a critical attitude to the study of economics.


Main Issues
Economic Development in USA, England, France, Germany, Soviet Union, Japan, China and India
Main Capital theories
Schumpeter’s theory and the end of Capitalism
Corporatism and Neo-corporatism in Europe and in the Americas
The role of European Institutions and the free market
Financial and monetary issues between 1970 and 2007
The case of Italy. Extraordinary or paradigmatic?
The Scandinavian countries model
Growth factors and managed economy
Trade Unions, unemployment and salaries
Privatization and liberalization processes in Europe and Asia
Research, Investments and Profit in european companies

Textbooks Information:
a) General Part of the Course
Daran Acemoglu - James A. Robinson, Why Nations fail. The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, Crown Publishers, Crown Publishing, New York 2012.
David Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, Why are some so Rich and some are so Poor, W. W. Norton & Co., London-New York, 1998.

b) Special Part of the Course
Edward E. Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told, Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, New York: Basic Books Perseus Books Group, 2014.
Sven Beckert, Empire of Cotton : A Global History, First edition. ed. New York, Knopf, 2014.
Loren Brandt, Debin Ma and Thomas Rawski, From Divergence to Convergence: Reevaluating the History Behind China’s Economic Boom, «Journal of Economic Literature», 2014, 52 (1), pp. 45-123.
D. Cohen, The Prosperity of Vice: A Worried View of Economics, MIT Press 2012., New York, 2012.
Barry Eichengreen, Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the Monetary System, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
Barry C. Lynn, Cornered. The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken NJ, 2010.
William Roger Louis, Ends of British Imperialism: The Scramble for Empire, Suez and Decolonization : Collected Essays. London ; New York Palsgrave Mcmillan, 2006.
John Mackey - Raj Sisodia, Liberating the Heroic spirit of conscious capitalism, Harvard Business Review Press, Boston, 2013.
Jeff Madrick, Age of Greed, The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America. 1970 to present, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 2011.
Deirdre McCloskey, The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce, University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2007.
Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Harvard, Bellknap Press, 2014.
Philippe Schmitter, Democratic Theory and Neocorporatist Practice, «Social Research», vol. 50, n.4 (winter 1983), pp. 885-928.
Wolfgang Streeck, How to study Contemporary Capitalism?, «European Journal of Sociology», n. 53, 1-2012, pp. 1-28.
Jisheng Yang, Guo Jian and Mosher Stacy, Tombstone: The Untold Story of Mao's Great Famine. London:, Allen Lane, 2012.
Luigi Zingales, A Capitalism for the People. Recapturing the lost genius of American Prosperity, Basic Books, New York, 2012.

Assessment methods and criteria

Examination will be both written and oral.
Witten examination consists in a test within the e-learning platform, based on 15 questions.
Program is of course intended to be the same for all students: nevertheless students who are attested to have attended at least 80% of the classes atre entitled to base the study for the general part of the program on notes and slides from the course.
No attending students will prepare for the general part
Students who are attested to have attended at least 80% of the classes:
1. notes and slides from the course
2. At least 3 books/papers by choice from the list of special part

No attending students:
1. choose 1 book from the general part list
2. At least three books/papers by choice from the list of special part