Teaching

Monetary Theory and Policy

Level: Undergraduate. Role: Teaching Assistant.

Main Instructor: Antonella Trigari. A.Y. 2019/2020 - Ongoing.

Monetary policy, conducted by central banks such as the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) or the European Central Bank (ECB), is an essential policy tool for achieving both inflation and growth objectives. In a recession, for example, there is a decline in aggregate demand (consumers reduce spending; production declines and firms lay off workers; inflation falls) to which policymakers can respond with a policy that leans against the direction taken by the economy. Monetary policy is often that countercyclical tool of choice. The global financial crisis of 2008, however, has brought to light limitations of conventional monetary policy. In fact, when central banks cut policy rates sharply and reach the zero lower bound, they exhaust the potential for cuts. Even so, since 2008 central banks have found unconventional ways to continue expansionary policy. This course studies the conduct of monetary policy by central banks and its effects on the economy. After defining money and its functions, it studies the money supply process and compares monetary policy tools and institutions at different central banks. It then examines theory and empirical evidence related to the mechanisms through which policy actions are transmitted to the real economy. Then, it discusses the optimal design of monetary policy, developing a model of inflation targeting. Finally, it analyses the unconventional monetary policy tools developed during the recent financial crisis. Simple analytical models are develope

Culture, Institutions and Development

Level: Undergraduate. Role: Teaching Assistant.

Main Instructor: Mara P. Squicciarini. A.Y. 2020/2021 - Ongoing.

How do institutions and culture affect economic outcomes? This course is designed to provide students with key methodological tools and substantial knowledge from cultural and political economics. The course examines competing hypotheses on the role of geography, institutions, and culture for long-term economic growth and cross-country differences in economic outcomes. Then, it analyzes how technological progress and innovative ideas interact with local culture and institutions. The course also studies the role of religion (and religiosity) for accumulation of human capital and economic progress. Finally, it explores how politicians’ incentives influence economic policies and it concludes by discussing the determinants for the rise of populism and its consequences.

Economics of Institutions and Culture

Level: Undergraduate. Role: Teaching Assistant.

Main Instructor: Mara P. Squicciarini. A.Y. 2020/2021 - Ongoing.

How do institutions and culture affect economic outcomes? This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to cultural and political economics. The course examines competing hypotheses on the role of geography, institutions, and culture for long-term economic growth and cross-country differences in economic outcomes. It then focuses on the role of religion for the accumulation of human capital and economic progress. The course also analyzes how ethnic diversity and ethnic conflicts may impact economic development. Finally, it explores the patterns of diffusion of innovations and ideas, their interaction with local culture and institutions, and it provides different views on the future of technological progress and economic development.