INTERNATIONAL MONETARY ECONOMICS | Università degli studi di Bergamo


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Didattica Convenzionale
Secondo Semestre
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Those required by the degree course.

Educational goals

The course aims to give the background of monetary economics and international finance needed to understand the current theoretical debates and the current economic policies. It also provides the analytical tools necessary to address some of the issues that emerge as a result of the evolution of the international economic system in the last decades. At the end of the course students will be able to understand theoretical and empirical tools in order to analyze the international monetary system and in particular the global macroeconomic imbalances, the volatility of exchange rates and the problems of international credits. These notions are the basis for developing the necessary skills for the management of international trade, and to refine the theoretical and empirical tools to analyze the economic system as a whole.

Course content

First part of the course:
1. The Foreign Exchange Constrained Economy
2. Credit and Finance in the Bretton Woods Discussions.
3. Multilateralism and Regional Currency Theory.
4. Hyman Minsky and the Problem of International Debt.
5. Cross-border Credit Operations.
6. Problems of International Credit: The European Monetary Union and International Debt. Revision.

Second part of the course:
1. The International Monetary System: an historical sketch.
2. The Balance of Payments.
3. Neoclassical and Post-Keynesian Exchange Rate determination.
4. The Global Crisis.
5. The Euro.
6. Revision.

Textbooks and reading lists

J. Toporowski. ‘The Financial System’ in L-P. Rochon and S. Rossi (eds.) An Introduction to Macroeconomics. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar 2016, pp. 117-133.

The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online, the following entries: Gold Standard, Gold Exchange Standard, Bretton Woods System, Optimum Currency Area, Foreign Exchange Markets History of) European Monetary Union, Financial Crisis, Minsky Crisis

J. Harvey. Currencies. Capital Flows and Crises. A Post-Keynesian Analysis of Exchange Rates. Routledge 2009, selected chapters

J. Toporowski. ‘Why the World Economy Needs a Financial Crash’ and Other Critical Essays on Finance and Financial Economics. Anthem Press, 2010, selected chapters

Adam Tooze. Crashed. How a Decade of Financial Crisis Changed the World. Viking Press

M. de Cecco. ‘Global Imbalances. Past, Present and Future.

R. Bellofiore. ‘”Two or three things I know about her”. Europe in the global crisis and heterodox economics’. Cambridge Journal of Economics vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 497-512.

R. Bellofiore, F. Garibaldo, M. Mortágua. A credit-money and structural perspective on the European crisis: why exiting the euro is the answer to the wrong question, Review of Keynesian Economics. Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 3(4), pP. 471-490

NOTE: It is important that before taking the course students review the International Economics section of their textbook of macroeconomics, such as R.T. Froyen. Macroeconomics: Theories and Policies, 10th Edition. Pearson. Part Four. Chapter 14 (Exchange Rates and the International Monetary System) and Chapter 15 (Monetary and Fiscal Policy in the Open Economy).

The students will have to give presentations on the following bibliography:

A. P. Thirlwall. Balance-of-Payments Theory and Export-led Growth The United Kingdom Experience. Palgrave 1980 Chapter 11 and 12

E. F. Schumacher. Multilateral Clearing. Economica 10/38 May 1943, pp. 150-165

M. Kalecki and E. F. Schumacher. International Clearing and Long-term Lending in J. Osiatyński (ed.) Collected Works of Michał Kalecki Volume VII Oxford: The Clarendon Press 1997

M. Kalecki. Multilateralism and Full Employment in J. Osiatyński (ed.) Collected Works of Michał Kalecki Volume I Oxford: The Clarendon Press 1990

Minsky, H.P. Financial Structures, Indebtedness and Credit in A. Barrère (ed.) Money, Credit and Prices in Keynesian Perspective London: Macmillan 1989.

H.P. Minsky Conflict and Interdependence in a Multipolar World’ Studies in Banking and Finance 4, 1986. pp. 3-22.

J. Steindl ‘Saving and Debt’ in A. Barrère (ed.) Money, Credit and Prices in Keynesian Perspective London: Macmillan 1989. Also in Toporowski (ed.) Financial Markets and Financial Fragility Edward Elgar 2010.

C. Borio and P. Disyatat. Capital flows and the current account: Taking financing (more) seriously. BIS Working Papers No. 525, October 2015.

R.A. Mundell. A Theory of Optimum Currency Areas’ American Economic Review 51/4, September 1961, pp. 657-665.

Ben Bernanke. The Global Savings Glut and the U.S. Current Account Deficit Homer Jones Lecture, April 15, 2005.

S. Avdjiev, R. McCauley and H.S. Shin. Breaking free of the triple coincidence in international finance. BIS Working Paper No. 524, Bank for International Settlements October 2015.

Marcello de Cecco ‘The Lender of Last Resort’ CIDEI Working Paper No. 49. Universita di Roma ‘La Sapienza’.

Adam Tooze, Crashed, Penguin 2018.

Teaching methods

The course will be taught through lectures and seminars. Attendance, though not compulsory, is strongly recommended, and will be monitored. Those who will not attend have to go to Prof. Bellofiore’s office hours to agree on a specific programme. A substantial part of the course will be constituted by seminars (student presentations about relevant topics).

Assessment and Evaluation

The final evaluation is divided in four parts: (1) a written final exam about the lectures taught by Prof. Bellofiore with open questions, 20% of the vote; (b) the evaluation of students' presentations during the course constitute another 20% of the vote (those non-attending the course will have to present a paper assigned by Professor Bellofiore, 20% of the vote; (3) a written final exam about the lectures taught by Prof. Toporowski with open questions, constitutes 50% of the vote; (4) the active participation of the students, 10% of the vote. The final mark is the weighted average of the four parts.

Further information

Past experiences and exams confirm that attendance to the course, though not compulsory, is strongly advised.