The course is aimed at Master’s students interested in international and global economic and financial developments.

The syllabus of the course changes every year and can be found on the Moodle page of the course. Overall, the course deals with: balance-of-payments accounting, international investment position, and sustainability of the external accounts; international monetary, currency, and financial markets; exchange rate regimes and determinants of exchange rate movements; and financial crises.

The course assumes some prior knowledge of basic economic theories and concepts (at the level of intermediate micro and especially macroeconomics), and some understanding of the foundations of economic statistics (national accounting, and methods of data analysis, both at the introductory level). Students who have never taken a course in economics and/or in statistics before are strongly encouraged to contact me before the start of the semester (ideally, at the beginning of the first semester). You are not automatically excluded from the course, but we do need to agree on how best you can fill the gap with respect to the skills and competences that the other students will presumably have. Both within the laurea magistrale “SAF” and “SMA” courses offered by our Department, ad hoc programmes and solutions have been devised for students who have never studied economics before, among which a dedicated student tutor, and additional modules of “readings seminar”.

It’s doable, but I need to know beforehand. Please note that we are aware that prior knowledge of economics is not a prerequisite to enroll in SAF, but common sense and willingness to learn are.

All students must register on the course webpage on Moodle (the Department’s elearning platform): I use it both to distribute materials and to communicate with the students.

For this master’s course I take a very different approach from what is typical in Italian universities and from what I myself do at the undergraduate level. The course is founded on students’ active participation in class, and students’ performance is assessed during the semester by means of three or four practical assignments (usually: writing blog posts, giving presentations in class, discussing and commenting on each other’s work, etc.).

These assignments slightly change every year, but they typically imply understanding and critically evaluating economic theories in a comparative way, and assessing the empirical relevance of the various economic theories that we see in class. Students do this with reference to a specific country, that each student chooses at the beginning of the course. For this reason, students must be ready to critically understand economic theory and have some intuition on how to bring theories to the data – I devote the first few weeks of the semester to recap all this, but I cannot reiterate enough that, if you haven’t ever studied economics or quantitative methods before, you should please contact me before beginning the course.

Class attendance in our Faculty is not mandatory, but for this course it is really, strongly, sincerely recommended – for the reasons explained in the previous paragraphs. Students who cannot regularly attend the classes are advised to contact me at the start of the semester.

Of course, all students have the right to take the exam in the typical way too (written and oral tests during the various sessioni d’appello, which can be found on Infostud). For all practical aims, they will be considered as “non frequentanti” and we might agree on ad hoc study material. Please contact me if you must or wish to proceed this way.


Sapienza University has decided that both classes exams should preferably be done in person, though allowing remote teaching for those who could find room in our classroom (unlikely, for our Department) and/or cannot come to the university due to health related reasons. Please notice that this is not a general license to attend classes remotely if you do not fall in either of the two cases above. Your active participation in class is still strongly recommended for this course. Further information on how to attend our classes can be found here.

For each appello d’esame, practical information on day, time, and place of the written exam will be provided directly to the students who sign up on Infostud, through that system’s messaging app. Students who, due to exceptional personal circumstances, cannot come to the university on the day(s) of the appelli d’esame should contact me as soon as possible.