Economic history LM (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Cinzia Lorandini
Cinzia Lorandini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre - sede Trento dal Sep 18, 2017 al Dec 22, 2017.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims at (1) providing students with an overall knowledge of the long-run economic transformations in Europe and the world as a whole, with special regard to the modern and contemporary periods, and (2) developing the skills necessary to understand, analyse and interpret critically such transformations.
At the end of the course students will be able to:
- remember the main components of an economic system and the basics of its functioning;
- outline the historical phases of growth/development and decline/crisis of different countries/regions in Europe and the world;
- detect the key actors and factors of such economic processes, and particularly the role played by geography, demography, technology and institutions;
- apply the notions and skilles acquired to the analysis of a specific country or region;
- comunicate effectively in oral and written form, and discuss an economic-history topic.


Basic knowledge of early modern, modern and contemporary history; ability to read in English.

Following an introduction to basic concepts and methodological issues, the course content will cover the following topics, paying attention to both a description of the phenomena and the main interpretations:
1. Structural features of preindustrial economies.
2. Long-run changes in the world’s equilibrium: “Great Divergence” and “Little Divergence”.
3. The transformative power of the First industrial revolution. Why in Europe? Why in England?
4. The late comers and the role of substitute factors: the State and the banks.
5. The Second industrial revolution and the advent of the big business.
6. The first globalization.
7. The end of a world: the Great War and its legacies.
8. The Great Depression and state interventionism.
9. WWII, reconstruction and recovery.
10. From the Golden Age to crisis.

Teaching Methods:
The course will consist of lectures with discussion sessions and work-in-progress presentation by students, which will enable them to get the feedback necessary to assess their knowledge and skills and to prepare the final presentation.

For all students: slides that will be uploaded during the course on Moodle/Dol; Il mondo globale. Una storia economica, a cura di Franco Amatori e Andrea Colli, Torino, Giappichelli, 2017 (for attending students: only the chapters related to the course topics; for non-attending students: all the chapters).
Further references for the seminar activities will be suggested during the course.

Assessment methods and criteria

Attending students: written exam (50%) consisting of four open questions, two of which with a half-page answer (5 points each), and the other two with a one-page answer (10 points each).
Non-attending students: written exam (100%) and optional oral exam, according to the above-mentioned criteria.