Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
EM2005 (AF:358831 AR:188798)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Term
Course year
Go to Moodle page

The course attendee:
- will learn and will be able to apply advanced techniques of counterfactual policy evaluation;
- will learn about fundamental theories of economic development and location, and their policy implications;
- will learn about the economic and spatial consequences of key public policy interventions;

A written examination as well as an oral presentation will evaluate the knowledge acquired by the students.
This course combines insights from Public Economics, Development Economics, Spatial Economics and Economic Geography. The course is divided into two main building blocs. The first one will focus on empirical methods for public policy analysis. It will discuss the empirical rationale behind the use of counterfactuals for policy evaluation and present some state-of-the-art quasi-experimental techniques: Regression Discontinuity Design, Difference-in-Differences, Synthetic Control Method. The second part of the course will be dedicated to topics of Economic Geography. It will begin with an overview of key theories of economic growth and development. Building on that, the following lectures will discuss different approaches to public policy intervention in the economy. This section of the course will also focus on the spatial implications of economic policies, distinguishing between place-neutral and place-based policies. Particular attention will be given to the largest transnational place-based policy, i.e. EU Cohesion Policy.
Macroeconomics I; Applied Econometrics I
I. Public Policy Analysis – Counterfactual Evaluation Methods
- Introduction to Counterfactual Policy Evaluation
- Economic Impact of Place-Based Policies
- Political Implications of Place-Based Policies
- Application of DiD, RDD and Synthetic control method
II. Theories of Economic Growth & Location
- Solow Model
- Endogenous Growth Model
- New Institutional Economics
- New Economic Geography
III. Public Policy for Economic Development
- Infrastructure policy
- Innovation policy
- Spatial policies: Place-Based vs. Spatially-Neutral
- EU Cohesion Policy
The material for the course is covered by chapters in:

Angrist, J. D., & Pischke, J. S. (2014). Mastering' metrics: The path from cause to effect. Princeton University Press.
Cunningham, S. (2021). Causal Inference. The Mixtape, Yale University Press. Selected chapters.
Romer, D. (2012). Advanced Macroeconomics, fourth edition, McGraw-Hill.

The majority of reading material for the course is made of academic papers from scientific journals. These will be available on the Moodle page for the course. The page will contain references for the additional readings, details on the weakly program and lectures, and other materials.
Students’ assessment is based on:
- a written exam paper (85% of the final mark) which contains (2h, closed-book): A) two questions related to the empirical methods learnt in the course; B) two essay-based open-questions to be chosen out of 4.
- an oral presentation (15% of the final mark) to be done in class, on a scientific paper to be chosen among a list proposed by the lecturer.
The course follows a conventional teaching approach, based on lectures and discussions. At least one session of empirical applications will be done at the end of the lecturing period.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Cities, infrastructure and social capital" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 15/09/2022