Laurea Magistrale in Economics and Development - Economia Politica e Sviluppo Economico - Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa


The aim of this course is to provide students with tools to analyse – in an integrated manner – environmental aspects of economic, social and political development in developed and developing countries at both micro and macro levels. Economic expertise complemented with environmental analysis is increasingly appreciated by public and private sector organizations at local and international levels. This course will enable students to systematically analyse environmental issues and to cooperate in the planning and decision making process implied by the sustainable development objectives of private and public agents in developed and developing countries.

The course makes references to a wide range of concrete geographical contexts and scenarios at the national and international level, looking at territories as a whole as well as at single material, energy and environmental resources.

The main prerequisites for the course are: fundamental knowledge of the organization at various geopolitical scales (region, country); ability to describe in proper technical language the main economic phenomena; knowledge of the characteristics of and the fundamental components of economic-territorial organizations (cities, production, networks). Ideally students should have completed at least one exam in economics and one exam in economic geography.

Program of the course will provide:

Reinterpretation of development in the light of environmental sustainability. The Evolution of social-economic thought; the industrial revolution (demographic, economic, ecological) and transition processes; new territory-environment relationships, the main environmental complaints, the paradigm of sustainable development.

The emergence of environmental issues and the development of international policies for the environment. Not renewable and renewable resources; social supply and demand of the environment; the fallacies of the market and the principle "polluter pays"; global risks; the ecosystemic approach to economic organization; social tools to guide the environmental impact of production activities; assessment and environmental accounting.

The great political and environmental issues. Energy resources and energy policies; air quality: the Montreal Protocol and the "hole" in the ozone, the Kyoto Protocol, climate change and emissions trading, and local quality indicators; water resources: physical, economic and political characteristics; biodiversity and GMOs; waste production, management, policies.

Globalization and environmental governance. Environment and poverty, the risks of unsustainable social and environmental-related gaps in international development, international trade and the environment, the role of the WTO and the World Bank, global tourism; territorial levels of governance and sustainable development.

• The transition towards sustainability. Mechanisms and processes hindering or fostering the transition.



At least a course in Economic Geography, in Microeconomics and in Macro Economics (undergraduate level)




Classes will be held in form of traditional lectures. Handouts and other materials will be distributed in class.



The student assessment comes from

ñ  80%: exam

ñ  20%: personal project on a topic selected by the student.


Exam (80%): the exam will be oral and it will be at the end of the course. No midterm exam are scheduled during the quarter


Personal project (20%): for the personal project every student needs to spend at least 20 hours. Possible topics include all those faced during the course that the student wants to study in depth. The topic of the personal project needs to be accepted by the professor.





18/30 to 30/30 and laude




Attendance is mandatory (also in case of make-up classes).

If a student misses a class it will be his/her responsibility to catch up with what he missed (notes, readings, assignments, etc.). To this aim, exchanging email addresses and phone numbers is highly recommended.

If a student misses more than 30% of the scheduled class hours he will not be considered as attending student.

Students are required to behave properly within the school premises. Classrooms are to be left in order and clean. Students must take care of available equipment and materials and promptly report any damage and loss.



In addition to the list of topics and materials which are MANDATORY to ALL students:

the ATTENDANT STUDENTS are requested to prepare a class presentation on a topic agreed with the professor.


The NOT ATTENDANT STUDENTS are requested to study the following book which is available for free on moodle:
Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Penguin, 2005 (Available on materials)


List of topics and materials available on moodle. They are MANDATORY to ALL students (attendant and not attendant students).

Topic 1: The classics economics and a critical assessment to the neoclassic economics. Introduction to the Ecological Economics. The Steady State. (Materials: 1. Daly, only pp. 1-24)

Topic 2: The birth and evolution of a new paradigm: the Sustainable Development. Beyond GDP (Materials: 2. Beyond GDP)

Topic 3: To account for sustainability. How to measure the sustainability of economic development? Some selected indicators (Living Planet Index, Ecological Footprint). (Materials: 3. Living Planet Report 2011, pp. 1- 51)


Topic 4: Bioindicators (Materials: 4. Bioindicators)

Topic 5: The Population growth. (Materials: 5. The Population bomb revisited).

Topic 6: The transition towards sustainability. An evolutionary approach to the study of sustainability. The Evolutionary Economic Geography (Materials: 6. Evolutionary Economic Geography only pp. 1-20)

Topic 7: the Multi-level Perspective (Materials: 7. Multi-level perspective)

Topic 8: The Kondratiev business cycle (Materials: 8. Kondratieff)

Topic 9: Drivers of transition: individuals, firms and institutions (Materials: 9. Drivers of transition)

Topic 10: Dynamics of social issues (Materials: 10. Dynamics of social issues)

Topic 11: Policies (Materials: 11. Policies)

Topic 12: The environmental issues: the transition in the energy sector (Materials: 12. The energy transition)

Topic 13: Wind energy (Materials: 13. Wind energy)

Topic 14:  The food supply transition (Materials: 15. Food supply transition).

Topic 15:  The transition in the automobility system (Materials: 16. Transport transition)

Anno accademico: 2016-2017

Module A (Prof. Marco Bellandi)

Application of theories of local development and industrial districts, in terms of methods of analysis of various configurations and relations between the territory and industries:

- Local analysis and comparisons, with respect to forms of enterprises and teams, local labour markets, social capital, innovation processes and regional systems, international strategies and international fragmentation;

- Analysis of local and regional development. Industrial and local/regional policies within evolving contexts, with particular regard to public goods specific to industrial local development.


Module B (Prof. Mario Biggeri)

Theoretical approaches and research methods on Local and industrial development in emerging countries. In particular, the STEHD framework for analyzing Human Development is presented. Case studies: in Italy (Tuscany Region) and Ecuador (Buenvivir), UNDP ART, LEDA and UNIDO. Manufacturing clusters of SMEs including informal sector activities (with case studies Italy, China and India) are presented.

Anno accademico: 2016-2017