Master's degree in Applied Economics

Course not running

Education and Culture Economics

Course code
Name of lecturer
Gianpaolo Mariutti
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
1st semester dal Oct 2, 2006 al Dec 19, 2006.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

Economics of knowledge is nowadays a hot topic. Knowledge is produced and transmitted in different ways, the main of which is education and culture. In studying their links with economics, the course focuses on three key questions. First, what is the relationship between the wealth of a nation and its level of formal education, in particular in the scientific and technological fields? Second, can be shown that more education means more economic growth, or is it true the reverse causal connection? Third, is it possible to build a theory that focuses on the economic consequences of scientific learning and education. The secret behind economic growth in the age of knowledge is hidden behind the answers to these questions. What is even more surprising to discover – during this course – is that, in the last two centuries, the causes of the Wealth of Nations should be found not in the ownership of natural resources, but in the ownership – and development – of cognitive ones.


1. Introduction: human learning and its different forms
1.1 The variety of human learning
1.2 Science and technology
1.3 Education as an organized form of learning
2. Facts: science, educations and economic growth
2.1 Statistical data on science and technology in the short and long run
2.2 Data and statistics on education in the short and long run
2.3 Data and statistics on economic growth in the short and long run
2.4 From Statistics to "Stylized facts"
3. The relationship between education and economics
3.1 Correlation vs causation: education or wealth, which does it come first?
3.2 Income and knowledge: traps and critical mass.
3.3 Factors of economic growth: How much does knowledge count?
3.4 Knowledge as a quasi-public good
3.5 Learning activities and R&D: their nature and consequences
4. Economic theories on eduction and science
4.1 Human "capital" theories and the rates of "returns"
4.2 The theory "science-push" of economic development
4.3 The theory of endogenous growth
5. A general theory on knowledge production and its economic consequences 5.1 A model of "pure" learning
5.2 The dynamics of knowledge production and good production
5.3 Implications of learning for the economic system
5.3.1 Implications for the system of quantity and employment
5.3.2 Implications for the system of prices
5.4 International relations: the non-globalized knowledge and the wealth of Nations

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Johnes, G. Economia dell’istruzione (Edizione 2000) Il Mulino 1993
Mariutti, GP The Dynamics of Human Learning and the Wealth of Nations Dispensa per didattica 2001

Assessment methods and criteria

Written and oral examination

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