Sergio Cesaratto

Sergio Cesaratto, Heterodox Challenges in Economics
– Theoretical Issues and the Crisis of the Eurozone, Springer, 2020


30 December On the internet you can find a guide to academic writing that can be useful for your essay (and into your future) A Practical Guide to Academic Writing for International Students, Routledge. Type the title + PDF, you should find free downloads. In case ask me for a copy.

26 dicembre here the recording of the seminars of the Centre for the History and Methodology of Economic Science (CeHistMet) and the Department of Theoretical Economics present the materials of the online course ‘History of Economic Theory and Policy of the 20th century’. I really advise you to listen to these lectures to prepare for the exam.

4 December for those of you that intend to write the essay on old and new structuralism this interview I received might be useful:

Dear Friends, 
Some of you had talked to me showing interest in knowing more about Latin American Structuralism. So I am sending to you an interview with professor Edgar Doosman who wrote an excelent biografy of Raul Prebish. The interview was given to a Brazilian TV channel, but it is in English, except the first two minutes. 
All the best , José Luis Oreiro 

19 November 2020 For the examination you will have to submit a short 5/8 page essay on one of the following topics related to points 3 and 5 of the programme:
– Neolithic and urban revolutions (papers by Svizzero, Svizzero and Tisdell, Childe, J.Diamond’s summary which you will find in the book)
– Economists and primitive economies: a non mainstream point of view (Marchionatti)
– The origins of social stratification (Ames and Frangipane)
– The debate on old and new developmentalism (Bresser-Pereira and Medeiros)
The essay is ideally composed of:
abstract, index, introduction, sections in which the points of view of the papers are presented, your brief final conclusions, references.
You can, of course, enrich the bibliography (you may ask the professor, if you want).

The papers should be submitted one week before the exam.

6 October No PSW necessary to access USiena Integra (but look that updates are in this page, the one you are reading, only)

6 October Recordings of lectures will last on GDrive only one month.

Virtual room (GMeet)

Link to the GMeet records of lectures:

The final test will be oral and online. You will be requested to write a short essay as intermediate test (see above).

If you want to talk to me (online), please send an e mail.

– Students, especially from emerging/developing countries, are strongly advised to consult the web page and subscribe the newsletter.

Program 2020-2021

** essential reading: * suggested further reading

  1. Preliminaries. The facts on growth, development, and population: past, present, future.

We shall start by examining some stylized date beginning from a secular view on economic development; we shall then look at the economic consequences of the pandemic on the world economy; finally we shall examine the current trends in population growth.


Maddison, Angus, The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective, Development Centre Studies: Paris: OECD Publishing; 12 June 2001; available from the library (use one search). Chapters 1, 2, 3 are all interesting, but for the exam you may focus upon pp. 17-32, 44-48, 125-135.  Maddison with higlights (in yellow) Please, download it asap that I have not much space for other materials.**

UNCTAD, Trade & development report 2020. Read the OVERVIEW and comments to figure 1.1 and table 1.1 **

United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2019). World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights. ST/ESA/SER.A/423 (for the exam you will focus upon the most relevant stylised facts).*

(Sorry, the UN document is too heavy to be uploaded)

  1. Background economic theories

In part 2 we shall revise the main economic theories which influence our views of economic growth and development. Alternative theories examined in point 3 and growth models examined in point 4 are based on these theories.

Chapters to be studied refer to:

Sergio Cesaratto, Heterodox Challenges in Economics
– Theoretical Issues and the Crisis of the Eurozone, Springer, 2020
  • Introduction Chapter 1 Please, read it *
  • The classical surplus approach (Mercantilists, Smith, Ricardo, Marx and Sraffa) Chapter 2 Focus on sections 2.1/2/3/8/12/18 (but if interested read the rest)** (if interested, see also
  • Marginalism(neoclassical theory) Chapter 2 Focus on sections 3.1/2/3/4/5/6/7/10/11 (but if interested read the rest)**
  • The Keynesian revolution Chapter 4. Focus on sections from 4.1 to 4.9 and the appendix (but if interested read the rest)**
  • Theories of money (exogenous and endogenous), the foreign constraint and the balance of payments Chapter 5.  Focus on all sections with the exception of section 5.6,  (but if interested read the rest)** + Look also at this paper of the BoE, only pages 2-14, focus upon figure 2 and 3.jakob kumhof** + balance sheet endogenous money**
  • You may neglect the boxes in the chapters (if not interested).


Sergio Cesaratto (2020) Heterodox Challenges in Economics – Theoretical Issues and the Crisis of the Eurozone, Springer. Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 (5).

(Italian edition: Sei lezioni di economia, Dairkos, 2019, lezioni 1, 2, 3 , 4; Italian students can use the Italian edition).

  1. The origin of civilization

In this part we shall introduce some alternative accounts of the Neolithic and Urban revolutions based on surplus or marginalist theories, and on different views of institutions.


A summary of Jered Diamond (1997). Guns, germs, and steel: the fates of human societies, New York: Norton & Company is in  chapt. 2 of Cesaratto (2020)**(lecture 1 of the Italian edition).

Surveys (read at least one)*:

Svizzero S. (2017) Persistent controversies about the Neolithic revolution. J His Arch & Anthropol Sci., 1(2):53‒61.

Tisdell, C. & Svizzero, S. (2016) Economic evolution, diversity of societies and stages of economic development: A critique of theories applied to hunters and gatherers and their successors, Cogent Economics & Finance Volume 4, 2016 – Issue 1

Svizzero, S. & Tisdell, C., 2014. Theories about the Commencement of Agriculture in Prehistoric Societies: A Critical Evaluation, WP School of Economics, the University of Queensland, no. 68.

Original sources (read at least one)*:

On Childe: Childe, V.G. (1950) The Urban Revolution, The Town Planning Review, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 3-17 [you may also read: Smith, M. E.  (2009) V. Gordon Childe and the Urban Revolution: a historical perspective on a revolution in urban studies, Town Planning Review, 80 (1) 2009]

On the origin of social stratification: Ames, K. M. (2010) On the Evolution of the Human Capacity for Inequality and/or Egalitarianism. In Pathways to Power: Fundamental Issues in Archaeology, edited by Price, T. D., Feinman, G. M. (eds.), New York: Springer.

On social stratification and the surplus approach in economic archaeology see:

Frangipane, M. (2018). From a subsistence economy to the production of wealth in ancient formative societies: a political economy perspective. Economia Politica, 35(3), 677–689.

On mainstream institutionalism: North, D., & Thomas, R. (1977). The First Economic Revolution. The Economic History Review, 30(2), new series, 229-241. doi:10.2307/2595144

On alternative institutionalism: Marchionatti, Roberto, The economists and the primitive societies: A critique of economic imperialism, Journal of Socio-Economics, 2012, Vol.41 (5), p.529-541.

  1. Growth models

In part four (the most challenging) we shall move from Harrod’s model, the “father” of modern growth models, both orthodox and heterodox. We shall discuss mainstream Solow’s model first, and the more recent “endogenous growth” literature. We shall then examine some heterodox models.


S.Cesaratto, Modern growth theories, orthodox and heterodox (provisional chapters of a book with prof. R.Pariboni)**:

Chap. 1 – Introduction (read carefully); Ch. 1 Growth book**

Chap. 2 – Harrod-Domar (study carefully); Chapter 2 H&D**

Chap. 3 – Solow (study carefully); Chapter 3 Solow (only sections 3.2/3/4/5/6; analytical arguments using the Cobb-Douglas in the boxes can be omitted) Fig 3.3 & 3.4 corrected**

Chap. 4 – Endogenous growth theory (only intro and sect.s 4.1/2/3/4, 4.13 optional; boxes where necessary); Chapter 4 EGT SHORT**

Chap. 5 – Heterodox models; Chapter 5 PK models SHORT**

Chap. 7 – Supermultiplier (the chapter is unfinished, you will likely be given a summary note). SHORT note on the supermultiplier**

Supplementary materials:

H.G.Jones, An introduction to modern theories of economic growth, chapters 3 and 5 (only the basic elements of Harrod’s and Solow’s model).*

Lavoie, M. (2006) Introduction to Post-Keynesian Economics (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), Chapter 5

Serrano, Franklin and Freitas, Fabio and Bhering, Gustavo, The Trouble with Harrod: The Fundamental Instability of the Warranted Rate in the Light of the Sraffian Supermultiplier (May 2019). Metroeconomica, Vol. 70, Issue 2, pp. 263-287, 2019.*

  1. Growth and development strategies in open economies

In this part we shall introduce the concept of foreign or balance-of-payments constraint. To this purpose we shall revise the structure of the BoP first. We shall then revise the main orthodox and heterodox theories of international trade (including Ricardo, Heckscher-Ohlin, List/mercantilist) and of international capital flows (as based on the exogenous or endogenous money views). We shall then explain the foreign trade multiplier, and introduce the debate over import substitution strategies and the thought of Raul Prebisch. The controversy, particularly among Latino-American scholars, over “new-developmentalism” will be examined.

We shall finally take the European financial crisis of the last decade as an example of a balance of payment crisis in the context of the relations between core and peripheral countries.


On the balance of payments, the foreign constraint, the European crisis: Sergio Cesaratto (2020) Heterodox Challenges in Economics – Theoretical Issues and the Crisis of the Eurozone, Springer. Chapter 5 (Italian edition: lezione 4).**

Keynesian policies in open economy – SHORT NOTES**

As an example of foreign indebtedness and consequent balance of payments crisis, study the Frenkel’s cycle in the European crisis, sections 6.7 and 6.8 of Chapter 6 of Heterodox Challenges in Economics **

A very recent example of foreign debt crisis is Turkey: read

Read at least one:

Bresser-Pereira, L.C. (2016), ‘Reflecting on new developmentalism and classical developmentalism,’*
Review of Keynesian Economics, 4(3), 331–352.Bresser.Pereiea-Roke-2016-Reflecting_on_new_developmentalism_and_classical_d

Carlos Aguiar de Medeiros, A Structuralist and Institutionalist developmental assessment of and reaction to New Developmentalism*Medeiros- Review of Keynesian Economics] A Structuralist and Institutionalist developmental assessment of and reaction to New Developmentalism