Industrial Dynamics

Instructor Fabio Pieri
Duration 6 hours
Period Second semester

Course objectives

Industrial Dynamics is a short module (6 hours) which both provides a general introduction to relevance of innovation and productivity for economic growth and a review of the specific role played by ICTs in industrial and corporate change.

Upon successful completion of this module, students: (i) will be aware of the role of innovation and productivity in economic growth, from both a theoretical and empirical perspective; (ii) will know the main elements of the debate on the effects of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on the firm, industries and the economy of countries.

The course has an applied orientation: the introduction and discussion of the empirical evidence on each topic will be central and only few fundamental models will be presented as the theoretical backbone of the analysis.

Content summary

  • Economic growth: Why are innovation and productivity so relevant?
  • ICTs: Macro– and micro-economic effects.
    • “Is U.S. Economic growth over? Faltering innovation confronts the six Headwinds” by Robert J. Gordon (2012); a “reply” by Brynjolfsson and McAfee (2013; 2015)
    • What is the impact of electronic-based ICTs on the scale and the boundaries of the modern firm?

Teaching methods



  • Gordon, R. J. (2012), “Is U.S. economic growth over? Faltering innovation confronts the size headwinds”, NBER working paper, 18135
  • Brynjolfsson E. and A. McAfee (2013), “The Great Decoupling”, New Perspectives Quarterly, 30 (1), 61-63
  • Brynjolfsson E. and A. McAfee (2015), “The Great Decoupling: An Interview with Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee”, Harvard Business Review, June, 66-74.
  • Dosi G., Grazzi M., Gambardella A., Orsenigo L. (2013) “Technological Revolutions and the Evolution of Industrial Structures. Assessing the Impact of New Technologies on the Size, Pattern of Growth, and Boundaries of Firms”, in G. Dosi and L. Galambos (eds) The Third Industrial Revolution in Global Business, Cambridge University Press.