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Social sciences and humanities

Subject: WELFARE SYSTEMS (A.A. 2025/2026)

degree course in ECONOMICS AND FINANCE

Course year 3
Teaching units Unit Sistemi di welfare
Economics (lesson)
  • TAF: Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class SSD: SECS-P/03 CFU: 6
Teachers: Massimo BALDINI
Exam type written
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language Italiano
Contents download pdf download




The aim of the course is the economic analysis of the welfare state. The course discusses the different parts of the welfare state – with reference to both cash benefits and services - and its main argument is that the welfare state exists not only to help the poor, but also for purposes associated with efficiency, in areas where the market would otherwise operate inefficiently or fail to exist at all. Most of the course relates to Italy, but several comparisons are also made at an international level.

Admission requirements

In order to get the most from the course, students should have passed the examination in Public finance (or Public Economics). The following concepts are particularly relevant:
- welfare economics
- efficiency
- equity
- public budget

Course contents

1. Welfare system models: challenges to the welfare state (demographic changes, globalisation, changes in the structure of the family and in the job market).
2. The economic rationale behind state intervention: market failures, redistribution and welfare policies\
3. Trends in Italian public welfare expenditure
4. Analysis of principle welfare programmes in Italy: workfare and pro-poor programmes, retirement pension schemes, education, health.

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures. In the Moodle website of the course, students can find the slides of the lectures and some exercises.

Assessment methods

The final exam lasts 90 minutes with a question for each covered topic (education, health, etc.). Esamples of the exam are available on the Dolly website.

Learning outcomes

(1)Knowledge and understanding: understand the reasons of public intervention in the economy; knowing the main institutional aspects that characterize the Italian context; understanding the structure of welfare programs.

(2)Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: ability to solve formal exercises concerning retirement pension schemes, education, pro-poor programmes, inequality measures.

(3) Ability to form judgments about the rationale (efficiency versus equity) of main Italian welfare programs.

(4)Ability to express with clarity personal judgments about welfare policies.

(5)Learning skills: this course provides the tools that the student can use to further deepen the knowledge of the main problems regarding the role of government in a market economy and the structure of welfare programs.


P. Bosi (a cura di), Corso di scienza delle finanze, , Bologna, 2019, cap. 1 (selezione di paragrafi) e cap. 8.
Diapositive delle lezioni.
Altro materiale disponibile su Moodle.