Contemporary Economic Issues

1st year
Programme main editor:
Onsite in:
ECTS range:
3-7 ECTS



No particular prerequisites for master students in engineering.

Pedagogical objectives:

  • Understand the process of economic growth and the sources of growth: accumulation of factors and increase in total factor productivity; understand the link between technical progress and the increase in total factor productivity.
  • Understand that technical progress is endogenous and that it results in particular from innovation.
  • Understand how institutions (in particular property rights) influence growth by affecting the incentive to invest and innovate; understand that innovation is accompanied by a process of creative destruction.
  • Understand how technical progress can lead to income inequality.
  • Understand that sustainable economic growth comes up against ecological limits (in particular resource depletion, pollution and global warming) and that innovation can help to push back these limits.
  • Understanding the concepts of the digital economy.
  • Main paradigm shifts, dimensions and trends that govern the economy based on innovation and digital technologies.
  • Roles of data, information, knowledge in digital economy paradigm. Information economy. Network economy. Platform economics.
  • Growth methods at micro (organizations), and meso (business sectors) specific to digital economy
  • Growth models at macroeconomic level specific to digital economy
  • Capabilities and capacities specific to digital enterprises and organizations in digital economy
  • New organizational management principles for digital economy. New business models specific of digital economy
  • Roles of technologies and digital innovations in the new paradigm of digital economy
  • Digital change and transformation management
  • Digital organizations (architectures, processes, governance principles)
  • To get an entrepreneurial mindset, fostering creativity, resilience, and a proactive approach to problem-solving and opportunity identification in the business world.
  • To apply design thinking and innovative approaches to develop products and services that meet market needs.
  • To develop, assess, and iterate viable business models that can adapt to changing market conditions and leverage new opportunities.
  • To understand venture financing and financial forecasting in order to carry out investment strategies to startups and new ventures.
  • To conduct thorough market analysis, understand customer behavior, and devise effective marketing strategies to reach their target audience and achieve market penetration.
  • To build, motivate, and manage teams, as well as navigate the challenges of startup culture.
  • To understand the legal and ethical considerations of starting and running a business, including intellectual property rights, regulatory compliance, and ethical decision-making.
  • To manage operational aspects of running a business, focusing on how to scale operations efficiently while maintaining quality and customer satisfaction.
  • To understand the global entrepreneurial ecosystem, including how to navigate and leverage international markets, cultural considerations, and global trends impacting entrepreneurship.

Evaluation modalities:

Students are invited to give a short presentation on a theme, concept or economist chosen

by the teacher.

A written examination will take place at the end of the semester.

Course attendance will be assessed.



This course introduces economics through the application of economic principles to contemporary economic issues.

Economics, which is primarily concerned with the allocation of scarce resources, can be described as the study of decision-making when applied to the individual (or micro) level and can be described as the study of the economy as a whole when applied at the larger macro level. Topics:

  • Economic growth and development
  • Inequalities
  • Money and inflation
  • Financial globalisation and crises
  • International trade
  • Enterprise and corporate social responsibility

complementary content:

Knowledge needed to understand that sustainable economic growth comes up against ecological limits (in particular the depletion of resources, pollution and global warming) and that innovation can help to push back these limits.

Understand the extent of income inequality in our economies.

Understand international trade and the concepts of absolute and comparative advantage.


  • Innovation and technical progress
  • Enterprise and corporate social responsibility
  • Globalization and international trade: absolute and comparative advantages
  • Income inequality


Required teaching material

Slides and exercices will be shared in the moodle of the module.

Teaching volume:
24-28 hours
6 hours
Supervised lab:


  • Laboratory-Based Course Structure
  • Open-Source Software Requirements