Study abroad in Edinburgh

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Semester 1

Firms, Markets, and Competition (ECNM10107)







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Visiting students must have completed the equivalent of at least 4 semester-long Economics courses at grade B or above for entry to this course. This MUST INCLUDE courses in: Intermediate Macroeconomics (with calculus); Intermediate Microeconomics (with calculus); Probability & Statistics. If macroeconomics and microeconomics courses are not calculus-based, then, in addition, Calculus (or Mathematics for Economics) is required at grade B or above.

Course Summary

We will study the theory of industrial organisation, a field of microeconomics examining the functioning of imperfectly competitive markets, typically where a firm makes choices about what to sell and consumers make choices about what to buy. The course uses theoretical models to explore how firms make decisions and the effects of those decisions on market outcomes like prices, quantities, the types of products offered, and social welfare. The course aims to equip students with tools to identify and understand strategic firm behaviour. Fundamental questions pursued in this course include: Why do markets differ? How does market structure affect firms' behaviour? What are the sources and implications of firms' market power? We will cover ideas from competition law as well as industry regulation.

Course Description

The first part of the course covers models of monopoly pricing, oligopoly behaviour, product differentiation, innovation, advertising, and entry. The second part is more empirical and includes several topics on imperfect competition, collusion, the need for regulation and the analysis of real cases concerning European antitrust legislation. The course is taught through lectures, problem sets, and readings. There will be a written exam as well as a final oral presentation on a current topic chosen by the student. The final presentation provides the opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate their skills to use economic theory to analyse real-world problems.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 80%, Coursework 20%, Practical Exam 0%

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