Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Intermediate Economics for Business

Course summary

Course code: ECON1077
Level: 5
Credits: 30
School: Business Faculty
Department: International Bus and Economics
Course Coordinator(s): Francesco Guidi

Specification

Pre and co requisites

None

Aims

Business economics is the study of economic concepts of relevance to modern business. The aim of this course is to deepen and expand your knowledge of business economics studied in ECON 1006, by focusing in particular for the micro part on imperfect market structures and government intervention, and for the macro part on the banking sector and government intervention. The microeconomics module will start by providing an overview of the historic evolution of industrial structure while also covering the recent developments in the classification and analysis of industries, and will provide you with a sound understanding of the forms of competition and rivalry between private firms in a modern industrial economy. In the analysis of any developed market economy, we can focus on three levels of agent —industries, the firms they are composed of, and the government that oversees their activities to ensure free and fair competition. Different schools of economic thought analyse these elements in different ways, generating different policy prescriptions. The course will explore the application of competing theories to a range of contemporary issues in this area. The course has a strong case study component. At the beginning of the course you will be asked to choose a specific industry, and you will have to approach the various topics studied throughout the course from the perspective of the industry of choice. You will be introduced to a range of methods for the collection, presentation, and analysis of industry data, which you will use for the analysis of the industry you selected. This will help you develop an analytical and critical understanding of the functioning of real industries and help you develop an expertise in a specific industry. The course will also encourage you to read the specialised press (the Financial Times, The Economist, and experts’ blogs, among others) on a weekly basis, with particular focus to your selected industry in order to develop even further your expertise and be up to date with recent developments in the industry of choice. Finally, the course will also introduce in a more intuitive way economic concepts that will be more analytically studied in 3d year economic courses such as Managerial Economics. The second part of the course will cover topics usually studied in macroeconomics, and will follow a similar approach to the one used in the first part. You will choose a country of interest, and perform data collection, analysis and formulation of policy recommendations on that country using the plurality of macroeconomic theories covered in the course.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:
1 Develop your knowledge of the sectoral structure of economies and analyse industries using statistical data and competing theories
2 Apply different methods used to analyse industries and countries and to measure and assess the degree of concentration of the former and economic performance of the latter and derive policy implications
3 Critically evaluate the means and tools used to regulate industries, and the principles inspiring government intervention
4 Analyse the role of the financial system, the activities of banks and Central Banks and the origins of the financial crisis
5 Explain the main macroeconomic models and theories and the implications for policy with specific reference to current debates

Indicative content

Micro Part Module 1 – The historical evolution of the industrial structure of economies
Module 2 ‐ Industry structure (concentration measures, determinants of concentration) and firm’s behaviour in markets with power (monopoly, imperfect competition, oligopoly)
Module 3 –The response of public policy to the growth of large corporations and their anticompetitive practices
Module 4 – The role of the small‐firm sector and evaluate policies aiming at supporting its growth
Macro Part Module 1 ‐ Financial institutions. Banks as profit‐maximising firms and their role in the macro-economy.
Module 2 ‐ The cause of recent financial crises and possible forms of regulation.
Module 3 ‐ The causes of recession past and present. Classical, monetarist and Keynesian models of the macro‐economy and the current debate.
Module 4 ‐ Globalisation and the role of supranational institutions (the World Bank, WTO, Kyoto agreements).

Teaching and learning activity

These consist of lectures and tutorials. Additional support is given during office hours.

Assessment

Portfolio - 50%
LO - 2 and 3
Numeric grading
Pass mark - 40%
4000 words
A combination of tasks of a different nature; industry analysis, country analysis and thematic diary.

Exam - 50%
LO - 1-5
Numeric grading
Pass mark - 40%
3-hour exam.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Weekly tutorial task to complete on Moodle