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Industrial Economics; Competition, Strategy and Policy

Module Code: EC307B

Module Title: Industrial Economics; Competition, Strategy and Policy

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Michaelmas Term
  • Contact Hours: 22 hours of lectures and 5 hours of tutorials
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Paul Gorecki

Module Learning Aims

The module provides students with an overview of how firms interact with one another both as competitors and as suppliers, together with the implications for consumer welfare. As such students will be provided an understanding for the rationale for competition and regulatory policy, together with the tools for determining when firm conduct might warrant government intervention.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • analyse interactions between firms using game theory concepts
  • measure how consumer welfare changes in response to different behaviours of firms in the market
  • identify how cooperation between firms can help and how it can hurt final consumers
  • use economic tools and examples of relevant cases to form and support arguments and opinions

Module Content

Markets with a small number of interdependent sellers provide the setting for Industrial Economics: Competition, Strategy and Policy. This module stresses the importance of the role of game theory in the analysis of such markets and provides a forum for students to move beyond a two-dimensional (price and quantity) evaluation of market performance. The following topics are likely to be covered in the module: welfare economics and consumer surplus: competition: monopoly: contestability: barriers to entry; oligopoly and non-co-operative game theory: (Cournot, Bertrand and Stackelberg); cartels; and vertical agreements.

Case studies and market analyses are used throughout the module. Students are required to complete problem sets and make presentations. Students are strongly advised to review their EC2010 notes on microeconomics and EC1030 notes on mathematics (or equivalents) as familiarity with material from these modules is assumed.

Recommended Reading List

There is no core module textbook. However, students should have fairly regular access to one of the following textbooks or their equivalents: Martin, S., Industrial Organisation in Context, Oxford University Press, 2010, Lipczynski, J., J.O.S. Wilson and J.Goddard , Industrial Organization: Competition, Strategy and Policy, Pearson Education Ltd., 4th edition, 2013 or Carlton, D and J. Perloff, Modern Industrial Organization, Pearson: Addison-Wesley, 4th/Global edition, 2015. Very many substitute textbooks exist and students are encouraged to browse on a regular basis.

In addition, the following two books contain interesting competition policy case studies:
J. Kwoka & L. White (eds.), The Antitrust Revolution: Economics, Competition and Policy, Sixth Edition, Oxford University Press, 2013; and
B. Lyons (ed.), Cases in European Competition Policy: The Economic Analysis, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
A more comprehensive reading list will be distributed to students at the beginning of the term.

Module Pre Requisite


Assessment Details

A project to be submitted by the end of Michaelmas Term will account for 90% of your overall grade, with a presentation accounting for the remaining 10%.

Module Website