Industrial Economics; Competition, Strategy and Policy
Module Code: EC307C
Module Title: Industrial Economics; Competition, Strategy and Policy
- ECTS Weighting: 5
- Semester/Term Taught: Hilary Term
- Contact Hours: 22 hours of lectures and 5 hours of tutorials
- Module Personnel: Lecturer - Orla Lane
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: dominant firms; monopolistic competition and product differentiation; price discrimination; predation; innovation and R&D; network effects; advertising and market structure; state aid; industrial policy and European competition policy.
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 fa-miliarity with material from these modules is assumed.
Module Learning Aims
This module will provide students with insights into the behaviour of dominant firms and certain forms of firm conduct such as predatory pricing, innovation, product differentiation and advertising. As such it will equip the student to not only gain a greater understanding of every day headlines on these topics but also with the tools for determining when firm conduct might warrant government intervention.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
- analyse interactions between firms using game theory concepts
- analyse how dominant firms use different business techniques to achieve and maintain dominance in the market
- explain the goals of competition policy and the techniques used by competition authorities to assess deviations from legitimate competitive behaviour
- describe the institutional background to competition policy and regulation in Ireland and Europe
- use economic tools and examples of relevant cases to form and support arguments and opinions
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 (2013), Industrial Organization: Competition, Strategy and Policy, Pearson Education Ltd., 3rd edition 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
An assignment to be submitted in Week 7 of Hilary Term will account for 25% of your overall grade. A short presentation at the end of the Hilary Terms will account for 5 % of the overall grade. The penalty for late submission/no show for the presentation is 100 per cent; there will of course be no penalty imposed on late submission provided that there is an appropriate medical certificate (or equivalent). The final exam will account for the remaining 70% of your overall grade.