ECM620-Economics of Corporate Strategy

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Stefania Lovo

Email: s.lovo@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module presents a number of lessons from theoretical industrial economics for our understanding of corporate decision-making – such as price-setting, output-setting, investment in productive capacity, advertising and collusive behaviour. In this context, the role of industrial competition is emphasised and both the determinants of market structure and the imperatives for competition policy intervention are discussed.

Aims:
The aims of this module are:
to provide knowledge and understanding of the economic analysis that underlies the functioning of markets and industries and the behaviour of firms within them;
to give students analytical skills to understand problems in business economics;
to provide students with the ability to analyse competition policy questions in terms of their implications for social welfare and economic efficiency.
The module includes an introductory coverage of game theory, giving students the knowledge necessary for the topics that follow.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students will be assessed on their ability to apply economic analysis to the problems of modern business enterprises. This will include the ability to analyse: the determinants of market structure; the influence on corporate strategy of competition among rivals; the strategies of dominant firms and firms operating in oligopolistic markets. Students may also be assessed on game theory.

Additional outcomes:
Students should be able to apply the techniques discussed to enterprises and markets in different countries and at different times.

Outline content:
On successful completion of this module students should: understand optimal pricing behaviour by firms with market power, including various forms of limit and predatory pricing; understand the basic determinants of market structure; acquire a knowledge of the economic justification behind the potential need to intervene in markets; acquire a knowledge of relevant concepts from game theory.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
A combination of lectures, group discussions of assigned topics and problems, and assessed essays.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 21
Guided independent study 159 20
       
Total hours by term 180.00 20.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Written assignment including essay 15
Class test administered by School 15

Summative assessment- Examinations:
One 2-hour unseen written paper.
Postgraduate examinations are held in the Summer term.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Two pieces of coursework – an essay and a test. Coursework has a total weight of 30% in the final assessment mark.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A minimum weighted average mark of coursework and examination of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination for all modules takes place in August/September of the same year.
Re-assessment is by examination only; coursework is not included at the second attempt.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books: Waldman and Jensen, Industrial Organization, Theory and Practice, RRP £58.99.
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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