Part I (First semester)
The first part of the course is concerned primarily with the economics of competition. The disciplinary framework is provided by price theory as developed in the microeconomics part of the first year course in Economics for Business. The broad topic areas covered are industrial organisation, competition policy, regulation of natural monopolies and deregulation of oligopolistic markets. Topics covered in individual lectures include: social costs of monopoly market power; assessment of market dominance; policies towards dominant firms; mergers; collusive agreements; vertical restraints; pricing power; advertising and competition; and so on. Much use is made of particular case studies, especially those which have been subjects of investigation by the UK Competition Commission.
Part II (Second semester)
The second part of this course is concerned with the analysis of the macroeconomic environment in which firms operate. This leads to the study of the functioning of the economy as a static system, and how such system evolves over time. As far as the former aspect is concerned, the course will analyse issues such as the role of the state in the economy and the impact of fiscal and monetary policy. It will also address the theme of international trade and the balance of payment as well as covering aspects of financial regulation and the origins and consequences of the current crisis. To look at the dynamic of the economic system, the course will study the determinants of growth, with a particular emphasis on productivity and on the role of political institutions.