The course aims at providing the students with a clear understanding of the following issues: Part 1 - Economic Theory of the firm - economics and organization principles- control and decision within firms. - Market failures and imperfections. Market power and pricing. Monopoly, oligopoly, entry, product differentiation, R&D and innovation. - Game theoretic concepts and applications to competition analysis. Rview and applications of Game Theory. - Oligopoly price and non-price competition. Part 2 · Key features of firms in developing countries · Role of institutions, markets, infrastructure and finance in determining the performance of firms in developing countries · How behavioral factors and social norms interact with economic determinants of firm outcomes . Methods for the evaluation of the impact of policy interventions
Expected learning outcomes
Part 1 The student will acquire the necessary tools for describing the various economic issues and problems related to (i) markets where firms have market power, (ii) the internal organization of single firms. The course will also increase the ability to perform analytical tasks such as: setting up a model of competitive behavior appropriate to real world situations; finding a prediction about the market outcome; evaluate and appraise its welfare and policy implications. The student shall also be able to critically evaluate Antitrust cases and regulatory issues that are treated by European as well as by national authorities. The ability to interpret mathematical models used in social sciences will be enhanced, as well as the ability to summarize rigorously, and in a simplified way, the intricate consequences of policy actions. Finally, the student will improve the mastering of analytical tools necessary to access the scientific literature.
Part 2 Beside learning about the key institutional, market, infrastructural and social constraints faced by firms in developing countries, students will acquire a set of skills that will be useful for their future, both within and outside academia. The focus of the course on methodological aspects will help students acquire the ability to critically evaluate claims of causality and assess the impact of policy interventions. Moreover, the assignment for the course consists in writing a referee report for a recent working paper in the field of development economics. This exercise will improve students' ability to read critically an academic article, will give them the opportunity to practice their writing skills, and will inform their future thesis work by encouraging to think in depth about a topic of their choosing within the course curriculum.
Lesson period: First trimester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)