GRA 6031 Microeconomics

GRA 6031 Microeconomics

Course code: 
GRA 6031
Department: 
Economics
Credits: 
6
Course coordinator: 
Gisle James Natvik
Course name in Norwegian: 
Microeconomics
Product category: 
Master
Portfolio: 
MSc - Core course
Semester: 
2021 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Level of study: 
Master
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

Real-world decision making is characterized by an interplay between individual incentives and constraints. Firms might aim to do what is best for themselves, but are constrained by their available production technology, existing rules, and by the behavior of their competitors. Decisions about pricing, market entry, investment, and research and development cannot be made without an assesment of how customers and competitors will react. This course introduces students to the basic microeconomic tools needed to systematically analyze economic decision making. Focus is on the consequences of alternative types of competition, strategic interaction between agents with conflicting interests, alternative ways to price products, and contractual relationships between firms, with particular emphasis on vertical mergers. We also analyze questions related to research and development and strategic issues in international trade.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

The aim of this course is to provide a comprehensive understanding of (i) the economics of monopoly, oligopoly, and competition, (ii) pricing, (iii) elementary game theory,  (iv) vertical relations between firms, (v) research and development, and (vi) strategic considerations in international trade. More generally, students learn how microeconomic theory can facilitate private and public decision making so as to achieve market outcomes that benefit firms and society.

Learning outcomes - Skills
  • Students should be able to design price strategies that maximize firm profits, under the constraints posed by market structure and available information. As part of this, students should develop skills to independently analyze what information firms need in order to price their goods and services optimally.
  • Students should be enabled to analyze strategic interaction among firms, and thereby develop skills to predict market outcomes such as prices, competition intensity, innovation, and ultimately firm profitability and social welfare.
  • Students will develop skills to design contracts that can be used between firms, such that the surplus of firms is maximized. As part of this skill, students should be able to independently analyze how the economic contents of contracts are likely to shape future behavior of the contractual parties.
  • Students will develop skills to make decisions about research and development in firms (R&D).
  • Students will develop skills to analyze strategic dimensions of  international trade
General Competence

Through this course, students should develop basic understanding of how market outcomes are shaped by individual incentives and constraints. The course aims to develop an understanding of strategic interaction. Namely, in order to evaluate the consequences of a possible decision by one firm, it is necessary to internalize how that decision affects the behavior of other firms or consumers.

Course content
  • Competition and efficiency
  • Monopoly pricing and price discrimination
  • Game theory
  • Oligopoly
  • Horizontal and vertical relations and contracts
  • Research and development
  • Strategic issues in international trade
Teaching and learning activities

Lectures, assignments, seminars.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

Qualifications

All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Covid-19 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be deviations in teaching and learning activities as well as exams, compared with what is described in this course description.

Teaching 

Information about what is taught on campus and other digital forms will be presented with the lecture plan before the start of the course each semester.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA60314
Grading scale:
ECTS
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
-
100Yes3 Hour(s)
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Individual Written examination under supervision. Retake is offered in Janaury and not during May/June in the spring semester.
Exams:
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:100
Invigilation:Yes
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Duration:3 Hour(s)
Comment:Written examination under supervision. Retake is offered in Janaury and not during May/June in the spring semester.
Exam code:GRA60314
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:-
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
100
Student workload
ActivityDurationComment
Teaching
36 Hour(s)
Feedback activities and counselling
10 Hour(s)
Examination
3 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
24 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
87 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 
160

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.