GRA 6031 Microeconomics

GRA 6031 Microeconomics

Course code: 
GRA 6031
Course coordinator: 
Gisle James Natvik
Course name in Norwegian: 
Product category: 
MSc - Core course
2019 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

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. Sensible decisions about pricing, market entry and investment 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 decisionmaking. 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 mergers.

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 and auctions, and (iii) vertical relations between firms. 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 schedules 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, and how to structure products in a way that allows maximum surplus extraction.
  • Students should be enabled to analyze strategic interaction among firms, and thereby develop skills to predict market outcomes such as prices, competition intensity, 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 should possess skills to design and participate in auctions, so that they can maximize the surplus of their stake holders.
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 instinctive understanding that in order to evaluate the consequences of a possible decision by one agent (firm, consumer or policymaker), it is necessary to internalize how that decision affects the behavior of other agents.

Course content
  • Competition and efficiency
  • Monopoly pricing and price discrimination
  • Game theory
  • Oligopoly
  • Vertical relations and contracts
  • Auction theory
Teaching and learning activities

Lectures, assignments, seminars on solution to assignments.

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.


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 specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Support materials: 
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
3 Hour(s)
Written examination under supervision.

The retake in this course is scheduled for January. There will be no retake in the ordinary exam period.
Exam code: 
Grading scale: 
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
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Sum workload: 

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.