Winter 2016 Courses

Economics of Business Strategy: MWF 11:15 am – 12:10 pm CGL 203. Course web site and blog at Econ 243
The only prerequisite is Economics 101. It does not require Micro Theory (Econ 210), but we do regularly use algebra. The course uses a standard text (Martin’s Industrial Organization) but focuses on cases studies of the beer industry and the steel industry, rather than learning model after model..
The course develops the basic concept of market power (that is, when firms see a downward-sloping demand curve) and associated firm behavior. This includes models of strategic interactions over prices and quantities with rival firms. We also analyze product strategies (bundling, price discrimination, product differentiation, advertising) that use models of heterogenous consumers, and extensions of the monopoly model to examine vertical structure (e.g. franchising vs company stores, buying ore vs running mines). Finally, drawing upon my work on the auto industry we look in some detail at what innovation is, how it diffuses, and what helps make R&D effective.
The course web site includes archived material from past iterations.
China’s Modern Economy: MWF 1:25 pm – 2:20 pm CGL 203. Web site for syllabus, schedules, readings, blogs at Econ 274.
Prequisites are Economics 101 and Economics 102 (micro & macro “principles”). The course does not use much math. The Winter 2016 version provides an overview of China as an empire in the process of becoming a nation-state as background, including geographic and ethnic diversity. We then look at the development of agriculture over the past 75 years, which provides a natural lead in to the ongoing migration that is transforming rural China while populating the 200-odd cities with a population over 1 million. We look at urban manufacturing, at the overall growth process, and at the limits to growth that range from demographics to an evolving financial system.

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