Industrial Organization

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Industrial Organization

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Microeconomics I.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Upon completion of the course you:
    1. have knowledge of main models and tools used in industrial organization for analysis of firm behavior (Knowledge);
    2. understand the notion of market failure, the role of regulation and the role of antitrust (Knowledge);
    3. can name and explain the determinants of the actions taken by firms and are able to explain the relationships between firms' actions and market outcomes (Knowledge);
    4. are able to determine optimal firm and regulator behavior conditional on the type of market structure and nature of competition in the market and draw policy conclusions (Knowledge);
    5. are able to apply mathematics, game theory, and micro-economic tools to analyze such market phenomena as collusion, abuse of dominance, entry and exit decisions, and regulation of natural monopoly (Academic Skills);
    6. can discuss real-world experiences of abuse of dominant position, cartel agreements and predatory conduct (Bridging Theory and Practice);
    7. are able to analyze real markets, identify the situations where competitive forces are weak, and discuss public policy measures intended to deal with diagnosed problems (Academic Skills; Research Skills).

    Many markets of interest are dominated by a few firms. Microsoft, Google, Apple, Intel, Airbus and Vodafone are examples of firms with significant market dominance. These firms not only choose their prices, but also the quality and the design of their products. They buy other firms and perhaps engage in illegal practices such as collusion and abuse of dominance. These choices have far-reaching effects on the markets in which they operate as well as throughout the economy. This course presents an approach –based on strategic decision making– for understanding the functioning of such markets. This course is designed to give students an overview of the theory of Industrial Organization, to provide students with insights in the organization of markets, and to give an overview of the main models and tools used for analysis of imperfectly competitive markets. In addition, this course studies public policy aimed at industries where the competitive forces fail to deliver efficient outcomes. In particular, the course focuses on sources of market failure such as economies of scale, barriers to entry, collusion, and abuse of dominant position. After introducing the basic notions of market failure and market structure the course concentrates on public policies to alleviate possible negative effects on consumer welfare. The course covers key antitrust issues such as abuse of dominance, collusion, entry deterrence and predation as well as regulation of natural monopoly. Some empirical applications will also be discussed.

    Lectures. Tutorials. Seminars.

    Assignments and presentations - group assessment. Written exam - individual assessment.

    Calculus, Optimization, and Integration.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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