Business Economics (BIM)

This course will develop student’s capacity for economic analysis and awareness of the insights for management. The focus of the course is on the principles of microeconomics relevant for managerial decision making and the limits of markets, including asymmetric information; monopolies; and ethical frontiers.

📚 Textbook

Evans, Anthony J., 2020 “Economics: A complete guide for business“, London Publishing Partnership

[S] Schotter, A., “Microeconomics: A Modern Approach” South Western (2008, International edition, approx. £60)

🗓️ Content
Topic Lecture content Textbook reading
1. Consumer theory 1a. Incentives Matter* (+)

Evans, A.J., Incentive design, December 2020

1b. Max U (+)

Evans, A.J., “Maximilian Untergrundbahn”, January 2018 

Instructions: Complete the assignment questions

[E] Ch. 1

[S] Ch. 2, 3, 4

2. Understanding demand 2a. Value creation* (+)

2b. Value creation activity

3. Practical supply decisions 3a. Understanding cost* (+)

3b. Cost curves* (+)

Evans, A.J., “La Marmotte”, January 2012

Instructions: Complete Exhibit 1 and provide suggestions for the two key decisions

[E] Ch. 2

[S] Ch. 8, 9, 10, 14

4. Real world markets 4a. Auctions (+)

Hild, M., Dwidevy, A., and Raj, A., 2004, “The Biggest Auction Ever: 3G Licensing in Western Europe”, Darden Business Publishing

Discussion question: What are the alternatives to auctions?

4b. Market Applications (+)

[E] Ch. 3

[S] Ch. 15, 21, 22

5. Limits to markets 5a. Markets in everything (+)

“I’ve got debts, please buy my kidneys” The Times September 27th 2009

Discussion question: What are some different ways in which we could allocate kidneys?

5b. Shortage DB

6. Asymmetric information 6a. Adverse selection (+)
Akerlof, G.A., (1970). “The Market for ‘Lemons’: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism”. Quarterly Journal of Economics 84(3):488–500 (£)

6b. Signalling* (+)
Spence, M., (1973). “Job Market Signaling”. Quarterly Journal of Economics 87(3):355–374 (£)

[S] Ch. 23
7. Pricing strategy 7a. Price discrimination

Read the following Twitter thread

Instructions: Verify as much of the information in the case as possible

7b. Price discrimination DB* (+)

[E] Ch. 4
8. Competition policy and regulation 8a. Competition and the market process* (+)

8b. Capital theory* (+)

[E] Ch. 5, Ch. 6

[S] Ch. 19

🏅 Assessment

Managerial Economics – ESA, Beirut


This course provides an overview of core economic concepts and how they relate to senior executive management. Particular focus will be placed on the theory and practice of internal markets and how organisations have harnessed the knowledge and incentives provided by market mechanisms. Group work will focus on an analysis and assessment of the macro context for a relevant country, looking at monetary and fiscal policy as well as a broader set of social and environmental indicators.

Course textbook:

Course handouts: TBA

Assessment instructions: TBA


Pre class activities
All cases need to be read and prepared in advance.
Day 1: Micro
1. Incentives matter* (+)

2. Understanding cost* (+)

3. Auctions (+)

    • Hild, M., Dwidevy, A., and Raj, A., 2004, “The Biggest Auction Ever: 3G Licensing in Western Europe”, Darden Business Publishing (£)
    • Discussion question: What are the alternatives to auctions?
    • Textbook: Chapter 3.1, 3.2, 3.3

4. Group work

5. INternal markets (+)

Extra activity: The Dutch flower auction

Day 2: Macro: closed economy
6 & 7. Monetary policy* (+)

    • “The Euro in Crisis: Decision Time at the European Central Bank” Harvard Business School case no. 9-711-049 (£)
    • The ECB During the Crisis, July 2021
    • Textbook reference: Chapter 8

8 & 9. Fiscal policy* (+)

10. Macro Policy Workshop (+)

After class you should watch this video and pass this quiz.

Extra activity: NGDP Masterclass

Day 3: Macro: wider issues
11. Macro models (+)

12. International economics (+)

13 & 14. Group work

15. Group presentations

Note:

Cases marked with a pound sign (£) are available via the learning platform.

Business Economics – emlyon

This course gives participations a coherent view of core economic concepts from the perspective of managers and policymakers. We will look at the principles of microeconomics that are relevant for managerial decisions, including value creation, supply decisions, and the use of markets to allocate scarce resources. Particular techniques involving the interpretation of market data will be explored to provide a useful, practical toolkit.

The course also exposes participations to some of the key frameworks and models in macroeconomic theory, and provides a policy-oriented decision-making context. Newspapers and social media are full of macroeconomic commentary, but many people can feel intimidated by the terms being used and the thinking behind them. Participants will not only understand why certain decisions were made, but formulate their own views on the arguments in favour and against. In doing so, participations will be obliged to think big about the macro policy environment.

Finally, economics is focused on human action and therefore we will look at some key findings from the behavioural economics literature and how they relate to corporate decision making.

Simple, intuitive models applied to stylized managerial examples are studied along with classroom exercises in order to enhance understanding of complex real-world issues. The topics you will learn in this course are essential to formulating management, marketing, and other related business decisions and strategies.


Course textbook:

Course handouts: download here

Assessment instructions: download here


Pre class activities
All cases need to be read and prepared in advance.
Day 1: Micro
1. Value creation* (+)

2. Cost curves* (+)

    • Evans, A.J., “La Marmotte”, January 2012
    • Instructions: Complete Exhibit 1 and provide suggestions for the two key decisions
    • Textbook: Chapter 2.2

3. Auctions (+)

    • Hild, M., Dwidevy, A., and Raj, A., 2004, “The Biggest Auction Ever: 3G Licensing in Western Europe”, Darden Business Publishing (£)
    • Discussion question: What are the alternatives to auctions?
    • Textbook: Chapter 3.3

4. Applications

Extra activity: The Dutch flower auction

Day 2: Macro: closed economy
5 & 6. Monetary policy* (+)

    • “The Euro in Crisis: Decision Time at the European Central Bank” Harvard Business School case no. 9-711-049 (£)
    • The ECB During the Crisis, July 2021
    • Textbook reference: Chapter 8

7 & 8. Fiscal policy* (+)

After class you should watch this video and pass this quiz.

Extra activity: NGDP Masterclass

Day 3: Macro: wider issues
9. Macro Policy Workshop (+)

10. International economics (+)

11. Behavioural Economics* (+)

    • “Sun: A CEO’s Last Stand”, Business Week, July 26th 2004 (£)
    • Textbook reading: Chapter 11

12. Behavioural Economics (contd.)

Note:

Cases marked with a pound sign (£) are available via Canvas.

Economics – IFBM


Course textbook:

Course handouts: download here.

Assessment instructions: download here.


Course schedule

Pre-course activity
Watch this video: https://youtu.be/HAuGP5vJbDI
Session 1 (online)
1. Value creation* +

Textbook reading: Chapter 1

Session 2
2a. Cost curves* +

Evans, A.J., “La Marmotte”, January 2012

Instructions: Complete Exhibit 1 and provide suggestions for the two key decisions

2b. Auctions +

Hild, M., Dwidevy, A., and Raj, A., 2004, “The Biggest Auction Ever: 3G Licensing in Western Europe”, Darden Business Publishing (£)

Discussion question: What are the alternatives to auctions?

Extra activity: The Dutch flower auction

Textbook reading: Chapter 2 and Chapter 3

Session 3
3a. Equilibrium assignment

3b. Adverse selection +

Session 4
4a. Read through the following Twitter thread: https://twitter.com/anthonyjevans/status/993918866186297349

Choose one of the tweets and use it as the basis to apply some microeconomic theory. Make assumptions and perform calculations where necessary.

4b. Price discrimination – Debrief* +

Textbook reading: Chapter 4

Session 5: Online
5. Group presentations

Note: Sessions marked with an asterix (*) have a lecture handout available in advance, which can be downloaded. Cases marked with a pound sign (£) are available via Blackboard. Follow the + links for additional resources.

Social, political, and ethical dimensions of digital transformation


Course introduction

This course investigates how digital transformation relates to democracy and governance in an increasingly connected yet potentially polarised world.

There are widespread concerns that social and political divisions are being exacerbated by information technology, and that this is having a profound impact on the capabilities and quality of both global and local institutions. In a similar way to how the advent of the printing press prompted the rise of democracy and the nation state, perhaps digital transformation is contributing to a similar disruption in governance.

Such trends are particularly relevant in regimes where statehood was not an internal process, and was adopted either through colonial or international activity. Rising populism and authoritarianism provides the social and political backdrop to our analysis of the broad impact of technology, and we will consider whether pluralist approaches may help to combat some of the emerging threats to liberal democracy.


Assessment

For a good example of a subject matter for the group report I highly recommend reading The Story of VaccineCA. In particular, consider how the following elements coincide: the type of organisation chosen to pursue this objective (initially volunteers but then a Delaware corporation;  the institutional context (i.e. liberal market democracy where sharing such information wasn’t illegal); and the cultural attitude toward problem solving and tech optimism.


 

Prerequisite

Students should have already taken my 6 hour component of the Business Frontier Technologies course. This includes the following content:


Mandatory pre-course readings

For a 50 point quiz to test your knowledge of the pre-readings see here.


Contents

Group workbooks [download here]

  1. Addiction [lecture handouts]
  2. Democracy [lecture handouts]
  3. Ethics [lecture handouts]
  4. Governance [lecture handouts]
  5. Central banks and digital transformation [lecture handouts]

Optional background preparation

To understand some of the context for my construction of this course I recommend:

  • Four Hours at the Capitol, BBC (a documentary about the storming of the US Capitol building on January 6th 2021)
  • The Coming Storm, BBC Sounds (7 part podcast documentary on the rise of QAnon)
  • Death by Conspiracy, BBC Sounds (an 11 part podcast documentary on Gary Matthews, who died from covid in January 2021 having been drawn to social media claims that it was a hoax. I listened to this as a parallel to The Coming Storm but it strayed too far into covid, media ethics, and psychology for me to incorporate it more fully in this course, which attempts to avoid those areas. I didn’t learn much about conspiracy theories aside from episode 9 which provided a good attempt to understand why our common conception is often misplaced. Ultimately I just found this sad.)
  • Things Fell Apart, BBC Sounds (a documentary that looks at the different origins of the culture wars, which are defined as “the battle for dominance over conflicting values”, or the things we shout about on social media)
  • Command and Control, PBS (a documentary looking at how close we came to a major nuclear accident)
Recommended video

Famous documentaries about Facebook include:

Here is the Brexit movie mentioned in class:

Here are US political strategists talking about micro targeting:

Here is David Rand’s talk on misinformation:

This documentary looks at the Arab spring:

Here is Patri Friedman arguing that we should be able to start new countries as easily as starting a new country:

Recommended audio
Recommended movie night

This is not massively related to this course, but I really enjoyed watching Top Gun: Maverick (you may need to watch the original Top Gun first to get the full benefit). It reminded me of how Rocky IV contrasted American individualism, authenticity, and heart against superior Soviet technology. I saw Maverick as a rumination on automation, and the continued role for human emotion, and decision making that is instinctive, impulsive, and emotive, and how that gets managed. The subtext is that unmanned drones and algorithms are the future. In the film, US technology is deemed inferior but it is all about who is in the plane and not the plane itself. Traditional pilots needs to eat, sleep and piss but remain the driving force of future success, and whatever is is that ensures a future is worth achieving.

And here’s an absorbing and fascinating explanation of how the Mach 10 scene resembles a perfect pop song:

Recommended activity
Further academic reading

Student reflections

Priyanka Dalotra (LinkedIn)


On design
Resources for the public sector

If you wish to work in the public sector I recommend the following resources:

Recommended books

The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series contains a number of titles that are relevant for this course. I particularly recommend:

Further recommendations

The Economist’s overview of effective altruism

Topics in Economics (MIM)


This course introduces students to several important and contemporary issues that relate to economics. Having already covered the key insights from Micro and Macroeconomics, this advanced course goes deeper into the frontiers of the discipline. Students will challenge their understanding of complex and controversial issues and develop their perspective on how to become managers of the future.

🏅 Assessment
🗓️ Content
Topic Before During After
1. Money and central banking Lecture handouts
2. Central banking and digital transformation Lecture handouts
3. Macro Models Lecture handouts
4. Growth Lecture handouts
5. Prosperity Pre class quiz

Lecture handouts
6. Inequality Pre class survey

Watch the full movie Parasite (2019), Bong Joon Ho

  • Saez, E., and Zucman, G., 2020, “The Rise of Income and Wealth Inequality in America: Evidence from Distributional Macroeconomic Accounts” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 34(4):3-26
  • Kopczuk, W., and Zwick, E., 2020, “Business Incomes at the Top” Journal of Economics Perspectives, 34(4):27-51,

 

Lecture handouts
7. Stagnation Watch “Steve Jobs – iPhone Introduction in 2007

 

Lecture handouts
8. Progress Watch the full movie The Greatest Showman (2017), Michael Gracey

Lecture handouts

 

Problem Solving and Decision Making

 

Have you wondered How can I improve my team effectiveness when facing complex business problems?

PSDM is a 2-3 day course that leads participants through the 7 key stages of finding a solution using practical examples and plenty of team work.

Problem Solving and Decision Making is an intensive managerial programme that has been shown to be an enjoyable and successful way to improve team performance and productivity. The course provides practical skills and a management mindset rather than simply transfer knowledge. Participants are taken through the full problem-solving and decision-making cycle: from breaking down the issue, to prioritising and writing the action plan. They also practice communicating their proposal, an important and often overlooked aspect of the decision-making process. The course focuses mostly on experiential, proactive and practical learning: participants engage in individual and team problem-solving and decision-making, and receive constructive feedback to build on personal strengths and address limitations.

Read More

Economics for Managers – MIM


Course outline: Economics for Managers (MIM) 2019/20

Course textbook:

Problem set: download here.


1. Consumer behaviour and basic review

1a. Max U +
Evans, A.J., Maximilian Untergrundbahn, January 2018
Instructions: Complete the assignment questions

1b. Course Introduction & Administration

2. Cost functions and price discovery

2a. Cost curves* +
Evans, A.J., La Marmotte, January 2012
Instructions: Complete Exhibit 1 and provide suggestions for the two key decisions

2b. Comparative Statics +

3. Asymmetric information

3a. Adverse selection +
Akerlof, G.A., (1970) “The Market for ‘Lemons’: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism”. Quarterly Journal of Economics 84(3):488–500 (£)

3b. Signalling* +
Spence, M., (1973) “Job Market Signaling“. Quarterly Journal of Economics 87(3):355–374 (£)

4. Strategic behaviour

4a. Introduction to Game Theory* +

4b. Oligopolistic competition +

5. REVIEW SESSION ON MICRO PROBLEM SET 

6. National income accounting

6a. Economic growth* +
Solow, R., (1956) “A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 70(1):65-94 (£)

6b. Capital Theory* +

7. Monetary policy

7. Monetary policy* +

8. Fiscal policy

8. Fiscal policy* +

9. International economics

9a. Foreign exchange +

Evans, A.J., “Josko Joras (A)”, December 2012

Instructions: Complete questions 1, 2 and 3

9b. Dynamic AD-AS recap +

10. REVIEW SESSION ON MACRO PROBLEM SET

Note:

Sessions marked with an asterix (*) have a lecture handout available in advance.

Readings marked with a (£) sign means that you may need library access.

A + sign provides a link to a page of additional resources.

Microeconomics – MBA


Course textbook:


1. Consumer behaviour and negotiation

1a. Value creation* (+)

1b. Understanding cost* (+)

Textbook: Chapter 1.2 and Chapter 2.1

2. Supply decisions

2a. Cost curves* (+)

Evans, A.J., “La Marmotte”, January 2012

Instructions: Complete Exhibit 1 and provide suggestions for the two key decisions

2b. Economies of scale (+)

Rivkin, J.W., “Dogfight over Europe: Ryanair (A)” Harvard Business School case no. 9-700-115, November 21st 2007 (£)

Discussion question: What are some sources of economies of scale? How do they apply to British Airways in 1986?

Textbook: Chapter 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4

3. Markets and prices

3a. Auctions (+)

Hild, M., Dwidevy, A., and Raj, A., 2004, “The Biggest Auction Ever: 3G Licensing in Western Europe”, Darden Business Publishing (£)

Discussion question: What are the alternatives to auctions?

3b. Equilibrium assignment (+)

Textbook: Chapter 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3

4. Asymmetric information and market design

4a. Adverse selection (+)

4b. Prediction markets (+)

Coles, Peter, Lakhani, Karim and McAfee, Andrew, “Prediction Markets at Google” Harvard Business School Case No. 9-607-088, August 20, 2007

Textbook: Chapter 3.4 and Chapter 4.4 and 4.5

5. Strategic microeconomics

5a. Game Theory (+)

5b. Oligopoly (+)

Textbook: Chapter 5.2

Note:

Sessions marked with an asterix (*) have a lecture handout available in advance, which can be downloaded.

Cases marked with a pound sign (£) are either available via Blackboard or through the library.