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 +


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 +



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. Principles of demand and supply

1a. Incentives matter*

1b. Cost curves*

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

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

2. Markets and prices

2a. 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?

2b. Comparative Statics Worksheet

3. Industry and supply decisions

3a. 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?

3b. CC Simulation

CC Simulation, February 2014

Discussion question: Is the market for airport services in the UK competitive?

4. Price discrimination

4a. Read through the following Twitter thread:

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*

5. Corporate Applications

5a. Prediction markets

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

5b. Corporate entrepreneurship

Weston, Hilary A., “Automation Consulting Services”, Harvard Business School Case No. 9-190-053, November 2000


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.

Macroeconomics – International MBA

Course textbook:

Lecture handouts:

Day 1: Macro policy decisions

Pre class readings:

  • Case: “The Euro in Crisis: Decision Time at the European Central Bank” Harvard Business School case no. 9-711-049

Before class you should watch this video:

And pass this quiz:

During class we will look at:

  • Monetary policy
  • Fiscal policy

After class you should watch this video:

And pass this quiz:

Day 2: Countries in crisis

Pre class readings:

  • “Josko Joras (A)”, December 2012
    • Instructions: Complete exercises 1,2, and 3
  • “Currency Crises” Harvard Business School case no. 9-799-088 (£)
    • Discussion question: Which countries are on the verge of a currency crisis?
  • “Rovna Dan: The Flat Tax in Slovakia”, Harvard Business School case no. 9-707-043, March 2010 (£)
  • Blustein, Paul “And the Money Kept Rolling In” Public Affairs, 2005 (pp.39-60) (£)
    • Discussion question: As of July 1998 should the IMF suspend their program in Argentina, or continue their support?

Day 3: Applications



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



From 2006 – 2010 I taught a Quantitative Methods course at ESCP Europe. I enjoyed it immensely and got great feedback from students. Since then I’ve continued to gather material but realise that no-one gets to see it. So I’ve created an online course.

The course should be of use to anyone with an interest in an MBA level education, and I have attempted to supplement my own presentations with links to some exceptional online resources.

The rest of this page contains some further resources and links.




I hope you find the online course useful, but I am also a fan of the old fashioned way. The course ties in to the following textbook:


It is a very good one: well written, full of examples, and plenty of opportunities to test yourself. You could do a lot worse than simply order it now and then work your way through it.

I’m also intrigued by “Calculus Made Easy“, by Silvanus Thompson. It’s antiquated in format but highly directed toward simplifying concepts and engaging with the reader.

Pop analytics

I believe that a good way to prepare for a subject is to read a book that is captivating. Something that stimulates your interest and encourages you to dig deeper. There are lots of bestsellers that have attempted to communicate mathematical ideas to the educated layperson. My favourite 6 are these:

Other online courses

The University of Bristol Medical school has a lovely Research Methods & Statistics online course. Introductory Statistics, an online course by Andy Field. It is full of some excellent tutorials that are presented with a unique style. The New York Times have made their course on data skills publicly available, there’s a link here. A thorough course designed for incoming PhD students is the Princeton Sociology Summer Methods Camp 2019.

I also love this course: Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data.

There are also lots of proper online courses to choose from. The only one I have direct experience of is this:

If you really need to develop your QM skills then I would recommend you follow the HBS one instead of mine. However I found it pretty dull and failed to complete it. I’m hoping that by providing a mixture of content you will find mine more enjoyable.

Other resources

Instrumental variables: this tweet and these lecture notes

False positives and coronavirus.

Examples of bitemporal charts (especially good on economic forecasts)

Video on Bayes’ theorem.

Software and misc.

Daniel Kunin has a wonderful website called “Seeing Theory“, which allows users to visualise basic concepts in statistics. I’ve integrated links into the course below.



APPENDIX: Contoversies

I believe that the best way to internalise the key concepts in this course is to conduct a replication exercise. These have become increasingly common as ways to apply the concepts covered, and test a students knowledge retention. To be honest though I am yet to find any really good examples of statistical tests that companies have utilised, and for which the underlying data set is available.

In their textbook, “Modern Principles: Macroeconomics”, Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok present a good exercise to replicate a Solow Model. My (flawed) attempt to combine two of their problem sets is here:

Whilst I continue to look for potential replications, one option is to focus on some controversial statistical debates. These are also good ways to go deeper into the theory, and fully appreciate the link between theory and practice.

After party

You should now be a savvy consumer of statistical analysis and passionate about good data management. I recommend that you treat yourself to the following tome:


Thank you for visiting.

Last updated: June 2019

MBA Managerial Economics – Cotrugli

Background readings:

The textbook is Economics: A Complete Guide for Business by Anthony J. Evans (2020). I wrote it specifically for this course and all students are advised to read it in conjunction with the lectures.

There are plenty of other good textbooks on the market. I also recommend Managerial Economics by Luke M. Froeb, Brian T. McCann, Michael R. Ward and Mikhael Shor (Thomson Southwestern 3rd edition, 2013) and A Concise Guide to Macroeconomics by David Moss (Harvard Business School Press, 2007). Course handouts: download here.

Day 1

1. Incentives matter* +

2. Cost Curves* [Ch.2] +

La Marmotte, January 2012 Instructions: Complete Exhibit A and provide suggestions for the two key decisions

3.  Auctions +

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

Discussion question: What are the alternatives to auctions?

4. Price discrimination [Evans Ch.4.3] +

Read through the following Twitter thread:

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

5. Price discrimination Debrief*

Day 2

6. Monetary policy* +

7. Fiscal policy* +

8. Macro Policy Workshop +

Choose your own financial crisis

9. Behavioural economics +

“Sun: A CEO’s Last Stand”, Business Week, July 26th 2004


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

Cases marked with a pound sign (£) are available through the Programme Office. Follow the + links for additional resources.

English wineHarvest or not harvest? | GrgichMay the (5) forces be with you | Belgrade panoramaMeet Žujsko

Business Ethics

This is a 2 day course that surveys a number of frameworks and models that can be used to cope with moral and ethical dilemmas. Famous cases will be used to provide a realistic grounding to the content and participants will be tasked to apply those concepts and discuss their insights. A particular emphasis is placed on the concept of justice, and how managers can apply these insights within an organisational setting.

The course is heavily group-focused and includes case discussion and role playing activities.


  • Who’s Responsible for the Drawbridge Drama?” by Mueller, U., and Schaefer, U., European School of Management & Technology, 2010
    • Learning objective: The case introduces students to topics such as “responsible leadership” and “responsible business”. It also provides an engaging illustration of how people look at the same context or phenomenon, but reach very different interpretations and judgments.
  • Rajat Gupta“, by Healy, P.M., and Soltes, E., Harvard Business School, 2019
    • Learning objective: The case explores how a prominent and successful executive can engage in misconduct. In addition, the case explores the nature of illicit insider trading.
  • Through the Eyes of a Whistle-Blower: How Sherry Hunt Spoke Up About Citibank’s Mortgage Fraud“, by Waytz, A., and Kilibarda, V., Kellogg School of Management, 2014
    • Learning objective: The case helps students to gain experience resolving ethical dilemmas in which two values may conflict, such as professional duty and personal ethics. It enables students to identify behaviors that help a whistle-blower be effective and discuss how incentive structures, management, and culture play roles in promoting or hindering ethical behavior in organizations.

Primary readings

Secondary readings

There is a short series of videos where David Schmidtz discusses Equality. You can view them here:


  • Crane, A., Matten, D., Glozer, S., and Spence, L., 2019, Business Ethics (Oxford University Press, 5th Edition)

Further resources

An Inspector Calls is the classic literary depiction of how responsibility can be shared among many people. Although I find the social commentary to be frustratingly simplistic, there is a 2015 BBC Drama version that you may find worth watching. The 2017 Netflix Series, ‘13 Reasons Why‘ explores similar themes, but I haven’t watched it.

The 1957 movie, ‘12 Angry Men‘ is a classic. It shows how a natural drive to reach consensus can mask important insights, and that the role of Devil’s Advocate can be important in team settings.

Here is an article on why Peep Show is “the most realistic depiction of evil“.

Here is a BBC article on the Chick-fil-a controversy.

Here is the DuPont Conaco Double-Hulled Oil Tankers Seal Clapping Commercial (1991), and here is the Wikipedia article about Harambe.

The first episode of the highly rated French TV show “Bureau des Legèndes” provides a good example of an ethical clash between personal values (based on religious belief) and professional obligations.

Eyal Press’s 2012 book ‘Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times‘ is a rich and engaging collection of stories about people refusing to adhere to authority. It shows how whistleblowers are not typically anarchists who enjoy flouting rules, but people who value those rules so highly they insist on holding their superiors to them. It includes the story of a Serbian man who, in 1991, risked his own life to protect captured Croatians from execution, as well a Swiss police official who broke the law by giving entry permits to Jewish refugees in 1938.

Regarding the importance of involving the local community in a company’s strategy, see Steve Jobs; testimonies to Cupertino city council, in 2006:

…and again in June 2011

The most famous whistleblowing case of recent times is Edward Snowden. Citizenfour is a critically acclaimed documentary:

“Official Secrets” is based on a true story, featuring whistleblower Katharine Gun. I found it interesting that she made no attempt to escalate issues internally before going outside the organisation. The fact that she worked for the UK security services added more weight to the magnitude of her actions, but also calls into question whether we should treat people with security clearance differently to dissent in other contexts.

For a contrarian view on sweatshops, see here:

My favourite documentary on Lance Armstrong is ‘The Armstrong Lie‘ (2013)

There is also a 2 part “Storyville” documentary called “Lance” available on BBC iPlayer here.

A charming example of passing on a favour is the music video to Clay Walker’s ‘Chain of Love‘:

Here’s Hans Rosling explaining why most of the world is better off than you think:

You can watch the PBS version of ‘Command and Control’ here.

Further courses


Finally, you can test your understanding of the content, and provide me with useful feedback, by completing this quiz:

Behavioural Economics

This short course will survey the key findings of behavioural economics and explain how they relate to day-to-day management. Participants will receive a thorough understanding of how economic insights for decision making can be augmented with experimental economics.

The course will be interactive with numerous examples and opportunities to apply the concepts discussed.

After this lecture you should be able to: Apply a range of examples of behavioural anomalies to real business situations. Understand behavioural anomalies in light of an ecologically rational framework.

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


Recommended books:

  • Poundstone, William (2010) Priceless: The Hidden Psychology Of Value Oneworld
  • Kahneman, Daniel (2011) Thinking, Fast and Slow Farrar Straus and Giroux

Recommended articles:

  • Lambert, Craig “The Marketplace of Perceptions”, Harvard Magazine, March-April 2006 – A summary of chief insights from behavioural economics and neuroeconomics
  • Poundstone, W., (2011) “Prospect Theory” (Chapter 16) and “Ultimatum Game” (chapter 18) from Priceless: The Hidden Psychology of Value, One World – Good introductions to key concepts
  • Tabarrok, A., “A Phool and His Money” Review of PHISHING FOR PHOOLS: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception, by George A. Akerlof and Robert Shiller, Princeton University Press – A defence of standard economic theory against behavioural claims
  • Manne, H.G., (2005) “Insider trading: Hayek, virtual markets, and the dog that did not bark”, Journal of Corporation Law 31(1):167-185 – A defense of insider trading from the perspective of internal markets and corporate information flows
  • Smith, V. L. (2002) “Constructivist and Ecological Rationality in Economics” Nobel Prize Lecture – An explanation of the difference between constructivist and ecological rationality


Problem Solving and Decision Making

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.



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