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.)


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