Economic strategic thinking, 7.5 credits

About the education

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of economic aspects of strategic decisions within companies and organizations. The approach of this course is to illustrate key issues through microeconomic reasoning and simple applications of non-cooperative game theory. The main emphasis throughout is on illustrating the central economic principles of each respective application. The course structure parallels the set text in dealing with four areas of strategic decisions. The first area concerns the company's horizontal and vertical borders, i.e. the scale of the company's activity and how much of the processing chain that ought to be included in the company. Discussion topics include economies of scale, transaction costs, incomplete contracts, relationship-specific investments and so-called hold-up problems. The second area concerns imperfect competition with reference to such issues as monopoly, monopolistic competition, oligopoly theory, cartels, new establishment and secession. Discussion topics include credible threats, repeated games and obstacles to entry. The third area concerns the company's competitive advantages and whether these can be sustained in the long-term. This part of the course relates earlier topics to such areas as research and development and product differentiation. The latter part of the course focuses on a company's internal organization and the incentives within a company. Discussion topics include principal-agent theory, performance-based compensation and the weighing of incentives against risk, incentives in so-called tournaments and incentives in groups.

Subject: Economics

Stockholm University offers one of the best environments in Europe for research and higher education in Economics. Former students are employed as economists in a wide range of fields, such as national and international organisations, government, business and finance. The Department of Economics at Stockholm University has 30 faculty members. Courses are also taught by researchers at the Instutite for International Economic Studies, IIES, and the Swedish Institute for Social Research, SOFI.

The Department of Economics is a member of the Socrates/Erasmus Exchange Program, and takes part in Stockholm University's NORDPLUS and central exchange agreements. For information see: Exchange studies.

The Department of Economics offers a two-year Master Programme in Economics as well as a Research Master Programme in Economics, both taught in English. Application is in January/February and courses start in late August or early September. For information see: Master programmes.

Doctoral studies in Economics at Stockholm University is organized by the Department of Economics in cooperation with IIES and SOFI. Stockholm University and the Stockholm School of Economics offer joint courses for PhD students in economics, economic statistics and finance within the Stockholm Doctoral Course Programme in Economics, Econometrics and Finance, SDPE. For information see: PhD programme.

Area of interest: Business and Economics

Business and Economics is important at all levels in society. Business Administration teaches you how companies and other organizations work and how they can achieve their goals in the best possible way.

Do you want a long-term perspective and are you interested in what causes financial crises and why certain economies grow faster than others? Then Economic History is the subject for you.

If you wish to study how decisions made by human beings affect society, then Political Economy is a wise choice.

Department responsible for education

Department of Economics