Economics of Markets and Organisations
MSc Economics and Business

Study programme

The curriculum consists of tool courses, core courses and seminars. The tool courses, Applied Econometrics and Game Theory, provide a foundation for empirical and theoretical analysis. Game Theory trains students to quickly reduce a situation to its essence, and provides insight into situations of strategic interaction. Applied Econometrics equips you with the tools to extract reliable information from available (big) data and assess the credibility of empirical results.

The core courses provide a comprehensive overview of the key insights in organisational economics and industrial organisation and strategy. Organisational economics discusses how organisations can better align all employees’ interest using a combination of recruitment, wages, incentive pay, job design, training, and leadership. It also discusses the role of information collection, communication, authority, and delegation in achieving proper organisational decision-making. Industrial Organisation discussing how market structure affects the strategic interaction between firms, and studies innovation, advertisement, pricing, product differentiation and bundling, and cartel formation. The insights are discussed using many examples from real-life organisations and markets.

In the electives, students apply the skills and insights obtained in the core and tool courses. In the elective Strategy and Organisational Design the focus is on the interaction between the organisation and its environment. A strategy of a firm refers to its long-run policies. This includes questions such as: how does the decision which markets a firm enters depend on market structure and competitor behaviour? Which intermediate products does a firm produce itself and which does it buy from suppliers? What determines whether organisations delegate decisions to lower level managers? When do firms cooperate and when do they merge? The elective Empirical Personnel Economics studies the effects of incentive pay,, teamwork, diversity, monitoring, leadership, task allocation, and other organizational policies that affect employee performance. 

The seminars are the main courses in the programme. Here students conduct short analyses, write research notes, present their findings, and actively participate in classroom discussions. Topics vary per lecture, ranging from the relation between decision-making and communication to the effects of favouritism and discrimination, and from the  interaction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to the most effective way of persuading other people. Furthermore, students discuss the most recent findings in the field of Economics of Markets and Organisations.

At the end of the programme you will write your thesis under close supervision of a staff member.

The programme is organised in five blocks of eight weeks.  You combine microeconomic theory and empirics with practical applications. Staff draw their teaching materials from recent research and from their interaction with practitioners.

The curriculum consists of:

  • 13% Theoretical and empirical skills: 8 EC
  • 50% Applied organisational economics 30 EC
  • 37% Market structure and organisational strategy 22 EC

In class

Class size is limited to facilitate interaction. A variety of approaches is used in class: traditional lectures, hands-on econometric sessions in computer rooms and interactive tutorials. In the seminar Recent Advances in EMO, students present a recent research article as if they authored it and answer questions raised by other students. 

The overview below shows the preliminary programme curriculum for the new academic year. Current students can find their schedules in MyEUR

  • Block 1

    • The Take-Off is the introduction event for all new students of Erasmus School of Economics. During this interesting introduction event, you will be provided with useful practical information and receive an introduction to your studies, meet your fellow students and our School.

    • Traditionally, the firm is treated as a structure where inputs are transformed into output. Yet, 'the firm' is not a decision-making unit. Rather, production is shaped by the decisions of people within the organisation. People involved in an organisation (or, more generally, in any transaction) will have different objectives, which may hamper cooperation.

      The issues we will discuss include the effects and limitations of various instruments that may improve efficiency, such as property rights, contracts, financial and non-financial incentives, and organisational structure. Throughout, we take a microeconomic perspective.

    • This course provides an overview of modern industrial organization that blends theory with real-world applications. It acquaints the students with the most important models for understanding strategies chosen by firms with market power and shows how such firms adopt to different market environments.

      Formal theory is complemented throughout by real-world examples that show how it applies to actual organizational settings. The main analytical tools will be microeconomic theory and game theory.

      • Multiple Regression Analysis
      • Cross Sectional Analysis, Time Series, Panel Data
      • Causality, Differences-in-Differences, Instrumental Variables, Regression Discontinuity
      • Limited Dependent Variables (if time permits)
    • The electives represent a choice of supplementary but fascinating academic views from the specialisation that you have chosen.

      Students choose two courses from the courses listed below, and one other Economics and Business master’s course, including the remaining listed courses

    Block 2

    • The course begins with basic concepts and definitions such as rationality, preferences, choice, uncertainty, discounting, and backward induction. Game theory is presented as a natural generalization of individual choice theory. Main game theoretic concepts, such as strategy, equilibrium, outcome, pay-off, are introduced for games in normal forms.

    • The electives represent a choice of supplementary but fascinating academic views from the specialisation that you have chosen.

      Students choose two courses from the courses listed below, and one other Economics and Business master’s course, including the remaining listed courses

    Block 3

    • Students choose one seminar from the seminars listed below.

    Block 4

    • During the seminar, academic research papers are presented and discussed by students. Moreover, each student works on a research project (which can, but need not be an extension of one of the papers) and writes a short note on this. 

    Block 3 - 5

    • The thesis is the crown on your Master’s degree programme.

      While you have to start in early December, the last two blocks of the programme are especially devoted to the Master’s thesis. The thesis is written individually under close supervision by one of our academic staff members.

  • Block 2

    • In this course, we will discuss how various empirical techniques are used to answer research questions in Personnel Economics, building on theoretical insights and econometric skills obtained in block 1. In particular, we discuss how to interpret findings in the light of both theory and empirical methods used.

    • The course is largely empirical in nature. The course material will be based on recent empirical papers relating the organization of the firm to competitiveness in markets.