The course aims at introducing the economic analysis of firms, and in particular their interactions with competitors, supplyiers, clients, and regulators. The course will enable students to give a critical interpretation of these economic relations, and to the policies undertaken by governments.
The course uses instruments taken from microeconomics and game theory, following an analytical approach.
- Microeconomics, market structure and market power; technology and production costs.
- The monopoly power: price discrimination; linear and non-linear prices; variety and quality in monopoly.
- Oligopoly and strategic interaction: static games and Cournot competition; price competition (Bertrand); dynamic games, first and second moves.
- Anticompetitive strategies: limit pricing and entry deterrence; predatory behavior; repeated games and prices; collusion: how to identify and contrast it.
- Contractual relations between firms: horizontal mergers; vertical restrictions.
- Non-price competition: advertising and market power, competition and information; reasearch and development and patents.
90-minute paper: 8 multiple choice questions (20% of the final grade), 2 open questions (20%) and 3 exercises (60%).