This module aims to enable students to put industrial organisation theory into a practical context and to provide students with an opportunity to analyse policy issues arising in different market structures. This module will also help enable students to build an understanding of how economics informs policy-making and how to apply effective policy in this area.
Principal Learning Outcomes
By completing the module students should be able to demonstrate a good understanding of how theory and economics are applied to solve and address competition problems within different market structures - analyse competition and regulation policy in different market structures and analyse competition and regulation policy in different market structures
The core topics in the syllabus for this module will be based on the following:
1. Market Failures and Competition Policy
Theories of market structure, conduct and performance and their relationship to antitrust policy. Theory will be complemented by extensive reference to experiences in the UK, EU and the United States. Specific topics are likely to include:
The concept of market definition;
Measures, determinants, and consequences of horizontal concentration and market power (dominance);
Prohibition on restrictive practices and abuses of dominance (articles 101 & 102 TFEU);
Substantial lessening of competition tests; horizontal merger policy;
Vertical structures including vertical integration, restraints, mergers, and operational separation;
Per se rules versus rule of reason (as part of the wider debate on effects based competition policy versus form based competition policy);
Essential facilities, access pricing remedies and multi-sided markets;
Innovation and dynamic efficiency
2. Natural monopoly, Market Liberalisation and Regulation
Modern regulatory practice, particularly in relation to communications and other networked public utilities. It analyses technical, economic and societal regulatory theory and practice. Specific topics are likely to inc:
Incentive-based (“smart”) regulation,
Use of market-based and/or ex ante regulation (e.g. spectrum auctions) and regulatory reform.
Specific cases include ‘converged’ regulators (Ofcom formed in 2003 in the UK combines the former duties of five separate regulatory bodies) and self- and co-regulation in e.g. financial and professional services, animal disease management and Internet regulation.
Examples from Internet economics (e.g. cloud computing networks) and health care management procurement are likely to feature.
However, the module leader may add additional topics and sub-topics within the scope set out by the aims and learning outcomes of the module and subject to the approval of the department.
- Pre or Co-requisites
- EC202 (with EC208 and EC231 desirable) or EC204 (with EC208 and EC231 desirable).
- Not available to non-final year students on Economics-based degrees.
- Part-year Availability for Visiting Students
- Not available on a part-year basis
- Assessment Method
- 2 hour exam (100%)
- Exam Timing
Time Allowed: 2 hours
Answer BOTH questions in Section A (50 marks total) and ONE question in Section B (50 marks). Answer Section A questions in one booklet and Section B questions in a separate booklet.
Approved pocket calculators are allowed.
Read carefully the instructions on the answer book provided and make sure that the particulars required are entered on each answer book. If you answer more questions than are required and do not indicate which answers should be ignored, we will mark the requisite number of answers in the order in which they appear in the answer book(s): answers beyond that number will not be considered.
Previous exam papers can be found in the University’s past papers archive. Please note that previous exam papers may not have operated under the same exam rubric or assessment weightings as those for the current academic year. The content of past papers may also be different.