Course Descriptions

Course catalog descriptions for courses offered in the F09 term.

Business Economics

Department Chairperson: Buchmueller, Thomas
Department Website:
BE 501 Applied Microeconomics
  3 hours Core Terms Offered: F09
  Course Prerequisites: No credit in BE 502, 503 
  Applied Microeconomics --- This course provides students with the foundations of microeconomic analysis. The primary objective is to develop the abilities of students to apply fundamental microeconomic concepts to a wide range of managerial decisions, as well as public policy issues. Foundation topics include: costs and supply behavior of the firm; consumer behavior and market demand; market forces, price formation and resource allocation; international trade and trade restrictions; and, market power and price-setting behavior. Students will also be introduced to more advanced aspects of microeconomic analysis. Advanced topics include; decision-making with risk and imperfect information; and, complex pricing strategies.
BE 580 Competitive Tactics and Policy
  3 hours Elective Terms Offered: F09
  Course Prerequisites: No credit in BE 581 
  Advisory Prerequisites: BE 501/503 recommended 
  Game Theory and Competitive Tactics --- This course focuses on two main questions: How can firms develop and maintain profits in the face of competition, and how do governments use antitrust and competition laws to set limits on the degree to which firms exercise market power? The objectives of this course are to understand the effects of firm tactics and strategies on the firm's customers and rivals, and their likely reactions, and to see how policies designed to promote competition affect the feasibility of various actions firms might want to take. In particular, we will compare the U.S. and European approaches to competition policy and the implications for business. We will apply the analytical tools of economics and basic game theory in our examination of firm decisions and industry competition. The dimensions of competitive strategy that we cover include product differentiation, horizontal mergers, strategies to deter entry, predatory practices, strategic commitment, cooperative pricing, and vertical restraints. The concepts in the course will be developed using a mix of lectures, business cases, and antitrust case material.