INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRIAL ECONOMICS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
a. Knowledge and understanding. The course aims at making students able to understand the endogenous and exogenous changes regarding the multinational enterprise. The necessary way to reach it can be divided in three steps: a) to learn the behavior of the firm according to industrial organization; b) to analyze the multinational enterprise, even as a leading firm of a global value chain; c) to examine the public attitude, both as a State and a supranational institution level, towards firms, by way of industry, innovation, energy and environment policies. By grasping such competences the student can understand the effective behavior of the current enterprise more easily.
b. Applying knowledge and understanding. At the end of the course the students obtain competences about the features of an enterprise working in the international market (including public policies towards it) and attitudes to gain a job within the management of a multinational enterprise or within the board of a national or supranational institution actively dealing with enterprises.
c. Making judgements. By the course the students become able to make judgments allowing them to analyze and foresee the bunch of the conducts of the multinational enterprises and of the public policies towards them. Moreover the student presentations allows them to making judgements to choose the topic of their presentation and to present what they feel the more interesting issues.
d. Communication skills. The course instructs the students to deal with people within the multinational enterprise and to participate to the dialog between public boards and firms. Furthermore within the course from time to time a group of students has to present its contribution to the other students, and manage the discussion during the hour latterly. All this is expected to strengthen the communication skills of the students.
e. Learning skills. The course teaches the students how to learn, listening to different speakers, getting used to utilize external sources of information and even to follow more advanced courses with a respectable level of independence.
Course contents summary
The main aim of the course is to analyze the features and the behavior of the firms when acting on the international market as multinational enterprises. The course will pay attention also to the interactions between the firms and on the influences of the national and international institutions through industrial policies. In the final phase of the course the students hold presentations on issues analyzed during the lessons and regarding countries, industries or firms, all selected by them. The used language is English. The detailed contents are the following.
• The neoclassical theory of the firm and other models
• The structure of the market
• Strategic behavior
• Product differentiation
• Pricing policies and auctions
• Innovation strategies
• Horizontal and vertical m&a
• The multinational enterprises
• Global value chains
• Firm outsourcing and offshoring through input-output tables
• Energy and eco-innovations
• Industrial relationships within the multinational enterprises
• National industrial policies
• Policies to attract foreign investments
• International industrial policies
• The international economy during the crisis: a firm perspective
• Contributions by the students: single countries, industries, firms
- Lipczynski-Wilson-Goddard, “Industrial organization: competition, strategy, policy”, FT Prentice Hall 2009;
- Isabel Faeth, “Determinants of foreign direct investments: a tale of nine theoretical models”, Journal of Economic Surveys (2009), vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 165-196;
- All the slides provided by the teacher. Each of them reports the back documents utilized to accomplish it (all the texts can be found on Internet);
- The slides of the student presentations
Traditional lessons, seminars by experts, presentations by the students, discussion of them.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written examinations test how the students learnt the course. The time for each examinations is two hour: the student has to answer to four open questions, out of five proposed (one may be that presented by other students). So the knowledge and the comprehension of the issues are verified (point a): being open questions, also the way to apply them is tested (point b). Furthermore, as the opening of the questions involves more than one reply, the students can show their independence in judging (point c). The written examinations allow the teacher to test and possibly to rectify the communication skills of the student (point d), at least in the written form which is still the most diffused communication way in the world (when there is no strict closeness). Finally if potentially one can be requested to intervene on an issue already analyzed by other students, he is requested also to apply himself to other presentations than those made by the teacher, that shows to have gained flexibility in learning (point e).