Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and Understanding (Dublin Descriptor I, Capabilities to develop and skills learning outcomes expected) apply primarily to the revisiting of the most classic of all questions related to IO: the relationship between the “dimension” and the “concentration” of markets. Attendance at lessons and study of the materials presented will offer students the second qualification (Dublin Descriptor II, Capabilities to apply knowledge): mastering the necessary methodological instruments for analyzing industrial sectors, using the European Single Market as the natural point of reference. In consideration of Descriptors III, IV, and V, the course has the explicit goal of giving students the independence to form their own opinions (understanding how business strategies can change in reaction to globalization and the new industrial revolution), to develop their communication skills (learning how to communicate with corporate executives and policy-makers), and finally, to hone their learning skills (learning how to conduct rigorous empirical analyses both on the industrial sector and on groupings of enterprises, such as industrial districts and clusters).
A solid background in Microeconomics.
Course contents summary
Why in our advanced economies do small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) coexist with big corporations and multinationals? The main purpose of this Course is to shed light on this issue. First of all, the fundamental principles of Industrial Organization (IO) will be explained in order to better understand “market structures” (e.g., economies of scale, barriers to entry, vertical integration, and market concentration). The subject matter runs from the traditional “Harvard School” IO paradigm (Structure-Conduct-Performance, S-C-P) into the “New” IO: market forces and strategic behaviour (A. Jacquemin) and its evolution into the “sunk costs theory” (J. Sutton). Secondly, the Course will focus on public policies, and in particular on their effects on S-C-P. In so doing, both Competition policy (antitrust, etc.) and the New Industrial Policy will be analysed from a European perspective.
D. W. CARLTON, J. M. PERLOFF, Modern Industrial Organization, 4th edition, 2005 (Italian edition, Organizzazione Industriale, edited by M. Beccarello e F. Mosconi, III^ Italian edition, Milan, McGraw-Hill Italia, 2013). A set of “Didactic Materials” will be made available on the personal homepage for further investigation of some of the topics covered in the textbook (http://economia.unipr.it/docenti/home.asp?id=137).
The lectures of this course will present the contents of the textbook (see the “Testi di riferimento” section above), the Italian edition of which was edited in part by the professor himself. The text is divided into 15 chapters, each of which uses numerous case-studies to illustrate particulars of economic theory. In addition to the lectures, the professor will personally conduct a series of practice sessions in which students can study in greater depth the reality of industry in Emilia, in Italy, and in Europe. Finally, the program will be rounded out by a series of seminars with representatives from the economic world (business executives and/or members of think-tanks).
Assessment methods and criteria
Capabilities to develop and capabilities to apply knowledge will be evaluated through 2 essay questions (on theoretical arguments that are clearly covered in the textbook), for a maximum of 10 points each.
Communication skills using appropriate technical language will be evaluated through a brief commentary given about a table and/or graph, for a maximum of 3 points.
Independence of opinion and learning skills will be evaluated through the discussion of a case-study on the industrial sectors and enterprises presented in the textbook and/or in the Didactic Materials (on the personal homepage), for a maximum of 7 points.