In this class, we will derive equilibrium outcomes across a variety of market structures. We will begin by understanding equilibrium under a market structure called Perfect Competition, a benchmark construction. Economists have tools to measure the efficiency of market outcomes. We next consider the polar extreme of a competitive market: a monopoly market. We will determine the monopoly equilibrium price and quantity and efficiency properties. Much economic activity takes place in markets with just a handful of very large producers. To understand equilibrium in these oligopoly markets requires more careful attention to strategic interdependence. To capture this interdependence, we consider collusive arrangements among a small number of rivals as well as the use of simple game theoretic techniques to model equilibrium. Market Failure describes situations where markets fail to find the efficient outcome. Information asymmetries are one fertile form of market failure. Another form of market failure occurs when externalities are present. We will examine one key externality, pollution, and construct a policy prescription to mitigate the negative efficiency impacts of this externality.
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
• Explain how different market structures result in different resource allocations.
• Model the impact of external shocks to a particular market structure and demonstrate the new equilibrium price and quantity after the impact of this external shock has played out.
• Evaluate the efficiency of an equilibrium. Different market structures produce different levels of efficiency.
• Explain when and why the government might intervene with regulatory authority or antitrust litigation to lessen inefficiencies in some markets.
• Describe how information problems can cause inefficient outcomes.
• Understand externalities and consider optimal government response to these market failures.
This course is part of the iMBA offered by the University of Illinois, a flexible, fully-accredited online MBA at an incredibly competitive price. For more information, please see the Resource page in this course and onlinemba.illinois.edu.
You will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and our learning environment. The orientation will also help you obtain the technical skills required for the course.
Module 1: Perfect Competition
This module introduces the concept of a perfectly competitive market. It is a benchmark construction, but it accurately models many markets in our economy. We will understand equilibrium outcomes in both the short run and the long run. We will understand how to analyze shocks to these equilibria.
Module 2: Monopoly Markets and Efficiency
Analysts can predict equilibrium outcomes with some degree of certainty. We want to construct a measure of efficiency that will allow us to evaluate the attractiveness of these equilibrium market outcomes. After using this metric to consider the efficiency of the competitive market, we will introduce a different market structure, monopoly, and use our efficiency metric to evaluate the equilibrium resource allocation under monopoly.
Module 3: Oligopoly and Game Theory
Perfectly competitive markets have many sellers. Monopoly has one seller. But much economic activity takes place in markets with just a handful of very large producers. These are called oligopoly markets. We will look at collusive arrangements among a small number of rivals, and then will use simple game theoretic techniques to model equilibrium.
Module 4: Market Failures
Sometimes even markets that appear to be capable of great efficiency in resource allocation, such as the perfectly competitive market, can fall short of efficiency. Economists call this market failure. In this module, we will consider information issues and the impact on efficiency. We will also introduce externalities (spillovers) such as pollution and model these impacts.