In the first block students will learn to derive optimal behavior in the context of simple decision-making situations. This allows them to make use of the models introduced in their microeconomics courses and to apply the methods reviewed in the mathematics sessions from the first half-semester. Furthermore, they will have an understanding of the data necessary for the estimation of models pertaining to industrial and regulatory economics.
In the second block students will read recent emprical work. The chosen papers will focus on issues of importance from the perspective of economic policy such as the quantification of competitiveness, the analysis of entry behavior and the effects of concentration on pricing in chosen markets. The active discussion will help them to discern both the merit and the potential weaknesses of contemporary research in the field of microeconomics (while the focus will be on industrial and regulatory microeconomics, parallels will be drawn to complementary fields such as labor economics). This part of the lecture will shift the focus from the methods of microeconomics to the content of the field by introducing some of the current topics of contention.