Undergraduate Course: Economics of Organisations (ECNM10101)
|School||School of Economics
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course studies the behaviour of firms and organisations by looking at their internal organization and the interactions among workers (e.g. the importance of social interactions between co-workers, the role of communication, etc.) and between different layers of the organisation, (e.g. the importance of managers and CEOs, the effect of good/bad management practices, etc.).
Secondly, the course explores the main theories and reasons that explain that firms exists, the mechanisms that determine productivity and outcomes (e.g. the how incentives and imperfect information determine the performance of workers, the role of intrinsic motivation, etc.).
Finally, it studies how the design of the structure of the organisation can lead to different performance (e.g. family firms, horizontal/decentralised vs. vertical firms, team vs. individual production, etc.).
The focus of the course is not only (private) firms but also organisations of different types, like NGOs, police forces or other government institutions.
The course has a strong empirical component but also leverage some models that rationalize and explain the observed behaviour of the individuals that compose the organisation. The combination of empirical evidence with theoretical models allows us to design policies that can improve the outcomes of the organisation by optimally aligning the incentives within it.
The course starts by reviewing the different theories that explain the existence of firms/organisations. Given the strong empirical content of the course, we review the main econometric tools required to understand the applications and readings (Regression analysis, RCTs, Panel Methods, Difference-in-Differences, IV and Regression Discontinuity). Then, the course study a number of topics and applications that include: the role of managers and management practices, communication, social interactions and peer effects within firms, the role of incentives and imperfect information, intrinsic motivation, the hierarchical structure of the firm (horizontal vs. vertical firms, family firms), team vs. individual production. The course is taught through a series of lectures, problem sets and readings of empirical papers. The assessment of the course includes a group coursework, a group presentation and a written final exam.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students must have an equivalent of at least 4 semester-long Economics courses at grade B or above for entry to this course. This MUST INCLUDE courses in Intermediate Macroeconomics (with calculus); Intermediate Microeconomics (with calculus); Probability and Statistics; and Introductory Econometrics
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 6,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Assessed Exercises: 10%
Degree Exam: 80%
Final mark for visiting students as above.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- An understanding of the development of the theories studied and an evaluation of competing theories.
- Research and investigative skills such as problem framing and solving and the ability to assemble and evaluate complex evidence and arguments.
- Communication skills in order to critique, create and communicate understanding.
- Personal effectiveness through task-management, time-management, dealing with uncertainty and adapting to new situations, personal and intellectual autonomy through independent learning.
- Practical/technical skills such as, modelling skills (abstraction, logic, succinctness), qualitative and quantitative analysis and general IT literacy.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Diego Battiston
|Course secretary||Miss Becky Guthrie