Our Business Economics classes call broadly into two categories: Finance and Strategy. Below we describe some illustrative classes. Our classes are tailor-made by our faculty, given their expertise and students’ interests. This means that our classes are truly unique, but also that they vary year-to-year, depending on the available faculty.
The introductory finance class (Econ 106F) introduces students to principles of asset valuation and role of financial markets in market economy. Among other topics, it covers the classic CAPM model that studies investor’s optimal portfolio choices.
On the “macro” side, Financial Markets (106M) studies the effects of monetary and regulatory policies on financial markets, such as the bond market, stock market and foreign exchange market. The class draws lessons from the US subprime crisis and European sovereign debt crisis.
On the “micro” side, Investments (106V) dives deeper into the principles investment and portfolio theory. It studies optimal portfolio construction and active portfolio management, as well as option pricing and fixed income analysis.
Our class on Game Theory (106G) teaches students how to formally analyze strategic thinking. How will firms compete when they choose prices simultaneously or sequentially? What if the firms interact repeatedly or have private information about their cost of production? This class introduces formal equilibrium concepts and uses the tools to think about a broad range of economic applications.
Organizational Economics (106I) is a more applied class that uses game theory to understand how firms organize. How do firms motivate employees? What should be produced inside a firm, and what outside? When procuring services, how should the firm contract with outside vendors? This course illustrates these ideas via case studies.
Another applied strategy course is Economics of Technology (106T). This seeks to understand the markets in which technology and e-commerce firms compete, which look very different from classical perfectly competitive markets. It looks at different aspects of firms’ strategies such as pricing, advertising and patenting. It also studies two-sided markets wherein firms must attract two different audiences such as eBay (buyers and sellers), Google (advertisers and searchers) and Sony Playstation (gamers and games makers). This class uses both economic theory and real-world case studies.