cod. 02539

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - First semester
- Franco MOSCONI - Augusto SCHIANCHI
Academic discipline
Economia applicata (SECS-P/06)
Discipline economiche-politiche
Type of training activity
60 hours
of face-to-face activities
9 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

At the end of the course, students will be expected to be able to:
Understand new dynamics about the most classic element of IO: the relationship between the “dimension” and the “concentration” of markets (Knowledge and understanding);
Master the methodological tools used in analysing industrial sectors, using the European Single Market as the natural point of departure (Applying knowledge and understanding);
Understand the changes that business strategies undergo in reaction to new situations of competition (Making judgments);
Interact with corporate executives and policymakers (Communication);
Conduct rigorous empirical analyses on industrial sectors and on groups of enterprises, such as industrial districts and clusters (Lifelong learning skills).


A solid background in Microeconomics.

Course unit content

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 shed light on market forms: Perfect competition, Monopoly, Oligopoly in its various models, Monopolistic competition. The presentation will also use the Theory of Games. Thirdly, 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.

Full programme

The common extended program for both students of Political Science (SPERI) and Economics & Management (CLEI), as well as the program dedicated to students of Political Science, will be made available before classes begin (via Elly).


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 Elly platform for further investigation of some of the topics covered in the textbook.

Teaching methods

First, the lectures of this course will present the contents of the textbook, one of the most widely-used texts worldwide in this field (see the “Testi di riferimento” section above). The text is divided into 15 chapters, each of which illustrates elements of IO theory through the use of numerous case-studies that come from real-world experiences.
The program will be rounded out by a series of seminars with representatives from the business community (entrepreneurs, executives and/or members of think-tanks).
The slides used during lessons will be uploaded weekly on the ELLY platform. These slides are considered an integral part of the didactic materials. Students who are not attending lessons should check the available didactic materials and the instructions given by the instructor(s) on the ELLY platform.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written Exam.
Applying knowledge and understanding 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, independence of opinion and learning skills will be evaluated through a brief commentary given about a table and/or a figure or a case-study, for a maximum of 10 points.
The written exam will last 45 minutes and gives a score from 0-30. Cum laude recognition will be given to students who have received the maximum score on all items and who have shown mastery of the academic lexicon and precision in their explanation of the subject matter. Each answer must be contained within a single page.

Other information

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