In markets, prices act as rationing devices, encouraging or discouraging production and consumption to find an equilibrium. In this course, you will learn to construct demand curves to capture consumer behavior and supply curves to capture producer behavior. The resulting equilibrium price “rations” the scarce commodity. Additionally, the course examines the ways in which markets are subject government intervention and the impacts of these interventions.
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
• 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 Gies College of Business’ suite of online programs, including the iMBA and iMSM. Learn more about admission into these programs and explore how your Coursera work can be leveraged if accepted into a degree program at https://degrees.giesbusiness.illinois.edu/idegrees/.
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.