Course date

1 July - 19 July, 2002
Application deadline:
15 February, 2002
Course Director(s): 

Todor Gradev

Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland
Course Faculty: 

Paul Belleflamme

University of London, Queen Mary, Economics, UK

Vivek Ghosal

Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Economics, Atlanta, United States of America

Yelena Kalyuzhnova

Centre for Euro- Asian Studies, University of Reading, United Kingdom

Jozef Konings

LICOS Centre for Transition Economics, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

Julian Lee

Centre for Global Energy Studies, London, UK

Maria Vagliasindi

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, London, United Kingdom

Alf Vanags

Baltic International Centre for International Policy Studies, Riga, Latvia

Patrick Paul Walsh

Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland

The objective of this course is to provide the economic tools needed for the analysis of competition, competition legislation, and alternative competition policy decisions. It will assist younger and prospective university lecturers in their effort to master state-of-the-art teaching in economics and to make use of the mainstream toolkit in the field. Furthermore, it will support independent competition analysts in their work to deliver the economic expertise necessary for the growing political debate, legal disputes, and administrative decision-making processes concerning market power and antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, state subsidisation, etc., that are now underway in all transition countries. As a blend of positive and normative analysis of competition, the course will cover the multifaceted aspects of the theory and draw inferences for policy implementation. The analyses and assessments of competition policies and their implementation will focus on the workings of competition on market efficiency and social welfare.

Target audience

The course is aimed at two groups of professionals: academics and competition practitioners. The economics of competition is increasingly finding its way into university curricula all across CEE and FSU: either as a stand-alone course, or as a growing ‘competition’ component in a variety of related courses, such as applied microeconomics, industrial organisation, law and economics, regulation, etc. Therefore, the course is primarily intended to assist young university lecturers, assistant professors, advanced postgraduate students and other scholars who are teaching or planning to teach such subjects at their home universities and institutes.

Competition practitioners in governmental agencies, NGO, and private consultancy firms are usually economists and lawyers; this course is planned for the economists among them. While lawyers are also welcome to apply, they will be expected to have already acquired a solid background in economics, and to indicate this in their application.

Course level & prerequisites

The course will be offered at a good upper-intermediate level. The only economics prerequisite is intermediate microeconomics, roughly at the level of the popular textbook of Hal Varian "Intermediate Microeconomics" (W.W.Norton & Co.), which has been translated in several transition countries. Previous exposure of the candidates to industrial economics will be a distinct advantage. Condensed refresher of the relevant economic theory needed for this course will be included in the preliminary reader that will be distributed to successful applicants.

As for the mathematical prerequisites, to fully appreciate the course candidates should know at least the rudiments of multivariate calculus and basic statistics. Ideally, but not necessarily, some acquaintance with non-cooperative game theory would also be desirable. In the theoretical part of the course, models will be introduced with the language of mathematics yet also explained verbally. Computer lab exercises – to demonstrate the use of quantitative techniques in competition analysis – will require understanding the meaning of summary statistics and simple regressions. An effort will be made to keep mathematical explanations as simple as possible and everybody with 1-2 terms each of calculus and statistics should feel comfortable with all models.

In its core, the course is planned to be intelligible for all participants with basic knowledge of intermediate microeconomics. Conditional on funding, optional sessions may be offered to distinguish between more theoretically- and policy-oriented participants. Applicants may also be asked to attend a preliminary distant learning module in microeconomics & game theory in April – May 2002 as a preparation for the course and a part of the selection procedure.

Yet most of the course will rely on narration and intuition, and extensive discussions on policy issues. Hence participants are expected to be willing to enter into a debate, and to be able to formulate and defend a viewpoint.