Industrial Economics

Subject ECON30003 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

One of:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1


Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Summer Term, Semester 1


Recommended Background Knowledge:

Please refer to Prerequisites and Corequisites.

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Mr Jun Xiao


Subject Overview:

This subject is an introduction to the field of industrial organisation. Industrial organisation deals with the structure, management, and performance of firms and markets. It is concerned with firm behaviour and strategy, the implications of firm behaviour for economic efficiency, and the role public policy plays in promoting efficiency. Most of the time, models of perfect competition and monopoly fail to explain the composition and behaviour of most industries in modern capitalist economies. Our goal in this class is to depart from those two idealised models and to explain why industries are composed of a few large firms instead of many small ones. We will be looking at the strategic interactions between firms in a market, and analysing such market phenomena as price discrimination, product differentiation, price wars, mergers, vertical relationships between firms, advertising, entry and exit, and research and development. Whenever possible, we will try to study real-world applications of the theories that we learn in class.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Explain and analyse the main issues and debates in the field of industrial economics
  • Describe the workings of different market structures
  • Critically evaluate different policy approaches to industry
  • Analyse the value and the limitations of existing theory in the area of industry economics
  • Explain the economic behaviour of different industries, firms and markets in relation to their output and pricing decisions
  • Analyse and provide policy recommendations about monopolies, cartels, non-cooperative oligopolies and other forms of imperfect competition
  • Critically evaluate the relationship between industrial structure and performance and the various approaches to innovation, entrepreneurship and industry policy

A 2-hour end-of-semester examination (50% or 60%), a mid-semester exam (20% or 30%), and an in-course assignment of up to 2000 words (20%). The final mark will be calculated by weighting the end-of-semester exam at 50% and the mid-semester exam at 30% OR by weighting the end-of-semester exam at 60% and the mid-semester exam at 20%, whichever gives the higher mark to the student.

Prescribed Texts:

You will be advised of prescribed texts by your lecturer.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • High level of development: problem solving; application of theory to practice; interpretation and analysis; critical thinking.

  • Moderate level of development: written communication; receptiveness to alternative ideas.

  • Some level of development: oral communication; collaborative learning; team work; synthesis of data and other information; evaluation of data and other information; accessing data and other information from a range of sources.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Master of Economics electives

Download PDF version.