Knowledge and skills to design well-performing organisations
In the study programme focus is on the economic performance of organisations. You will develop a broad range of skills and acquire the knowledge you need for a good understanding of the design of firms and other types of organisations. This includes knowledge about the strategies of firms, the motivation and evaluation of employees, compensation packages for CEOs, the allocation of power, and corporate governance. The skills to design well-functioning organisations are valuable for large firms in the private sector, consultancy firms and policy institutes.
Managerial Economics and Strategy is one of the tracks of the MSc Business Economics. During your Master's you will follow 5 general courses and 4 track-specific courses. You will finish with a thesis.
In this course you learn about regression analysis. In applied economics this is a powerful tool to analyse empirical relationships. Particular attention will be paid to the statistical assumptions underlying the basic model. We will cover the analysis of: (1) experimental data, (2) panel data and (3) time series.
Games and Strategy
In this course we use game theory to analyse optimal strategies for firms. After discussing the main concepts of game theory we apply these concepts to business strategy. We distinguish between the internal context and the external context of the firm.
Classic economics assume agents to be rational and selfish. Behavioural economics challenge both assumptions. You will study individual choice: bounded rationality concepts in decisions under uncertainty, information processing, judgement, time preferences and heuristic decision-making. Also you will explore strategic interaction, especially social preferences and reciprocity.
In this course you will learn the basic methodology of experimental economics: how to design a simple experiment, including writing instructions. You will practice both with laboratory and field experimentation evolving around industrial organisation, labour economics, behavioural economics and individual and group decision making.
Formulating a good research question for your thesis can be challenging. This course helps you find one, by discussing your ideas with faculty members and fellow students.
How to measure employee performance? And what kind of incentives are best to use? Economics helps us to examine the optimal design of incentives. In this course you will learn about important principles. Discuss for example the trade-offs between risk and incentives, bonuses and CEO compensation plans. You will also study the role of psychological factors at the workplace - such as fairness and intrinsic motivation.
Markets and Organisations
In this course you will learn about topics related to the theory of the firm: what are firms, why do firms exist, and why does the existence of firms matter? You will discuss them both from a theoretical and an empirical perspective. You are required to understand articles that discuss economic theory as well as econometric applications.
Power and Authority in Organisations
In this course you will discuss the nature and potential sources of authority. How is the extent of (de-)centralisationof authority affected by the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge? You will also investigate behavioural or psychological motives that might affect the allocation of authority.
Choose 1 elective from the following options:
- Performance Management - Practical approach to human research management
- Competition Policy - Regulatory environment in which international companies operate
The academic programme culminates in a thesis, which allows you to engage with state-of-the-art data analysis and statistical techniques. The Master’s thesis is the final requirement for your graduation. It is your chance to dive deep into a topic in your field of choice (track) that you are enthusiastic about, and allows you to do an independent research project. A professor of your track will supervise and support you in writing your thesis.
Car manufacturers committing fraud with environmental standards. Banks creating accounts without the client’s consent. Both scandals point out problems in the organisation. Did managers know about these fraudulent practices? Are the scandals consequences of how these firms are organised? What role do the employee incentive schemes play? This track will help you analyse and understand such challenging questions.
Examples of current newspaper headlines and relevant issues that could be discussed during lectures.
- Are CEO bonuses too high?
- Should good performance always be rewarded?
- Who should be given the responsibility for bad decisions?
The lecturers are quite flexible and always willing to assist when asked to. With students coming from a variety of countries, the environment is very international. Bringing a lot of fun and interesting experiences.Guy Tocker Read about Guy's experiences with this Master's
Add extra value to your studies
Internship and exchange
Once you have completed your curriculum, you will have the possibility of doing an internship or going on an exchange abroad. For international students, it is an excellent opportunity to experience the Dutch labour market.
Dutch language course
Are you interested in learning Dutch? There are different options to give you the opportunity to maximise your Dutch experience and prepare for your future job in the Netherlands.
Many of our students are members of a study association. It is fun and useful for your future career at the same time. Faculty student associations are a great way to meet fellow students and future employers. They organise study trips (abroad), career events, weekly debates, parties and receptions with drinks. Sometimes you can also purchase your textbooks and course syllabi at reduced rates.
Overview Study Associations
- Faculty student association Sefa
- International Student Committee (ISC,part of Sefa)
- International Student Network Amsterdam (ISN, part of Sefa)
- Study Association Actuarial Sciences, Econometrics and Operational Research (VSAE)
- Financial Study Association Amsterdam (FSA)
- Marketing Association Amsterdam (MAA)
- International study association (AIESEC)
Amsterdam has a thriving student community with many activities organised outside of the university’s grounds. You will find student associations focusing on networking, specific interests and sports. It is only at sororities and fraternities that you can expect an initiation ritual (hazing).
At university, you are entitled to make your voice heard and assess the quality of your own education. Students can participate in the discussion on the university's education policy in various ways, such as by joining the Programme Committee, the Faculty Student Council or the first-year focus group. You can also stand for election and dedicate your efforts to the programme and your fellow students.