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Managerial Economics and Strategy (Business Economics)

The study programme

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.

The programme

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.

  • Compulsory courses

    Applied Econometrics

    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.

    Behavioural Economics

    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.

    Experimental Economics

    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.

    Research Seminar

    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.

  • Track-specific courses

    Managerial Economics

    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
    • Behavioural Finance
    • Behavioural Business Ethics
  • Thesis

    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.

  • Honours programme

    If you are a student of the Business Economics MSc and you have a record of academic excellence, a critical mind and an enthusiasm for applied research, then our Business Economics Honours programme is a great opportunity for you.

Copyright: iStock-1292653388-Halyna Kabanets
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

Experience the programme

What is the Master's in Business Economics about?
What is the Master's in Business Economics about?
Get career tips from our alumnus Zikan
Get career tips from our alumnus Zikan
Real-life case: big firms committing fraud

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.

Contemporary issues

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?
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