In a third year Competition Economics course we want to help students develop an understanding of technical industrial economics models and provide them with the opportunity to find out how the models are used to analyse competition in real world markets. This can be done by discussing examples in lectures and small group tutorials but time is limited and content focused on the technical material tends to creep in and dominate.
In 2014/15, we created a more concrete opportunity to apply the technical material with the introduction of a case study project that ran throughout the term. Students were assigned to groups and asked to critically analyse a specific competition investigation case completed by one of the UK or EU competition authorities. The project required students to spend time trawling through the lengthy case reports; make connections between what the competition authority did and what they were learning about in lectures; and think about what they might have done differently if they had the opportunity to get involved. The project was challenging for the students but feedback and exam performance demonstrated that they enjoyed seeing the economics in action and improved their research, critical analysis and team-working skills.
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