MG4A8      Half Unit
Strategy for the Information Economy (formerly MN430)

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jorn Rothe


This course is available on the MSc in Economics and Management, MSc in International Management, MSc in Management, MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), MSc in Management and Regulation of Risk, MSc in Management and Strategy and MSc in Risk and Finance. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Basic knowledge of economics.

Course content

The internet has created many new market opportunities. Web-based technology allows for new kinds of market interactions and products. Understanding the design and functioning of these new markets is central for business strategy and success. This course develops the relevant economic principles and applies them to the formulation of strategies for the provision of information goods and the design of online market platforms.

The first part of the course is concerned with strategic aspects of the provision of information goods (such as music, software, product reviews, search results). Topics include the pricing of information goods, versioning, rights management, network effects, lock-ins and the discussion of e-commerce institutions and business models. The second part of the course covers the use and design of online-market transaction mechanisms for business-to-consumer and business-to-business e-commerce. Topics include principles of market engineering, design of standard (online-)auction markets and multi-unit auction markets, reputation and collusion in online markets and matching markets. The course provides a theoretical background and relates theory to various examples and case-studies (such as the design of Google's ad-auctions and eBay's feedback mechanism).


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with Departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Two exercise sets with a mixture of qualitative and quantitative questions. These will be marked and students will receive written feedback on them.

Indicative reading

Carl Shapiro and Hal R. Varian: Information Rules, HBS Press, 1999 (selected chapters): Nir Vulkan: The economics of e-commerce, Princeton University Press, 2003 (selected chapters); Ockenfels et al: Online auctions in Hendershott (Ed), Handbook in Information Systems, Vol. 1, 571- 628, Elsevier, 2006; Kittsteiner and Ockenfels: Market Design: A selective review, ZfB Special Issue 5/2006, 121-143.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 84%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)