MG4F8      Half Unit
Managerial Economics and Quantitative Measurement for Social Entrepreneurs

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Saul Estrin NAB 4.24 and Dr Yally Avrahampour NAB 4.37

Professor Saul Estrin  - Managerial Economics

Dr Yally Avrahampour - Quantitative Measurement



This course is compulsory on the MSc in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course comprises an Economics and Accounting stream.

A: Managerial Economics

The course will start with an introduction to economics for social entrepreneurs, with attention focused on markets and market failures, notably externalities and public goods. Questions of social welfare and income inequality will also be discussed. We then move to a series of economics topics of particular relevance in analysing the problems of social entrepreneurs, namely the representation and analysis of firm costs, revenues and profits; measures of efficiency and company performance; analysis of consumer demand and finally firm strategy.

B: Quantitative Measurement

The course will continue by introducing topics relating to the measurement and disclosure of information regarding the performance of the social enterprise.  We will introduce techniques used to measure and monetize social impact, adopted by performance measures such as Social Return on Investment (SROI).  We will critically assess the SROI performance measure by introducing topics such as investment appraisal, costing and performance measurement.  We will also consider alternative performance measures to SROI.


Course Objectives

Students should learn:

• Key theoretical approaches in two streams, namely, economics and accounting, which includes related quantitative methods, to understanding social innovation and entrepreneurship;

• Empirical findings - typically from recent economics, accounting and management research.

• The most important economic, accounting and quantitative/statistical insights, concepts, theoretical approaches required to set-up, manage, and scale up social innovation and enterprises;

• To relate theoretical and methodological insights, concepts and frameworks for social innovation and enterprise to real world phenomena and social problems through the use of case studies.



20 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT.

Theoretical material and analytical frameworks from accounting and economics respectively of relevance to social entrepreneurs will be taught in the lecture slots, while the seminars will cover a relevant case study each week. Although the course covers two distinct disciplines, there will be an effort, where possible, to treat the issues in an integrated manner.

In addition students are expected to attend two introductory sessions, for the quantitative measurement part of the course, each lasting two hours.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.

The formative essay is a voluntary 'pre-run' of the examination questions, where the academic insights of the course are combined and synthesised with new insights sourced from academic literature by the student. Students receive feedback on their formative essay.

Indicative reading

Each week we draw on a variety of required and further readings.  We also make suggestions regarding textbooks that provide background for the concepts outlined in the course. 

For Quantitative Measurement the textbooks representing these background readings are: 

Weetman, P. (2013) Financial Accounting: An Introduction.  (Available as an e-book through the LSE library). 

Kaplan, R. & Atkinson, A. (2014) Advanced Management Accounting 3rd edition.

The following books provide an introduction to accounting for social entrepreneurship and social accounting:

Barman, E. (2016) Caring Capitalism: The Meaning and Measure of Social Value

Epstein, M. & Yuthas, K. (2014) Measuring and Improving Social Impacts: A Guide for Nonprofits, Companies and Impact Investors

Mook, L., Quarter, J. & Richmond, B. (2007) What Counts: Social Accounting for Non-profits and Cooperatives

For Managerial Economics, people without an economics background might start with the textbook by D.Begg, G. Vernasca, Fischer, Dornbusch (11th Edition) Economics, McGraw Hill.

A more advanced treatment is contained in S. Estrin, D. Laidler and M. Dietrich, Microeconomics (5th Edition), Pearson. 

Introductory Reading

There are also a number of books that inform the field, that students might wish to read in advance or during the course as background material.

A. Sen, 2009, The Idea of Justice, Harvard University Press

A.V. Banerjee and E. Duflo, 2011, Poor Economics, BBS Publications

R.L. Martin and S.R. Osberg, 2015, Going Beyond Better, Harvard Business Review Press


Essay (90%, 3000 words) in the LT.
Class participation (10%) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2018/19: 36

Average class size 2018/19: 36

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills