Not available in 2022/23
The Economics of Organisations and Institutions

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Noam Yuchtman


This course is compulsory on the MRes/PhD in Economics and Management. This course is not available as an outside option.

It is intended that MRes PhD in Economics students can enroll as an option. Other research students may be allowed to enroll upon permission of the course leader.


First year courses in the MRes PhD in Economics and Management and MRes Phd in Economics or close substitutes upon permission of the course leader.

Course content

The course studies from an economics perspective the major organisations and institutions in modern and historical economies. First, we will consider major organisations: firms and states. Second, we will focus on major institutions: market and non-market (political, legal, informal). The course will take an economic perspective to these organisations and institutions including selection, incentives, and information transmission within organisations. Throughout students engage with the economic forces that cause institutional change and the economic consequences of institutions.

Some of the areas covered will include Firms: ownership structure; recruitment; pay and incentives; corporate structure; management; communication; relationships and reputation; States: objectives; organization; revenue extraction; service provision; information acquisition; personnel; Markets: Competition; mechanism design and Non-market institutions: Legal institutions; politics; culture.


30 hours of seminars in the MT. 30 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will read and discuss academic articles throughout the course. The appropriate formative assessment will be the weekly discussion and presentation of research articles and academic manuscripts, and feedback during the seminar. Students will be asked to read research articles or manuscripts in advance of each course meeting, to present to their classmates the analysis in those readings, and (along with the faculty) to guide a discussion of the readings and their place in the literature. The analysis and synthesis  of academic articles as ongoing formative assessment will prepare students for the questions in the take-home exam.

Indicative reading

Hansmann, “The Ownership of Enterprise”

Acemoglu and Robinson, “The Narrow Corridor”

Gibbons, Robert, "Foundations of Organizational Economics," Princeton University Press, forthcoming 2022.

Besley, Tim and Torsten Persson, "Pillars of Prosperity," Princeton University Press, 2011


Take-home assessment (100%) in the ST.

The  summative assessments will be take-home exam in which students will need to exhibit a command of the literature studied in the course. This exam will ask students about the range of papers studied in the courses, mixing qualitative questions requiring summaries and syntheses of literatures studied, as well as some more technical questions on the details of the papers' methods (both theoretical and empirical).

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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