SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Advanced Microeconomics

Module Code:
Taught in:
Term 2

This module provides students with a thorough treatment of advanced microeconomic theories and policy debates. It builds on a plurality of analytical frameworks such as behavioural, institutional, structural, evolutionary and critical economic theories as well as advancements in more conventional information economics.  In this course particular emphasis is put on five main theory areas:  advancements in behavioural, experimental and institutional economics (weeks 1-3), the microeconomics and policy of production, organisations and technical change (weeks 4-5) real competition, price theory and capital (weeks 6-8), finance and the microeconomics of financalisation (week 9) public microeconomics and market failures.  Each of these theory areas is linked to one (or more) of the following critical policy debates:  institutional reforms, trade policy and public microeconomics. 

Students pursuing a degree external to the Department of Economics should contact the convenor for approval to take this module.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of the course, students will be expected to:

  • Understand the internal analytical structure of alternative microeconomic theories
  • Understand the relevance of alternative micreoconomic theories for policy
  • Understand the evolution of alternative microeconomic theory and the specific political and international context in which microeconomics theory and policy develop
  • Understand and evaluate microeconomic principles and their distinct methodological underpinnings
  • Understand and evaluate the policy rationales of alternative microeconomic theories

Scope and syllabus

This module is one of the core advanced theory courses of the MSc in Economics programme.  It builds on and expands the standard Microeconomics course by covering both advanced microeconomic theories and critical economic policy debates. 

  1. Beyond Individual Choice: teams and frames in game thoery
  2. Advancements in Behavioural end Experimental Economics
  3. Transaction Costs, Institutional Change and Policy
  4. Evolutionary and Structuralist theories of technical change
  5. Information, investment and growth of the firm
  6. Real competition: Alternative price theories and competition
  7. Real competition: Capital and profits
  8. International competition and trade policy
  9. Financial system and the microeconomics of financialisation
  10. Public Microeconomics: Asymmetries, market failures and policy responses

Method of assessment

Assesment weighting: Exam 70% / Coursework 30% (1 essay).  All coursework is resubmittable. 

Suggested reading

  • Aoki, M. (2001) Toward a Comparative Institutional Analysis, MIT
  • Bacharach, M. (2006) Beyond Individual Choice: Teams and Frames in Game Theory, Princeton University Press.
  • Bardsley, N., Cubitt, R., Loomes G., Moffat, P. Starmer, C. and R. Sugden (2009) Experimental Economics: Rethinking the Rules, Princeton University Press.
  • Elsner, W. (2012) Microeconoics of Interactive Economies. Evolutionary, Intitutional and Complecisyt perspectives, Edward Elgar.
  • Lazonick, W. (2009) Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? Business Organisation and High Tech Employment in the United States. John Hopkins University Press.
  • Nelson, D. and S. Winter (1982) An Evolutionary Thoery of Economic Change, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Penrose, E. (1959) The Theory of the Growth of the Firm, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Richardson, G. (1960) Information and Investments, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Shaik, A. (2016) Captialism. competition, Conflict and Crises, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Stiglitz, J., Greenwald, B. (2013) Creating a Learning Society, New York:  Columbia University Press.
  • Silvestre, J. (2012) Public Microeconomics. Efficiency and Equity in Public Policy, Edward Elgar.
  • Tidsell, C., Hartley, K. (2008) Microeconomic Policy.  A New Perspecive, Edward Elgar


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules