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Economics of Regulation**



When will markets fail and what are the possibilities to correct market failures? These are the central question in this course on the economics of regulation. In economics several potential causes of market failure are distinguished: externalities, collective goods, imperfect competition, and information asymmetries. This course first explains why these causes may give rise to welfare losses. The main focus is on possibilities to correct market failure. What type of intervention can be expected to be efficient, depending on the circumstances ?
In case of externalities, for instance, consumers or producers may inflict harm on third parties. There are numerous possibilities to influence potential harmful behavior: liability, rules and rule enforcement, taxes etc. Information asymmetries may, inter alia, result in welfare losses in insurance markets.

Learning objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify whether potential causes of market failure are present in (stylized and real) cases.

  • Propose regulatory instruments to correct market failure in (stylized and real) cases and analyze these instruments in terms of efficiency.

  • Critically assess regulatory approaches in terms of efficiency.



Method of instruction

The course consists of interactive seminars. Attendance and active participation is compulsory.

Study load

Total study load 140 hrs

  • Hours spent on attending seminars 21

  • Time four studying compulsory literature and completing assignments 119

Method of assessment

Grading will be based on a final written assignment. Attendance and active participation in the seminars is required. Students have to hand in weekly assignments before the start of the seminar. Each assignment not received in time, will result in a reduction of 0.3 point from the final score.

You can find more information about assessments and the timetable exams on the website.
Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Blackboard.
On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website, uSis and Blackboard.

Students will be permitted to resit an examination if they have taken the first sit and have a mark lower than 5.5 or with permission of the Board of Examiners.

Resit written exam
Students that want to take part in a resit for a written exam, are required to register via uSis. Use the activity number that can be found on the ‘timetable exams’.


Blackboard will be available one month before the start of the course.

Other course materials/literature

TBA, see blackboard.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.
Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.
Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted here.


Peter van Wijck