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Markets and Competition Policy


Admission requirements



In economics several potential causes of market failure are distinguished: externalities, collective goods, imperfect competition and information asymmetries. This course is mainly concerned with one of these causes of market failure: imperfect competition. An important question is whether competition in the marketplace is restricted in such a way that it reduces economic welfare. To answer this question a number of concepts are required: the definition of the market, market power, abuse of dominance, horizontal agreements, vertical restraints, horizontal and non-horizontal mergers. Competition policy may contribute to economic welfare by preventing anticompetitive behaviour.

This course is focused on the economic analysis European competition policy. After discussing economic theory, the theory is used to analyse cases (especially: decisions of the European Commission in competition cases).

Course objectives

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

  • Explain the content of economic concepts needed to analyse markets.

  • Analyse the consequences of restrictive practices and mergers.

  • Assess the consequences of competition policy in terms of efficiency.


On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Brightspace.

Mode of instruction

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

  • Total course load 140 hours

  • Hours spent on attending seminars 21

  • Time for studying compulsory literature and completing assignments 119

Assessment method

Grading will be based on a final written assignment (100%). 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.

Partial grades are only valid in the current academic year; partial grades will not remain valid after the exam and the resit of the course.

Reading list

To be announced, see Brightspace.


Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course. Due to the closure of the university on the 4th of October registration for the MPA electives of block 2 will open on the 5th of October on 13 hours.

From the academic year 2020-2021 Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. After enrolment for the course in uSis you will be automatically enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.


Dr. P.W. van Wijck