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Managerial Economics, Business and Politics


Admission requirements

This course assumes basic knowledge of microeconomics and European Union politics, but such background will not be systematically required to understand the course.


The purpose of this course is to help you understand what’s going on in a firm’s political or nonmarket environment, and to develop a set of strategies and tools to analyse it.

In conventional economics courses the unit of analysis is the firm, and the focus is on firms’ market environment. On the other hand, in core public administration courses the focus is on public policies set by governments and other public institutions. These policies are set in the realm of the nonmarket environment. In this class we combine both disciplines: we use the subject (the firm) and approach (rational choice) from economics and apply it to the area of public administration (the nonmarket environment).

The course provides a mixture of conceptual frameworks (e.g. the policy life-cycle), as well as advanced analytical tools (spatial models) that are often used by political economists and that are essential for sound public policy analysis. Throughout the course, the emphasis is on the nonmarket environment in the European Union (EU) for the simple reason that the EU has become increasingly important for public policy, and thus also for firms.

At the end of this course you will have an advanced understanding of public policy analysis in the EU, and possess a toolkit to develop successful nonmarket strategies for business.

Course objectives

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

  • Apply economic reasoning to analyse firms’ nonmarket environment.

  • Predict equilibrium outcomes of the policymaking process in the EU based on the status quo, preferences and institutional rules.

  • Develop strategies to deal with the challenges that arise in the nonmarket environment.

  • Use graphical analysis to illustrate preference functions and identify pivotal players.

  • Understand key theories in the field of political economics.


On the right side of programme 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.

  • Total course load: 140 hours

  • Hours spent on attending seminars 21

  • Hours spent on self-study: 119

Assessment method

Final written exam: • 90% of total grade • grade of 5.5 or higher is necessary to pass the course • re-take possible

Class participation: • 10% of total grade • re-take not possible

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.


Please note, registration for this elective is organised by the OSC in a different way from the regular elective registration.
Students are registered for this elective by using a randomised allocation system. You will receive more information per e-mail at the end of February

Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. After enrolment for the course in MyStudymap you will be automatically enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.

More information on registration via MyStudymap can be found on this page.

Please note: guest-/contract-/exchange students do not register via MyStudymap but via uSis.


Dr. P. van Gruisen