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Managerial Economics, Business and Politics


Admission requirements

Students are supposed to have prior knowledge of micro economics.


Just as firms compete in the market, they compete in the political, or nonmarket environment. In the market environment they interact with competitors, suppliers and clients. In the nonmarket environment firms deal with public institutions such as governments and legislatures, and with private interest groups such as labor unions and environmental groups. Moreover, the nonmarket environment determines the rules of the game for the market environment through government policies. The latter is thus not exogenous.

In this class we focus on the nonmarket environment and learn how businesses can influence political decision-making and develop frameworks for political strategy. Specifically, we learn how economic reasoning can be applied to political decision-making in the context of the European Union (EU). The EU has become increasingly important for firms as it determines the market conditions in which they operate.

This class consists of two parts. In the first part we introduce analytical tools to analyze political decision-making. Topics include, but are not limited to, the Condorcet paradox, Arrow’s impossibility theorem, strategic voting, the median voter theorem, agenda setting, and spatial theory of voting. Throughout this section the focus is on institutions and the decision-making process in the EU, with a particular emphasis on the importance thereof for management. We also consider empirical tests of spatial theories.

In the second part we study firms’ nonmarket strategies. Specifically, we discuss the four I’s of the nonmarket environment: Issues, Interests, Institutions and Information. Based on this analysis we develop a framework to formulate successful nonmarket, or political business strategies.

Course objectives

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

  • think about the nonmarket environment in an economic way.

  • predict the outcomes of the policy-making process in the EU based on preferences and institutional rules.

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


On the right side of programme front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

The course consists of interactive seminars.

Course Load

  • Total course load: 140 hours

  • Hours spent on attending seminars 21

  • Hours spent on self-study: 119

Assessment method

Final written exam:

  • 75% of total grade

  • grade of 5.5 or higher is necessary to pass the course

  • re-take possible

Presentation and class participation:

  • 25% of total grade

  • re-take not possible


Yes. For further current information click here.

Reading list

To be announced, 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 there.


Philippe van Gruisen