• Offered by Research School of Economics
  • ANU College ANU College of Business and Economics
  • Course subject Economics
  • Areas of interest Economics, Political Economy
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Kieron Meagher
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

Organisational Economics studies the design of firms and other economic institutions. It develops frameworks which are applied to the problems faced by managers and entrepreneurs. How should incentives be designed in organisations? How should an organisation optimally choose its staff, allocate individuals to tasks within the organisation and then coordinate their actions? Which tasks should be outsourced? How do the answers to these questions depend on external factors such as market competition and technological developments? Tools from game theory, information economics and behavioural economics are introduced and applied to analyse these (and other) problems.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Analyse and design incentive contracts with regard to asymmetric information and non-contractibility with either performance or welfare goals.
  2. Evaluate the factors which determine the optimality and relative performance of authority structures in firms and institutions relative to market based solutions.
  3. Analyse and design decision making structures in organisations with reference to 1 and 2 above.
  4. Identify drivers of organisational structure and boundary choices and evaluate the welfare consequences.

Other Information

The majority of economic activity occurs not in markets but in firms and other kinds of economic institutions like hospitals, schools and government agencies. This course will undertake an economic analysis of which activities occur within organisations, how these activities are structured and why. The main tools developed will be the design of incentive contracts, the theory of the firm (boundaries of the firm), models of authority relations and modern economic decision-making theory.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Problem sets (15) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Mid-semester exam (35) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Final exam (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


2 hours of lecture and 1 hour of tutorial per week. Plus approximately 7 hours of works outside class.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have previously completed ECON8025 and have completed or be currently enrolled in ECON8013.

Prescribed Texts

Gibbons, R., and J. Roberts. 2013. R. Gibbons and J. Roberts (eds.), The Handbook of Organizational Economics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Preliminary Reading

Bolton, P. and M. Dewatripont. 2005. Contract Theory. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4500
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $6000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4663 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

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