- Class Number 3566
- Term Code 3330
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Dr Kieron Meagher
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 20/02/2023
- Class End Date 26/05/2023
- Census Date 31/03/2023
- Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
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.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Analyse and design incentive contracts with regard to asymmetric information and non-contractibility with either performance or welfare goals.
- Evaluate the factors which determine the optimality and relative performance of authority structures in firms and institutions relative to market based solutions.
- Analyse and design decision making structures in organisations with reference to 1 and 2 above.
- Identify drivers of organisational structure and boundary choices and evaluate the welfare consequences.
The course will be based on recent and classic research findings in the field plus Professor Meagher's own research program in the field.
Additional Course Costs
Examination Material or equipment
Calculator or equivalent, exams will be conducted online so a computer with a stable internet connection is required. Exams may be invigilated using Zoom.
The Handbook of Organizational Economics (see below) is the main resource for the course. The library can provide electronic access. This is a large book and we will only covered selected parts. Hart's 1995 book is also available from the library in electronic form.
You may need access to a calculator to complete exercises required for this course.
Gibbons, R. and Roberts, J. eds., 2013. The handbook of organizational economics. Princeton University Press.
Hart, O., 1995. Firms, contracts, and financial structure. Clarendon press.
Additional reading will be listed on Wattle.
Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.
ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- discussion of problem sets in tutorials
- written comments on the written response to a reading task
- feedback to whole class on online quiz.
ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Introduction and review of the Neoclassical theory. Details and additional references will be provided in class and/or on Wattle.|
|2||Review and extension of the Neoclassical theory. Details and additional references will be provided in class and/or on Wattle.|
|3||Why firms and what are their boundaries. Hart (1995) plus other references on Wattle and/or in class.||Tutorial Problem sets. Due Monday's 12 noon.|
|4||Why firms and what are their boundaries. Hart (1995) plus other references on Wattle and/or in class.||Tutorial Problem sets. Due Monday's 12 noon. Reading for written question response.|
|5||Incentives, authority and decision making inside firms and other organisations. Gibbons and Roberts (2013). Details and additional references will be provided in class and/or on Wattle.||Online written response to question(s) on the reading, in tutorial time Monday, 20 March, 4-5pm.|
|6||Incentives, authority and decision making inside firms and other organisations. Gibbons and Roberts (2013). Details and additional references will be provided in class and/or on Wattle.||Tutorial Problem sets. Due Monday's 12 noon.|
|7||Incentives, authority and decision making inside firms and other organisations. Gibbons and Roberts (2013). Details and additional references will be provided in class and/or on Wattle.||Tutorial Problem sets. Due Monday's 12 noon.|
|8||Incentives, authority and decision making inside firms and other organisations. Gibbons and Roberts (2013). Details and additional references will be provided in class and/or on Wattle.||Tutorial Problem sets. Due Monday's 12 noon.|
|9||Incentives, authority and decision making inside firms and other organisations. Gibbons and Roberts (2013). Details and additional references will be provided in class and/or on Wattle.||Online quiz in tutorial time Monday, 1 May, 4-5pm.|
|10||Incentives, authority and decision making inside firms and other organisations. Gibbons and Roberts (2013). Details and additional references will be provided in class and/or on Wattle.||Tutorial Problem sets. Due Monday's 12 noon.|
|11||Incentives, authority and decision making inside firms and other organisations. Gibbons and Roberts (2013). Details and additional references will be provided in class and/or on Wattle.|
|12||What have we learned|
The tutorial this semester will be delivered on-campus. We can make arrangements for students who are unable to be in Canberra due to international travel restrictions (contact Professor Meagher directly if you are affected). You are expected to attend one tutorial each week from Week 2 onwards. The on campus tutorial is already listed in the timetable after the lecture on Monday. To make the best use of time we may use some of the tutorial time for lecture material and some of the lecture time to discuss tutorial material.
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Tutorial problem sets||15 %||06/03/2023||20/05/2023||1,2,3,4|
|Written answer to a question about an assigned reading: 20 March, 4-5pm.||15 %||20/03/2023||17/04/2023||1,2,3,4|
|Online Quiz: 1 May, 4-5pm.||15 %||01/05/2023||14/05/2023||1,2,3,4|
|Final Exam||55 %||*||*||1,2,3,4|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
- Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure
- Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure
- Special Assessment Consideration Guideline and General Information
- Student Surveys and Evaluations
- Deferred Examinations
- Student Complaint Resolution Policy and Procedure
- Code of practice for teaching and learning
The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.
Moderation of Assessment
Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.
You will be called upon to contribute during tutorials. Attendance at all teaching events, while not compulsory, is expected in line with “Code of Practice for Teaching and Learning”, clause 2 paragraph (b).
In addition, tutorials are a discussion-based class. Providing worked solutions would not effectively compensate for missing a tutorial. Students who, through unavoidable and unplanned occurrences, are unable to attend a tutorial class one week are encouraged to work through the problems and attend a consultation session for discussion and feedback on their answers.
There is a final exam for the course. Note assessment Tasks 1 and 2 are hurdle assessments and you must have achieved at least 35% and 30% respectively in order to be eligible to sit the final exam. The final exam will be a mixture of multiple choice and written "short answer" questions covering formal analysis and intuition.
As a further academic integrity control, students may be selected for a 15 minute individual oral examination of their written assessment submissions.
Any student identified, either during the current semester or in retrospect, as having used ghost writing services will be investigated under the University’s Academic Integrity Rule.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Tutorial problem sets
Submit your answers/solutions for the appropriate week, as a pdf, by 12 noon on Monday of that week using Turnitin (details on Wattle). No late submission will be accepted. Six tutorial problem sets will be due throughout the semester, 4 will be selected at random and graded. The worst mark awarded for the graded tutorial problem sets will be dropped in calculating the average (which determines the mark for this item). At least one of the graded problem sets will be returned before the end of week 6.
This is a hurdle assessment in line with the student assessment coursework policy (see https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_004603). You must achieve at least 35% in order to be eligible to sit the final exam.
2 = satisfactory attempt at all problems
1 = unsatisfactory attempt at some problems or incomplete attempt
0 = unsatisfactory attempt or no attempt for all problems
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Written answer to a question about an assigned reading: 20 March, 4-5pm.
You will be given one week to study a reading (paper, chapter etc). You will then be given a question(s) about the reading and have one hour, 20 March, 4-5pm, to write a response to the question. Your written response should be no more than 1 A4 page, 12 point Times New Roman font, 2 cm margins. Submission of a pdf will be through a TurnItIn link on the course Wattle page. This assessment will be zoom invigilated. This is open book. No late submission accepted.
This is a hurdle assessment in line with the student assessment coursework policy (see https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_004603). You must get at least 30% in order to sit the final exam.
Feedback: Marks and comments on Wattle, discussion of common class issues in tutorial time.
Demonstrated understanding of paper 25%
Quality of Exposition 20%
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Online Quiz: 1 May, 4-5pm.
This will examine all course material up to and including week 8. Questions will be multiple choice, numerical or written short answer. The quiz will be available online through Wattle. The quiz is open book. Once started it is only open for 50 minutes. Notice of opening of the quizzes will be given with at least 2 days notice. Questions will be randomly assigned. Please also note that you will not be able to navigate backwards through the quiz and there is only one attempt allowed. No late submission accepted. Results will be available within 14 days.
Feedback: Marks and comments on Wattle, discussion of common class issues in tutorial time.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
The final exam will cover all material presented throughout the semester and will be held during the ANU examination period. I anticipate the exam will be an on-line exam but this may change. The exam will be 2 hours (including reading time) and will be conducted through the course Wattle site and will be zoom invigilated (unless otherwise advised). The exam will include both multiple choice (numerical) and short answer questions. Short answer questions can include mathematical derivations or proofs, diagrams and written discussion. Further details will be provided in Wattle or in lectures two weeks prior to the final exam.
Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.
The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.
The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.
The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.
You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.
For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.
Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:
- Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.
Extensions and Penalties
Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Resubmission of Assignments
Distribution of grades policy
Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.
Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.
Support for students
The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Access and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Microeconomics, Organizations, Location and Spatial Economics, Political Economy
Dr Kieron Meagher