ECON 7239 - Economics for Management

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 3 - 2016

This course provides an introduction to economic thinking and its relevance and application to managing organisations. The first part of the course deals with the structure of markets, including perfect competition, monopoly and oligopoly, and the competitive regulatory environment. The second part deals with the determinants of the aggregate level of output and employment, and elements in the determination of macroeconomic policy including interest rates, inflation and foreign trade and capital flows. The focus of the course is on current issues and their implications for managers and competitive organisations.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ECON 7239
    Course Economics for Management
    Coordinating Unit Economics
    Term Trimester 3
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange
    Restrictions Available only to MBA & GDipBA students
    Assessment Typically, assignments, tests & final exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Paul Kerin

    Trimester 1 and Trimester 3
    Professor Paul Kerin

    Some background information on me is available here.
    My office is: Room 3.27, Level 3, Nexus 10 Building, 10 Pulteney Street.
    Consultation times: 4.00pm-5.00pm after each of our Saturday sessions or by
    appointment. Please feel free to arrange appointments with me at times that
    suit you.

    Mobile phone: 0417 240860.

    Trimester 2
    Dr Raul Barreto

    Some background information on me is available here.
    My office is: Room 426, Level 4, Nexus 10 Building, 10 Pulteney Street.
    Consultation times: 2pm-3pm every Tuesday or by appointment.

    Telephone: 83133240.

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Economics is often divided into two streams: microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics focuses on the behaviours and
    interactions of economic agents, such as firms, households and individuals. Macroeconomics looks at the economy as a whole, especially the behaviours of aggregate measures (such as gross domestic product, economic growth the unemployment rate, the inflation rate, exchange rates and interest rates) and how they vary with the business cycle and respond to government policies.

    Our course provides an overview of both microeconomics and macroeconomics. Throughout the course, we will consider contemporary economic issues – and their relevance to business operational and/or strategic decision-making, as well as economic and/or social policy – through the lens of economics.

    By the time you successfully complete this course, you will have developed:

    An understand of key economic concepts, principles and analytical tools, as well as the “language” and ways of thinking that economists employ;


    An ability to apply key microeconomic and macroeconomic principles and analytical tools to make better managerial decisions – and communicate your solutions convincingly to both economists and non-economists;


    An understanding of economic policy issues and their relevance to management;


    An ability to communicate your views on economic conditions and policy issues and why they are relevant to management; 


    An understanding of the roles that governments and markets can play in improving the welfare of our society; and


    Leadership, communication interpersonal skills and an ability to work collaboratively with your peers through group work.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Hubbard, R., Garnett, A., Lewis, P., and O’Brien, A. (2016), “Essentials of Economics 3”, Third adaptation edition, Pearson Australia.

    Paperback edition ISBN: 9781486022847. Both paperback and eBook editions are available (e.g., from the publisher at

    Recommended Resources

    As I tailor readings to each topic, no other textbook is recommended. Tailored readings will be available on MyUni well before the relevant class sessions.

    To understand the wide range of interesting issues that microeconomics can be applied to, you may want to read “Freakonomics” and/or “SuperFreakonomics” (both by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner) and/or visit the Freakonomics blog at: To understand current macroeconomic conditions, you may wish to visit the Reserve Bank’s website at To keep up-to-date with management-relevant microeconomic and macroeconomic issues, you may wish to read the Australian Financial Review and/or The Economist.

    Online Learning

    I will post course materials, assessment tasks and important announcements in MyUni. Please check both our MyUni course website and your university email account regularly.

    Lectures will be recorded (whenever possible) and made available on MyUni. Please note that there may be occasions when the recording fails for technical reasons.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Our course will be conducted over 6 all-day sessions. All sessions will be held on Saturdays, with two weeks between each session. Each all-day session will start at 9.00am and end at 4.00pm. We will generally cover two topics on each Saturday (except when we have our mid-term test). Typically, we will cover one topic between 9.00am and 12.15pm (with a 15-minute break at about 10.30am), then break for a 30-minute lunch (12.15pm-12.45pm) and then cover a second topic between 12.45pm and 4.00pm (with a 15-minute break at about 2.15pm). As it is difficult to predict exactly how long it will take to cover each topic and I don’t want to limit our in-class discussions, we may not finish our coverage of a topic in the designated session; if so, we will finish it in our next session.

    Given the relatively intensive nature of this course, much of our in-class time will necessarily be spent in “interactive lecture” mode, with the emphasis on interactive. I like to make our in-class time as interactive as possible, so please feel free to ask questions and/or
    offer your perspectives and relevant examples from your own experience at any time. We will also break up our sessions with short problem-solving exercises, reviews of tutorial assignment questions/answers and discussion of current economic issues to help us understand and apply what we learn. I’ll bring at least one current issue to each session for us to discuss. Please also feel
    free to suggest current issues that you would like us to discuss.

    While you don’t necessarily have to read the lecture notes prior to the relevant session, please complete all required readings and any assigned tasks (e.g., review questions) before class.

    To help ensure that our classes are as effective as possible, please feel free to provide me with feedback at any time. Your feedback will be particularly valuable in the early stages of our course, as this will enable me to change my teaching style before it is too late. In
    addition, I would be grateful if you could complete a SELT form and provide written comments (in addition to numeric scores) at the end of our course, as that will help me improve the course and my teaching for future students.

    Important note: This course assumes no previous training in economics. Please be aware that when people first study economics,
    they will almost-certainly feel frustrated for some time. I certainly did! We do need to learn a number of economic concepts/tools before we are able to tackle the more interesting stuff. It will almost-certainly take some time before you feel that what we are learning starts to “clicks together”. Therefore, if you feel somewhat frustrated in our first few sessions, that is completely normal. You will also feel somewhat frustrated even at the end of our course because, given the time available and the territory we have to
    cover, we will not be able to go into as much depth as you would like on various issues. It is more important that you gain some knowledge of a range of economic concepts/tools rather than an in-depth knowledge of only a few. However, to partially ease your frustration, I will provide optional (non-assessable) readings and/or optional attachments to our lecture notes so that you can explore particular topics in more depth if you wish to.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University of Adelaide expects full-time students (i.e., those taking four 3-unit course at a time) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This translates to 24 hours per fortnight for our 3-unit course. That is, in addition to our 6 hours of class time (excluding breaks) per fortnight, you should expect to devote 18 hours per fortnight to your studies in this course.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Session Topic Textbook
    Class date
    1 1.  Introduction to Microeconomics;
    Demand & Supply Part 1
    Ch. 1 (not the appendix), 2 & 3 (not the appendix)
    1 2.  Demand & Supply Part 2  Hubbard Ch. 4 September
    2 3.  Firms, Production and Costs Hubbard Ch. 6 September
    2 4.  Market Structures Part 1: Perfect Competition & Monopoly Hubbard Ch. 7 & 8 September
    3 5.  Market Structures Part 2: Monopolistic Competition and Oligopoly Hubbard Ch. 9 October
    3 6.  Economic Efficiency, Market Failure & the Role of Government Hubbard, Ch. 5 & 11 October
    4 Mid-trimester
    test (in-class)
    Nil October
    4 7.  Introduction to Macroeconomics: GDP, Unemployment & Inflation Hubbard Ch.12 & 13 October
    5 8.  Aggregate Demand & Aggregate Supply Hubbard Ch. 14 (not the appendix) November
    5 9.  Money & Monetary Policy Hubbard Ch. 15 & 16 November
    6 10.  Fiscal Policy Hubbard Ch. 17 November
    6 11.  International Macroeconomics: Trade, Capital Flows & Exchange Rates Hubbard Ch. 18 & 19 November
    Final Exam (in our classroom) Nil December
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Tutorial assignments 25%
    Mid-trimester test 25%
    Final exam 50%
    Assessment Detail
    Tutorial assignments: 25%

    There will be 5 tutorial assignments; each is work 5% of your total grade. The first tutorial assignment is due prior to the start of class in Session 2 (i.e., by 9.00am on September 24). To be eligible to receive a grade, you must submit your written answers to the tutorial assignment questions prior to the start of the relevant session. Late submissions will not be accepted. Instructions on how to submit your tutorial assignment answers are provided on MyUni.

    I will grade all tutorial assignments submitted and post your grades on MyUni as soon as possible. I will also post suggested answers as soon as I have completed grading all assignments submitted. Your assignments and my feedback will be returned to you by no later than our next session after you submit it (and probably earlier if you submit your assignment on Turnitin). We will discuss each assignment’s questions and answers in our next session (2 weeks after the assignment is submitted).

    As some tutorial assignment questions may focus on issues that emerge in the news during our course, I will post tutorial assignments on MyUni as the course progresses. However, I will ensure that each tutorial assignment is available on MyUni at least 2 weeks prior to the due date.

    Mid-trimester test: 25%

    A mid-trimester test will be held on October 22. It will comprise 15 minutes reading time and 90 minutes writing time. The test questions will be of similar style to our tutorial assignment questions. The test will be open-book and you will have significant choice in the questions that you answer. Wireless internet access will not be permitted during the test.

    I will grade the mid-semester test and post the grades on MyUni as soon as possible. I will also post suggested answers after I have posted the grades. We will discuss the test’s questions and answers in our subsequent session (on November 5).

    I will provide further information on the mid-term test closer to the time.

    Final exam: 50%

    The final exam will comprise 30 minutes reading time and 3 hours writing time. This exam may assess all topics covered in the course. However, as the mid-term test will focus on Topics 1-6, the final exam will focus more on Topics 7-11. The exam questions will be of similar style to those in the final exam that I set for my Trimester 1 course, which I will post on our MyUni site. The exam will be open-book and you will have significant choice in the questions that you answer. Wireless internet access will not be permitted during the test.

    I will provide further information on the final exam closer to the time.
    Please refer to MyUni for further instructions regarding how to submit tutorial assignments. Late submissions will not be accepted. Please retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Additional Assessment
    If a student receives 45-49 for their final mark for the course they will automatically be granted an additional assessment. This will most likely be in the form of a new exam (Additional Assessment) and will have the same weight as the original exam unless an alternative requirement (for example a hurdle requirement) is stated in this semester’s Course Outline. If, after replacing the original exam mark with the new exam mark, it is calculated that the student has passed the course, they will receive 50 Pass as their final result for the course (no higher) but if the calculation totals less than 50, their grade will be Fail and the higher of the original mark or the mark following the Additional Assessment will be recorded as the final result.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.