Firm Strategy and Competition

SAM15 Firm Strategy and Competition

Autumn 2020

  • Topics

    The course focuses on firms' different decision problems and strategic interaction between firms. The course will be based on various cases focusing on markets such as airlines, telecommunication, gasoline and the grocery sector. We will aim towards providing an understanding of how economics can be used to understand and predict firms' behavior and strategic interaction. The main elements in competition policy rules will also be discussed. Thus, we will distinguish between legal and illegal behavior and thereby gain insight in business ethical issues.

    Some of the topics the course will cover are:

    • Market definition
    • Barriers to entry
    • Cartel behaviour
    • Pricing and price discrimination
    • Product differentiation
    • Mergers & acquisitions
    • Auctions

  • Learning outcome


    Upon completion of the course, students will:

    • Have a broad knowledge about topics such as market definition, barriers to entry, cartel behavior, pricing and mergers & acquisitions


    Upon completion of the course, students will:

    • Be able to discuss strategic interactions between firms in a specific market
    • Be able to analyze outcome in a market, for instance in prices and sales, changes when the basic assumption about the market structure changes
    • Be able to find, evaluate and refer to information and scholarly subject matter and present it in a manner that sheds light on a problem seen from a firm's perspective

    General competence

    Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

    • Distinguish and combine theory and factual data
    • Identify and execute individual assignments within a group activity

  • Teaching

    Regular lectures

  • Recommended prerequisites

    The course requires introductory knowledge in microeconomics, e.g.,  SAM1 and SAM2.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Two group based assignments. All students must pass on both assignments. There will be a maximum of three students in each group.

  • Assessment

    Four hour written school exam. All answers must be written in English.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale A - F

  • Computer tools


  • Literature

    Dennis W. Carlton and Jeffrey M. Perloff, Modern Industrial Organization, Global Edition, 2015, Pearson, fourth edition (not all the chapters are required reading)


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered autumn 2020.

Written school exam is offered both semesters (according to Regulations for Full-time Study Programmes at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), section 3-1).

Please note: Due to the present corona situation, please expect parts of this course description to be changed before the autumn semester starts. Particularly, but not exclusively, this relates to teaching methods, mandatory requirements and assessment.

Course responsible

Course responsible: Associate Professor Sissel Jensen, Department of Economics.

Lecturers: Sissel Jensen and professor II Bjørn Hansen.