module specification

EC3027 - Business and Government (2012/13)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2012/13, but may be subject to modification
Module title Business and Government
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School London Metropolitan Business School
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   2000 Word Essay
Unseen Examination 70%   2 hour unseen examination *FC*
Running in 2012/13

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Friday Morning

Module summary

The module examines the rationale for government intervention and its implementation. It begins with the various traditional approaches including nationalisation and public ownership in the UK, and rate of return regulation in the US. An analysis of the convergence of these systems in recent years is then considered, and the problems that they create with a view of likely future developments in regulatory policy. The course then moves on to the need for government intervention in private industry, starting with competition policy, then covering the relative decline of manufacturing industry, investment policy and the ‘new’ supply-side policy.

Prior learning requirements

EC2010CN, EC2014CN

Module aims

The module aims to:

1. apply economic analysis to the study of key aspects of the rationale for, and the operations of, the interactions between government and industry;

2. to analyse the major economic implications of, and the issues arising from, government policy and industry strategy.

The principal graduate attribute addressed in the module is A2.


• The general objectives of governments in economic management. Static versus Dynamic efficiency.
• The consistency of these objectives in the case of industrial policy. Competition and R&D; the Schumpeterian Hypothesis, the role and efficiency of Patents.
• The government as an ‘industry’: the problem of managing public enterprise and the question of privatisation.
• The problem of Regulation.
• Social Policy and Industrial Objectives.
• Industry Structure and De industrialisation Policy and Inevitability.
• Technology Policy R&D, Innovation and Diffusion.
• Investment and Training Fixed Capital and Human Capital.
• Supply Side Policies and International Competitiveness.
• Privatization, Regulation, Deregulation and the Introduction of Competitive Forces.

Learning and teaching

The teaching will take the form of lectures (11x2 hours) and seminar/workshop (11x1 hour). It is proposed that the seminar/workshop will predominate over the lecture as the module develops and focus on providing coursework support. The workshop facet is designed to allow students to work co-operatively and creatively on the coursework task.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students will be:

1. able to identify the underlying rationale for, and business implications of, policy-based arguments [A2];
2. aware of the extent of, and reasons for, the interactions between government and business;
3. able to carry out autonomous research and will have developed good analytical skills; [A3]
4. in a position to analyse the implications of government policy on industry conduct; [A3]
5. able to discuss the responses to this process on the part of major economic actors; [A2]

Assessment strategy

The assessment is based on one essay accounting for 30% of the total marks for the module, and a 2-hour unseen written examination, which carries the remaining 70% of the marks

Both assessments relate to all five learning outcomes specified in 14 above.


Buxton, T. et al, eds. (1997). Britain's Economic Performance, 2nd ed., London, Routledge.
Bishop, M., Kay, J. and Mayer, C. (1995). Privatisation and Economic Performance, OUP.
Crafts, N.F.R and Woodward, N. (1991).The British Economy Since 1945, Oxford.
Bishop, M., Kay, J. and Mayer, C. (1995). The Regulatory Challenge, OUP.
Armstrong, M., Cowan, S. and Vickers, J. (1994). Regulatory Reform, MIT Press.
Connolly, S and Munro, A. (1999). The Economics of the Public Sector, Prentice Hall.
Jackson, P. and Price, C. (1994). Privatisation and Regulation, Longmans.
Rowthorn, R. and Wells, J. De industrialisation and Foreign Trade, Cambridge, CUP.
Crafts, N. (1992). Can De-industrialisation Seriously Damage Your Wealth?,
Hughes, K. ed. (1993) The Future of UK Competitiveness and the Role of Industrial Policy, London, PSI.
Witztum, A. (1997) Inequality and Competitiveness, Business Strategy Review, vol. 8.2, Summer, Blackwell.
Acocella N., (1998) The Foundations of Economic Policy: Values and Techniques, (Cambridge: CUP)
Cohen S.I., (2001), Microeconomic Policy (London: Routledge)

Helpful policy oriented web sites.