What functions do firms serve, and where do firms fit in a market economy? We will explore these questions by analyzing two perspectives. The first perspective is that firms are rational agents in markets, maximizing profits subject to the constraints of demand, production, cost and market structure. The second perspective is that a firm is a complex organization that has emerged in response to problems of information, strategy and value maximization. In the first perspective, firms are subordinate to markets. In the second perspective, the firm can often coordinate activity more effectively than markets. How - and when - is this possible?


4 sh


Economics, International Economics or Statistics majors or minors: ECO 1000, STS 2120, and MTH 1160 or MTH 1510; All other majors: ECO 1000, ECO 2300, and MTH 1160 or MTH 1510

Course Types

Society; Advanced Studies


Offered fall, spring and summer.

Previous Course Number

ECO 301

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