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Prof. Annalisa Castelli

Contact information:

Term: First Semester

Credits (ECTS): 6

Prerequisites: Succesful completion of Economics.

Language of Instruction: English

Class hours: 42


instructor details

name: Annalisa Castelli

contact information:

Term: first semester


Prerequisites: Succesful completion of “Economics”.

Language of Instruction: English

Overall Class hours: 42

Overall Credits (ECTS): 6

Learning Objectives

Cognitive / Knowledge skills

  • Reach a general knowledge of competition law and economics.  
  • Describe the historical evolution of antitrust laws in US and EU.
  • Analyze the development of the discipline in light of the historical events that represented its driving force.
  • Be able to make an international comparison of different regimes.
  • Deal with basic forms of interaction mechanisms among firms.
  • Understand what we mean by "public policy"
  • Advocate for particular policy choices using the knowledge and skills gained in this course.

Analytical / Critical Thinking Skills (Oral & Written)

  • Identify basic elements of interaction mechanisms among firms.
  • Evaluate an antitrust policy in light of the knowledge gained in this course.
  • Be able to intelligently analyze policies, and to find the strengths and weaknesses in partisan of policy issues
  • Use the theoretical framework gained to analyze real world situations.
  • Identify key elements in the design of public intervention.


This course aims to give students an introduction to the economics of competition (or “antitrust”) law and policy and to some instruments available to firms operating in global markets.

The course is divided in two parts. The first one provides a conceptual framework to analyze the interaction among firms. Some key formal models will be introduced to simplify broad classes of situations regarding competition policy issues, such as collusion, mergers and exclusionary practices. References to competition cases and their policy implications will be stressed.

The second part of the course discusses the incentives and regulatory policies of the European Union, aiming to provide tools and fundamental models to understand the European institutional system for an in-depth insight of both institutional and non institutional players of the area. Different examples of instruments available to firms, such as incentives (e.g. structural funds), procurement policies, the Small Business Act for Europe and so on, will be discussed.

The reasoning will always keep in mind the global context in which firms behave. Students will be given examples and comparisons with relevant countries belonging to different parts of the world. 

At the end of the course, the participants should be able to use the most important means available in the framework of competition policy so as to carry out a set of tasks and activities for companies and public institutions, or anyway to be ready to tackle them. This will be carried out in class discussions, weekly exercises, essay questions and teamwork on case studies.

Instructional Format

The class will meet for 2 hours (gross of interclass break), twice a week, for a total of 11 weeks. After an introduction aimed at describing the course and at understanding the general background of the students participants will be eventually required to study preparatory materials suggested by the lecturer.

Classes will consist in lectures by the instructor followed by Q&A sessions.

Tentative course schedule

Classes will start on September 18th 2017 and will end on December 7th 2017 according to the following timetable:

Tuesday 12pm – 2pm room 0.04

Wednesday 12pm – 2pm room 0.01

The detailed course schedule will be given in class on the opening lecture

Workload expectations

Students are expected to spend at least 2 hours of time on academic studies in addition to each hour of class time.

Forms of Assessment

Students will be graded upon the following:

Attending Students: 40% mid term exam; 40% writing of a short policy paper; 20% class presentation

Non Attending Students: 100% exam (written and oral)


Mid Term exam:

After the first part of the course students will have to sustain a mid term exam that will be structured with Multiple Choices and/or True/False sentences and/or Open Questions on the first part of the program. The minimum grade for passing is 18 out of 30 points.

Students that fail the mid term will have only one recovery session at the end of the course.

Short Policy Paper

I will give a list of possible topics among which students have to choose. Students must have my approval on the chosen topic before proceeding in writing the paper.

Academic Honesty

It is important that you give appropriate credit for ideas and text you use in your work that came from your reading of books, articles or the internet. You must put quotation marks around any sentence or part of a sentence that you did not write yourself, and indicate the source. (You should also, of course, provide citations to facts that are not common knowledge.) The penalty for plagiarism is a failing grade and possible disciplinary action depending on the nature of the plagiarism. If you have questions about how to cite work appropriately, please stop by my office hours or e-mail me for a private appointment.

Class Presentation

Students must present to the class their policy paper in a 15-20 minutes session.

Written and Oral exam

These two exams are intended to test the knowledge acquired by students that have not been able to attend classes. The written exam will be structured with Multiple Choices and/or True/False sentences and/or Open Questions on the overall program. During the oral exam you should be able to demonstrate the knowledge and critical skills acquired.

Class/instructor Policies

professionalism and communications: As a student, you are expected to maintain a professional, respectful and conscientious manner in the classroom with your instructors and fellow peers.

You are expected to take your academic work seriously and engage actively in your classes. Advance preparation, completing your assignments, showing a focused and respectful attitude is expected of all students. Simply showing up for class or meeting minimum outlined criteria will not earn you a good grade in this course. Utilizing communications, properly addressing your faculty and staff, asking questions and expressing your views respectfully demonstrate your professionalism and cultural sensitivity.

Attendance and Classroom behavior: Although attendance is not compulsory, it is highly recommended. All students must have a respectful attitude towards the professor as well as the classmates.

Arriving late / departing early from Class: Once they have decided to attend, students must behave consistently. Arriving late or leaving class early is disruptive and shows a lack of respect for instructor and fellow students.


make-up classes: The instructor reserves the right to schedule make-up classes in the event of an unforeseen or unavoidable schedule change. Make-up classes may be scheduled outside of typical class hours, as necessary. 


Missing Examinations: Examinations will not be rescheduled. Pre-arranged travel or anticipated absence does not constitute an emergency and requests for missing or rescheduling exams will not be granted.


Use of Cell Phones, Laptops and Other Electronic Devices: Always check with your instructor about acceptable usage of electronic devices in class. Inappropriate usage of your electronic devices will result in a warning and may lead to a deduction in participation grades. Use of a cell phone for phone calls, text messages, emails, or any other purposes during class is impolite, inappropriate and prohibited. Your Instructor determines whether laptops will be allowed in class.

The use of laptops, tablets or cellphones is prohibited during exams.

Required Readings

Required texts:

Motta, M. (2004), Competition Policy. Theory and Practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, MA..

Dimitri, N, and Piga, G. and Spagnolo, G. (2006) (edts), Handbook of Procurement, Cambridge University Press, UK.

Selected references will be given during the course.


[Ultima modifica: martedì 19 gennaio 2021]