Rotman School of Management

Main Content

Economic Analysis and Policy

Creative Regional Strategies

Instructors

Richard Florida

Target Audience

Students interested undertaking regional development consulting using state of the art tools and techniques or those interested in becoming better consumers of regional development consulting.

Course Mission

There are key skills you need to develop if you are going to work effectively as an economic developer, community developer, arts and culture developer or as a manager or consultant to others in these roles. The key trait of a good developer or consultant is the ability to use real information culled from a variety of sources to develop strategy and help clients, decision makers, and policy leaders reach informed decisions. This course aims to develop those skills in a real world way.

Course Scope

Today, regional development is undergoing a revolution. It used to be thought that for regions and nations to grow all that was required was to influence business location decisions. Communities that attracted businesses grew and those that did not declined. The state of the art was to try and lure companies with tax or other business incentives. Those days are over. Today we know that in order to grow, communities and regions need to do much more.

This course will provide the student with a background in traditional economic development thinking and will provide both theory and practice in understanding economic development in today’s “supply-side” Creative Economy. The course will take shape around a combination of lecture, discussion, group exercises, simulations, and lab sessions. The course is structured around technology (including traditional economic development) issues, the importance of regional talent, the role of tolerance and diversity, and authentic regional amenities and territory assets. Students will demonstrate understanding and proficiency of the topics presented by completing an in-depth analysis and developing recommendations for a selected community and through a final examination.

Health Policy and Health Care Markets

Instructor

Mark Stabile

Target Audience

This intensive course is aimed at students interested in understanding the growing role of the health and health care sectors in the economy. It will be useful for students planning a career in the health care sector, or with innovative organizations that interact with the health care sector. It will also provide an understanding of the role of government policy in health care, and how these policies affect the relationship between health care costs and business competitiveness.

This course is open to all 2nd year Rotman students and is part of the Rotman School of Management’s major in Health Sector Management. 

Course Mission

The course will help students understand the complex interactions between health care delivery, insurance markets, governments, business organizations, and then health of populations. It will provide students with an up to date understanding of the role of economics in health care. It will help prepare students to take leadership roles in the health care sector, broadly defined, with consultant organizations, and organizations that interact with government.  

Course Scope

The course examines key issues in health and health care economics and strategy, both in Canada and internationally. Topics include the market for medical care, the market for health insurance, the relationship between health care and the firm, physician payment, hospital delivery and competition, and the pharmaceutical sector. The course will examine the role of government in the financing and delivery of health care, and how government decisions affect firm strategy and behaviour. It will also provide context and analysis on health care cost growth and containment strategies.

Business and the Regulatory Environment

Instructor

TBA

Target Audience

Students interested in the economic analysis of the business environment, how government shapes that environment through competition policy, environmental regulation, intellectual property protection, etc., and how such interventions limit or enable various strategic options for firms.

Course Mission

This course uses the tools of microeconomics to shed light on the logic and effects of government interventions in a market economy.

Course Scope

This course applies microeconomic analysis to understand the various roles that government plays in regulating firms and shaping the business environment. The course emphasizes the ways that governments can, should, or do intervene in markets to correct market failures and improve the functioning of markets. We will focus on three sources of market failure— incomplete property rights, market power, and asymmetric information. The course will combine lectures and readings on microeconomic analysis with readings on and discussions of recent and current legal decisions and policy debates. Readings will draw primarily on the experience of Canada and the United States.

International Business in the World Economy

Instructor

Wendy Dobson

Target Audience

This course will be of particular interest to students who left the first year course in Global Environment of Business wanting more depth and detail on the implications of host country environments and the international business and economic environment for decisions to locate in, outsource or export to, a particular country.

Course Mission

The purpose of this course is to bring together for students what they need to know and understand about the international economic environment and institutions. The course provides knowledge about the major economies that host international businesses, perspectives on what businesses are doing in those economies around the world, and why and how they are doing it.

By the end of the course, you will be able to address such questions as: How do I assess and predict major economic trends in these economic areas? How do I find out about a national economic and business environment in order to trade, invest or do other aspects of business there? What do I need to know about key risks associated with exchange rate regimes, financial crises, legal and regulatory environments, problems of corruption and expropriation, and sources of financing? What do I need to know about international institutions and policy regimes, financial crises, legal and regulatory environments, problems of corruption and expropriation, and sources of financing?

Course Scope

A defining feature of the world economy in the early 21st century is the emergence of large dynamic economies taking their places alongside the traditional players in Europe, the United States and Japan as important trading partners and as locations to invest and carry on international business. Much popular attention is paid to this phenomenon in outsourcing and global value chains. International frameworks created and supported by governments cooperating with each other are behind these trends. Governments also influence the domestic economic environments and external economic relationships facilitating cross-border flows of goods, services, technology, capital and labour. The decisions of multinationals and local enterprises, to create global value chains for example, influence, and are influenced by, the location of their technology, financing, production and marketing activities around the world. A number of related hot topics include the return of the state in emerging market economies and worries about falling into the middle income trap.

Game Theory and Applications for Management

Instructor

Byung Soo Lee

Target Audience

The audience for this course is quite general but those interested in general management or consulting may find this course of particular value.

Course Mission

The aim of this course is to show you how game-theoretic reasoning can be used to analyze business problems and to develop successful business solutions.  Part of this solution process is recognizing that the game in which you operate is not fixed and that decision making is not simply a matter of choosing the “right” strategy. Rather, this course asks you to look at the game setting as something over which you have influence and asks how you can “design the game” in a way that is advantageous to you.

Course Scope

This course focuses on four broad classes of strategic situations: Achieving and designing commitment in strategic settings, how best to communicate information to or extract information from opponents, contract design and designing auctions and negotiations. The course examines how your solutions to these problems depend on the environment in which you operate: who you interact with, the information you have available, what commitments are enforceable, what alternatives are available to you.  Applications will range across various areas of firm decision making: marketing, economics, strategic management finance and accounting.

Real Estate Development

Instructor

Mitch Goldhar

Target Audience

Students interested in learning about the real estate industry and real estate development, specifically through class discussion and guest speakers.  The focus is on the real world of development and planning rather than theory. Classes will be a combination of both lectures and discussion and will be supplemented by guest speakers.  Students will be expected to engage in the discussion and debate of the issues raised.

Course Mission

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a fundamental background and basic skill set to understand the real estate development business and its interrelationships with urban planning. It will provide students with an introduction to the major disciplines and processes related to development, which can provide a basis for the pursuit of a career in the development field or simply an understanding of the mindset of the developer. The course attempts to provide some understanding of the complexity surrounding real estate development and will introduce a level of quantitative and qualitative thinking sufficient to deal with myriad of decisions that confront the real estate developer. This course gives students the opportunity to experience, first hand, the world of real estate development through a final group project in which students will be required to apply their acquired knowledge and skills to identify, investigate, evaluate, and present a real-life real estate development project. 

Students are also expected to contribute to class debate and are encouraged to ask questions at any time. The objective of the course is to enable students to think critically about real estate development. This is not so much a course in facts as it is a course in thinking, learning and adapting to the forces shaping the real estate development industry.

Course Scope

Real estate development is one of the few business fields where financial, legal, social, environmental and political considerations are so intricately weaved.  Knowledge of the interrelationships of these elements and the ability to understand the ensuing issues are essential to all of those who are involved either directly or indirectly in the development industry.  All businesses and/or activities require real estate, and it is through real estate development that one can have ultimate control over the creation of value in real estate. 

In finding the path to profit, a real estate developer has to navigate through many obstacles and deal with forces, which he or she must anticipate.  These forces can be local, provincial, national, and global in nature, ranging from the dynamic of the economy to changes in family structure, consumer spending patterns, migration trends and emerging technologies.  The interaction of these forces, over time, makes real estate development an exciting endeavor in which risks are high and rewards, at times, substantial.  It is a field strewn with challenges, risks and pitfalls that have toppled the largest and seemingly most stable organizations in the world.  Yet, the ownership of real estate has not lost its allure and it is from real estate that many (non-real estate) companies survive.

Real estate development can be considered the ‘bedrock’ of the real estate industry. To understand real estate development is to understand all aspects of the real estate industry—investing, financing, growth trends, market cycles, etc. This course provides an overview of the real estate industry, the development process, and the laws regulating it through the planning process. It covers the financial basis for development projects, the participants, the market search procedures and the financing of development. It also touches on the interface of the industry with the public sector.

The Economic Environment of International Business

Instructor

Don Brean

Target Audience

Students interested in developing a thorough yet practical understanding of the basis of location-specific advantages and, in particular, how modern industry successfully taps those advantages around the globe.   The course appeals to those intent on careers in international business, strategic management and global positioning. 

Course Mission

What economic factors shape a foreign market opportunity or a foreign production opportunity? What specific corporate characteristics contribute to successful foreign operations? In what way and to what extent do national and international laws, regulations or institutions – such as trade law, competition policy or the level of a country’s financial development – shape the commercial opportunities in specific locations? Answers to such questions are focus of RSM 2127.

The course also addresses the role of international economic institutions and arrangements – such as the World Trade Organization, the IMF, NAFTA, The EU Economic Directorates, tax treaties, intellectual property protection – in making the world a more promising and secure place for international business.  In RSM 2127, such issues are explored, explained and illustrated.

This course establishes managerial perspectives on international trade, cross-border investment and global risk management. Fundamental principles of international trade and finance – comparative advantage, gains from trade, industrial specialization – are framed for business decisions in the world economy. Principles of global industrial organization are illustrated in a context of increasing international economic integration. All concepts are illustrated with real world examples.

Specific topics examined in depth include industry exposure to exchange rate changes (and how to hedge such exposure), international diffusion of technology, investing in emerging markets (such as China and India), conflict resolution in international trade (with illustrative examples) and international aspects of competition policy.

Real Estate Economics

Instructor

William Strange

Target Audience

Real estate matters in every area of business.  Real estate assets are a very important part of corporate balance sheets.  The principle residence is usually the largest item in a household’s portfolio.   In aggregate, real estate has been estimated as comprising roughly 40% of total wealth.  For all of these reasons, real estate is a fundamental area of finance.  Real estate and location decisions can determine whether entrepreneurs succeed or fail and whether mature businesses grow or decline.   It is thus no exaggeration to claim that all educated businesspeople should know something about real estate. 

This class is, therefore, designed to be useful across the MBA program.  In addition to students who pursue careers in real estate itself, a background in real estate can be useful to students in banking and asset management.  A background in real estate can also be useful to general managers to the extent that they deal with location decisions and because firms in other lines of business frequently own or rent significant real estate, and are therefore accidentally in the real estate business.   Real estate is also important to consultants since real estate decisions are so important for the businesses that make them.

Course Mission and Scope

The course applies economic methods to make students better real estate decision-makers. Topics covered include the determinants of real estate values, the location decisions of households and firms, land use, urban growth and agglomeration, industry clusters, cycles, bubbles, real estate finance, real options, and leasing.

Forecasting Models and Econometric Methods

Instructor

Peter Dungan

Target Audience

Students interested in understanding and using regression-based forecasting techniques applicable to Finance, Marketing, Strategy and Business Economics.  

Course Mission and Scope

The course provides an introduction to forecasting techniques based on time-series methods, single-equation econometric (‘regression’) equations, multiple-equation econometric models and volatility forecasting (‘ARCH’ techniques and their offspring).  The forecasting applications considered span demand and price forecasting and financial variables.  The course is “hands-on”, requiring use of the toolkit of techniques in Econometric Views – an econometrics package widely used in the forecasting community.  Relatively little time is devoted to non-econometric forecasting techniques.

Real Estate Investment

Instructor

TBA

Target Audience

Real estate assets account for about one-third of the value of all capital assets in the world. An understanding of real estate is important no matter what line of business a student plans to be in.  This class is, therefore, designed to be useful across the MBA program. 

Course Mission

This course will consider the economic and financial issues that are of fundamental importance in the analysis of real estate investment.  The objective is to combine the analytic framework of financial economics with the real-world features of real estate markets. The course shall (1) help students understand house price movements; (2) familiarize students with the key elements of the real estate investment decision process in both residential and commercial real estate markets; and (3) establish a meaningful framework within which students can identify real estate opportunities and manage the associated risks. 

Course Scope

This class will provide an overview of real estate valuation, financing and investment, using finance and economics tools. Topics include real estate investment and development, mortgage and equity financing, real estate securitization and credit crunch, real estate brokerage, house price dynamics, homeownership decisions and government policies.

Prosperity & Competitiveness

Instructor

Richer Florida

Target Audience

This course will impart this understanding the role of business and public policy in the competiveness and prosperity of cities. It will do so through theories, data, and case studies, drawn from my more than three decades of my own research and extensive experience working with companies, nations, and cities. The course integrates academic theory and real world examples of the forces that shape business competitiveness and community prosperity.

Course Mission

Cities are an increasingly important component of economic life. Half the world’s population lives in cities and metro areas – a figure that will only continue to increase. Businesses depend on places for their competitiveness and the prosperity of communities depend on economic success. 

Course Scope

This course is designed to help you understand the role of firms and communities in prosperity and competitiveness. It has four key objectives:

  • To help you understand the importance of competitiveness and prosperity for communities as well as companies.
  • To help you better understand how and why firms locate where they do and the role of location in corporate strategy and performance.
  • To help you understand the various assets that communities provide to people and firms.
  • At a more personal level, this course will give you the tools you need to help you select the best place for your career and life.

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