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Prof Ragan from McGill Provides Key Economic Concepts

Through both theory and case studies, EDHEC Global MBA participants learned the key economic concepts needed by managers and business decision-makers in a Microeconomics course taught by Professor Christopher Ragan, Ph.D. in Economics from MIT.

Christopher Ragan

Christopher Ragan

Professor Christopher Ragan, Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and currently Associate Professor, Macroeconomics and Economic Policy at McGill, led the EDHEC Global MBA participants through an intensive three day course of Microeconomics. By combining theory and practice, participants were taught why Microeconomics is important to managers in order to make the right decisions.

When asked why it is important for future managers to understand microeconomics, Professor Ragan said: "Managers need to understand what is going on in their market and why. Only with this knowledge can they hope to make sensible decisions regarding pricing, new products, expansion, or whatever. Learning this requires thinking about microeconomics in a systematic and sensible way."

Global MBA participants learned key microeconomic concepts needed for Finance, Marketing and Strategic Management. By identifying the relevant economic costs of a company, understanding how demand and supply behave in different markets and thinking strategically, participants were taught how to create and capture economic surplus. Spanning three days, it was a highly intense course. However, according to Professor Ragan, intensity is an important part of the learning process: "I like the intensity of courses like the one at EDHEC. In those settings, you really see the students develop their thinking and you see the light bulbs go off in their heads when they suddenly figure out a crucial fact or idea."

Traditionally, Microeconomics is a very theoretical course. However, Professor Ragan combined the theory with many business case studies. In his own words: "Economics is a "learning by doing" discipline. Economic ideas and principles only get properly understood when you can work through events (actual or hypothetical) in an analytical way. I strongly believe that economists should use more case studies in their teaching."

Case studies covered topics such as:

  • How to estimate the price of a product by identifying demand and supply in a given market
  • How firms' decisions can change according to changes in market conditions
  • How government policies can lead companies to obtain or to lose monopolistic benefits
  • How to use price discrimination to make a better corporate valuation of a company

Another ingredient that made this course so successful: diversity. EDHEC Global MBA is ranked number one in student diversity by The Economist. Regarding this topic, Professor Ragan said: "Diversity is cool. It is great to have students from different countries and cultures, and to hear their views on economics and business. There are clear differences, but there are also some things that are true across all cultures. Firms may have different objectives and different priorities in different countries, but if you want to maximize profits Rule Number 1* works everywhere and all the time!"

Professor Christopher Ragan is currently working as Associate Professor of the Economics Department at McGill University in Montreal, David Dodge Chair in Monetary Policy at the C.D. Howe Institute in Toronto, and member of C.D. Howe Institute's Monetary Policy Council.

*Rule Number 1 from the course: A profit-maximizing firm should always increase output as long as marginal revenue is higher than marginal cost.

EDHEC Global MBA, Courses


February 10, 2012

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