What you'll learn

  • Develop effective pricing strategies
  • Benchmark costs compared to competitors through relative cost analysis
  • Apply conjoint analysis to understand what features customers value most
  • Understand the power of network effects to drive demand
  • Identify sources of competitive advantage through differentiation

Course description

This is not the economics class you took in college. Economics for Managers takes you inside a growing online retailer, an events ticket broker, a multinational publishing company, and other firms evaluating market demand, wrestling with pricing strategy, and looking to identify ways to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. You will learn to apply the fundamental concepts of economics to critical business decisions and powerful tools to compete successfully.

Offered to incoming Harvard Business School students to prepare them for the MBA classroom, this online course will help you understand how businesses think about pricing and production and equip you to apply powerful ideas like complements and network effects to generate demand. This course also dives into the functioning of markets, the force of competition, and strategies for differentiation.

Course Structure

Economics of Managers consists of approximately 60 hours of material developed by Professor Bharat Anand and delivered over an eight-week period with a flexible program structure. There is no set time to log in. You complete the coursework, which consists of a highly engaging mix of short videos, multimedia cases, interactive learning exercises, and written reflections, on your own time while meeting regular deadlines. All course material is delivered through the innovative HBX online platformWhile there is no direct real-time interaction with the faculty built into the course, current and former participants may be invited to special events, both on and off-line, where HBX faculty are present.

The HBX Learning Model centers around the Harvard Business School case method, featuring interviews with business leaders and executives from companies around the world who candidly discuss challenges they've faced or obstacles they've overcome. We ask you to step into their shoes and engage with your peers to work through these real-world business scenarios.

Topics covered include:

  • Demand & Supply
  • Suppliers & Cost
  • Markets
  • Competition & Differentiation

Participants in Economics for Managers are eligible for a Certificate of Completion from HBX and Harvard Business School. To earn the certificate, you must successfully complete all coursework by the stated deadlines, including satisfactory performance on quizzes, and actively contribute to the vibrant HBX learning community.

For those interested in learning business fundamentals more broadly, the 3-course HBX CORe program—Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting taken in tandem—is available for $1,950. Learn more about the different pathways to earn the CORe credential

Who would benefit from taking Economics for Managers?

Economics for Managers is designed for anyone looking to understand how markets work and how firms compete in order to develop successful business strategy. This course is particularly well suited for individuals working in—or aspiring to work in—marketing, strategy, product management, consulting, or entrepreneurship. Those considering an MBA program who would like to be prepared on day one would also benefit greatly from the program.

What are HBX certificate programs?

HBX certificate programs are focused on one essential business topic. They combine the flexibility of online programming with the rigor and quality of a Harvard Business School education to give participants a unique edge in their careers.




Associated Schools

  • Harvard Business School

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