Seminar: Getting inside the digital economies

Course content

The objective of this seminar is to enable the student to understand how the new digital economy work when earnings are made from a different source than the direct service delivered. Also, it is the objective to enable the student to apply known economic models to the altered digital market system. Three examples on possible discussions that could be made in this seminar:

  • How could Facebook, Google and Uber become so profitable, when the service they provide is free?
  • What is the impact when megamarkets such as Amazon or Alibaba enter an industry?

Is it possible (and if so how) to move or integrate a business to an online business environment?


MSc programme in Economics

The seminar is primarily for students at the MSc of Economics

Learning outcome

Understanding how the digital economies work, how profits are made and how the economic models from “old” economies can be applied to the digital economy. Those are fundamental learnings from this seminar.

Additional for the learning outcome specified in the Master curriculum the student is after completing the seminar expected to be able to:


  • Account for how digital economies work both in existing (non-digital) industries and in digital industries.
  • Describe how the digital economy is either similar to or different from the “old” economy and put it in perspective to known economic models from either industrial organization or micro economic theory.
  • Define what economic model that will be best suited to describe a business operating in a digital economy. The arguments for the description must be soundly founded.



  • Analyze a business or an industry and be able to advocate for or against if either is able to perform well in a digital economy.
  • Evaluate what parameters that describe either a business or an industry and compare these parameters with known economic models.
  • Discuss the possible economic consequences for a business or an industry if it either initiates in a digital economy or how it will be influenced by competition from a digital service or product.



  • Plan a move into a digital economy either for an existing business or for a new initiative or company.
  • Implement the necessary steps in order to execute the planned move into a digital economy. This ability of implementation will also be based on the recognition of the underlying economic model.
  • Identify and Initiate collaborations within the business or industry with relevant parties that will help execute the planned move of a business into a digital economy.

At the seminar the student is trained independently to
- identify and clarify a problem,
- seek and select relevant literatur,
- write a academic paper,
- present and discuss own paper with the other students at the seminar.

The aim of the presentations is, that the student uses the presentation as an opportunity to practice oral skills and to receive feedback. The presentations is not a part of the exam and will not be assessed.

Mandatory activities in the seminar:
- Kick-off meeting
- Finding literatur and defining the project
- Writing process of the seminar paper
- Presentation of own project and paper
- Giving constructive feedback to another student´s paper
- Actively participating in discussions at the presentations and other meetings.

There is no weekly teaching/lecturing and the student cannot expect guidance from the teacher. If the teacher gives a few introduction lectures or gives the opportunity for guidance, this as well as other expectations are clarified at the kickoff meeting.

It is strongly recommended that you think about and search for a topic before the semester begins, as there is only a few weeks from the kick-off meeting to the submission of the project description/ agreement paper.

The seminar project paper must be uploaded in Absalon before the presentations, as the opponents and the other seminar participants have to read and comment on the paper. It is important that you upload a paper that is so finalized as possible due to the fact that the value of feedback and comments at the presentation is strongly associated with the skill level of the seminar paper.

After the presentations, you can with a few corrections improve the seminar paper by including the feedback and comments emerged during the presentations. It is NOT intended that you rewrite or begin the writing of the full project AFTER the presentation has taken place.

Important: This list is not complete and is only to give a perspective on the areas that are relevant to the seminar.Hence, it will of course not be expected nor necessary to have read all the below mentioned litterature:

Kim, W.C.; Mauborgne, R. (2005). Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. ISBN  978-1591396192.
Porter, Michael E. (1985). Competitive Advantage. Free Press. ISBN  0-684-84146-0.

Malinvaud, Edmond. Lectures on microeconomic theory, North-Holland, 1972. ISBN: 9780444876508

Tirole, Jean: “The Theory of Industrial Organization” MIT press, 1988, ISBN: 9780262200714

Tapscott, Don (2015): The Digital Economy: Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence Anniversary Edition” McGraw-Hill. ISBN-13: 978-0070622005

Juan-José Ganuza and Gerard Llobert (2018). “ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION”. Funcas. ISBN: 978-84-15722-94-6

Articles and papers:

OECD (2017). Trust in Peer Platform Markets. OECD Digital Economy Papers November 2017 No. 263

Must read: Avi Goldfarb, Catherine Tucker (2017). Digital Economics. NBER Working Paper No. 23684 – this paper the students are expected to have read before attending the seminar.

• The student should have a basic knowledge on Industrial Organization having followed the courses Industrial Organization and Microeconomic I + II or have interest within these subjects.
• The student will benefit from attending one of the courses Advanced Industrial Organization, Advanced Strategic Management or Strategic Management but is not a prerequisite for taking the seminar.

BSc in Economics or similar

Schedule Fall 2022:

- Kick-off meeting: Tuesday 6th of September 2022; Time 08.15 – 10.00.

- Extra meetings / introductory teaching / guidance: To be planned – however first time no later half way through the seminar which around 1st of November which will be a full day 08.15-16.00 for all students in blocks as indicated below.

- Deadline for submission of commitment paper / project description:. Commitment paper must be delivered no later than Friday 30th of September at 10 AM

- Deadline for uploading a seminar assignment paper in the Absalon: No later than one week before the presentations. Will be agreed on at the Kick-off meeting

- Presentations: In the time period 31st of October – 20th of November. No later than the 15th of November – will be determined at the Kick-off meeting cfr. above.

- Exam date: 20 December at 10.00 (am) - latest uploading of Seminar paper to the Digital Exam portal for assessment.

All information regarding the seminar is communicated through Absalon including venue. So it is very important that you by yourself logon to Absalon and read the information already when you are registered at the seminar.

Continuous feedback during the course
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

The objective for this type of seminar (in my view) is to give as much learning as possible as it one of the few Econ offerings where the student is in direct dialogue with the teacher and fellow students. This is why all of the mentioned feedback types will be used.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination
Type of assessment details
A seminar paper in English that meets the formal requirements for written papers stated in the curriculum of the Master programme and at KUNet for seminars.
All aids allowed

for the seminar paper.

The teacher defines the aids that must be used for the presentations.


Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the seminar and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes in the Curriculum of the Master programme.


To receive the top grade, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Project work
  • 186
  • Seminar
  • 20
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester

and venue:
Go to "Remarks"

Exam and re-sits: Go to "Exam".
Max. students in each class 16
Max. amount of classes: 2
Department of Economics, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Rikke Truelsen   (14-7b7274746e377d7b7e6e757c6e77497c6a766f37747e376d74)
Kursusansvarlige bliver Klavs Rasmus Stoffregen Steensen

Klavs Rasmus Stoffregen Steensen (;

Saved on the 02-11-2022

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students