Seminar: Getting inside the digital economies

Course content

This seminar aims to enable the student to understand how the new digital economy works 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 of 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 into an online business environment?


MSc programme in Economics

The seminar is primarily for students at the MSc of Economics

Learning outcome

Understanding how 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.


After completing the course, the student is 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 microeconomic 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.


After completing the course, the student is expected to be able to:

  • 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.



After completing the course, the student is expected to be able to:

  • Plan a move into a digital economy for either an existing business or a new initiative or company.
  • Implement the necessary steps 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.

Supplemented by an overall intended learning outcome outlined in the programme-specific curriculum”

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 of Industrial Organization following the courses Industrial Organization and Microeconomic I + II or be interested in 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

Relation to subjects and courses: This seminar will draw on models from industrial organization and microeconomic theory as basics to understand and recognize how digital economics works. Hence the basic courses such as Micro Economic Theory and Industrial Organization are highly recommended to join this seminar. The approach to the seminar is seen from a business perspective, so there will only be little reference to the macroeconomic impacts of the digital economy.

BSc in Economics or similar

- Kick-off meeting: Wednesday 4th of September 2024 Time 08.15 – 10.00.
- Extra meetings / introductory teaching / guidance: To be planned – however first time no later halfway through the seminar which is around the 1st of November. This 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 wednesday 2nd of October at 10 AM

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

- Presentations: In the period 31st of October – 20th of November. Not later than the 15th of November – will be determined at the Kick-off meeting cfr. above.
- Exam date: 20th of December at 10.00 (am) - latest uploading of the Seminar paper to the Digital Exam portal for assessment

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

- Kick-off meeting:
Tuesday, 6 February 2024, 12:15-15:00
- Extra meetings / introductory teaching / guidance:
Individual advisory meetings upon request 12 February – 5 May 2024
- Deadline for submission of commitment paper / project description: No later than 1 March.
- Deadline for uploading a seminar assignment paper in Absalon: No later than one week before the presentations.

- Presentations: In the time period 15 – 17 May 2024

- Exam date: 3 June 2025 at 10.00 AM - latest uploading of Seminar paper to the Digital Exam portal for assessment.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
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 is 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
On-site written exam
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.
Exam registration requirements

Attendance in all  activities at the seminar as stated in the formal requrements in the master curriculum  and at the KUnet for  Seminars (UK)  and Seminars (DK) is required to participate in the exam.


All aids allowed

for the seminar paper.

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

Use of AI tools is permitted. You must explain how you have used the tools. When text is solely or mainly generated by an AI tool, the tool used must be quoted as a source.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

Exam information:

The seminar paper must be uploaded to the Digital Exam portal. More information will be available from the middle of the semester.

For enrolled students more information about examination, rules, aids etc. is available at the intranet for Master (UK) and Master (DK).

Examination Dates can be found here (latest uploading of Seminar paper to the Digital Exam portal for assessment.)



Reexam information:

The reexam form in seminars is a seminar paper with a synopsis.

Deadline and more information is available at Seminars (UK) and Seminars(DK).

More information about reexam etc is available at Master (UK) and Master (DK).


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

Autumn And Spring
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
  • Klavs Rasmus Stoffregen Steensen   (4-6e7576764368667271316e7831676e)
• Cand. Polit., HD (R), Klavs Steensen

• Cand. Polit., HD (R), Klavs Steensen

Saved on the 16-05-2024

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