This is the study programme for 2020/2021. It is subject to change.

What should firms consider when making decisions on investments in innovation? And what is the role of the government and the effects of various policies and instruments on private firms' innovation processes? Examples and data from industries and companies worldwide will be used throughout the course. The role of innovation and policies in sustainable development is also analyzed. The analytical tools and answers to these and other questions will be presented throughout this course, and will give you a solid qualification for any future career involving investment decisions in innovative firms.

Learning outcome

Upon completion of the course, students will have acquired:
  • A relevant set of theories and empirical methods for analyzing the economics of innovation.
  • Knowledge of the economics of different stages of innovation processes from basic research to commercialization.
  • Analytical tools necessary to understand firms' considerations and trade-offs in innovation investment decisions, including responsible innovation issues.
  • A knowledge of relationships between characteristics of sectors and products (e.g. firm concentration, value chain organization, product differentiation, appropriability) and innovation incentives and behavior.
  • Knowledge of the role of innovation and policies in sustainable development, including global climate and environmental challenges.

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
  • Undertake an analysis of innovation processes as risky investment projects.
  • Analyze the relationships between market structure characteristics and innovation.
  • Analyze relationships between firms' economic performance in terms of productivity and profitability and innovation using econometric techniques on real data.
  • Provide economic and financial advice to the management of a firm's innovation processes.
  • Provide advice to policy makers and the public sector in design of regulations and instruments which can influence R&D, innovation and productivity of firms, whether they were intended to do so or were designed primarily for other purposes.


The course will cover the following topics:
  1. Economic theories of the firm and innovation.
  2. Economic analysis of different stages of innovation processes.
  3. Market failures and government policy interventions in knowledge production and innovation processes, particularly with respect to sustainable development and environmental challenges.
  4. Market characteristics and firms' incentives to invest in R&D and innovate.
  5. Econometric analysis of R&D, innovation and firm behaviour and performance.

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended previous knowledge

A microeconomics course and statistics course with regression analysis at the bachelor level is an advantage.


Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written exam1/14 hoursA - FNone permitted

Coursework requirements

Approved individual paper and oral presentation of the paper

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Silje Haus-Reve
Course teacher
Silje Haus-Reve , Ragnar Tveterås

Method of work

The course will be delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and written assignment. The seminars will include student presentations and discussions. Each student will be required to give at least one seminar presentation. All students are expected to read the required literature ahead of the seminars and to participate actively in discussions. Seminars may include exercises.Students will also have a written assignment where the deliverable is a written essay and oral presentation of the essay.
Estimated student workload in hours:
1. Lecture 26
2. Seminar/exercise 26
3. Specific supervision 40
4. Student's self studies 120
5. Written assignment 60

Open to

All master study programs at the University of Stavanger.

Course assessment

Students will have the opportunity to give feedback on the course first in an early dialogue, and then in a written course evaluation at the end of the course.


Literature is published about 14 days before registration for the course opens

This is the study programme for 2020/2021. It is subject to change.

Sist oppdatert: 05.04.2020