The Course Catalog includes course descriptions of all courses offered by F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business. For descriptions of the courses offered in the current or upcoming semesters, please see our Course Listing



ECN6111 Entrepreneurial Economics

(MSEL Core Course)

This course applies economic theory to decisions faced by entrepreneurs such as pricing, investment, data usage, and ethics. A primary focus of this course will be on using data to improve strategic decision making. Students will be encouraged to think about the strategic implications of decisions and to use both theory and data to support, validate, and revise decisions as needed. Entrepreneurial leaders are challenged in the global marketplace to effectively communicate not only the results of analysis but the rationale for decisions. Through both individual and group work, students will conduct market analysis and present the results while also interacting with their peers to provide constructive practical critiques.

1.5 credits


ECN6300 Economic Analytics
3 Blended Credits
This course provides a framework for systematic analysis of consumer and firm's choices in light of global market dynamics to create and capture value, given the firm's and industry's market structure.

This course can be broken down across three phases:

- Foundation: Economic data sources for business; economics theories and models related to analytics in business (e.g. maximization of consumer utility/satisfaction; consumer and firm behavior).
- Intermediate: Linear and non-linear models in the context of business applications (e.g. elasticity and demand; marginal productivity; sales simulation; quantifying impacts of government policies on business); Association and Causality; logit and multinomial logit for multiple outcomes (e.g. predicting choices of different brands; predicting market shares of different products).
- Advanced: Time series (AR, MA, ARMA and ARIMA), exponential smoothing, and trend models (e.g. their applications in sales and revenue forecasting, human resource and customer service); how to present economics findings for business purposes.

3 credits


ECN6310 Modern Econometrics for Business

3 Credits

Using an experiential learning approach, this course equips you with a wide variety of modern tools in prescriptive analytics, from business experiments to regression discontinuity, to give you the power to evaluate business strategies and policies. The course also covers extensive anatomy of regressions, hypothesis testing, Monte-Carlo simulation, and time series analysis and forecasting with a hands-on approach using applications from the world of business.

Prerequisites: MBA students will be required to review approximately 6 hours of pre-work videos

3 credits


ECN7200 Managerial Economics

2 CreditsManagerial Economics (MICRO) - This course provides a framework for systematic analysis of consumer and firm's choices in light of global market dynamics to create and capture value given the firm's and industry's market structure. This framework is used to explain firm adjustment to changes in market conditions, as well as to changes in government policies and laws. While the course focuses on understanding how the value of the firm can be increased, it also addresses broader questions of efficiency, equity and sustainability.

2 credits


ECN7201 International Macroeconomics and Business Environment Analysis
(Formerly Managing at the Crossroads: Business, Government, and the International Economy)

2 CreditsManaging at the Crossroads: Business, Government, and the International Economy (Mac-BGIE) - This course focuses on domestic and international cause-and-effect relationships among credit markets, goods and services markets, and foreign exchange markets. This global framework is used to explain the effect that economic, social, and/or political shocks have on a nation's growth and prosperity.

2 credits


ECN7500 Economic Analysis for Business Decisions
3 Elective Credits
**If you have taken and passed ECN7200 you cannot register for ECN7500 as these two courses are equivalent**

Running a successful business requires decision-making that is informed by an understanding of the market environment in which the firm operates. Business leaders and entrepreneurs need analytical skills and the ability to anticipate market dynamics if they are going to manage for growth. Economic Analysis for Business Decisions provides students strategic and tactical competencies such as: sizing market demand, identifying market opportunities, differentiating products and services effectively, strategic pricing, cost modeling, determining optimal firm size and identifying sources of market power. With these competencies in hand, students will then develop the ability to determine the best competitive strategies based on a clear understanding of an industry's structure and behavior, and the firm's advantages within the larger market. Students will use game theory to model strategic behavior, consider the firm's responsibilities and the government's role in correcting market failures, and will leave the course with an ability to create business models that will grow stakeholder value.

Prerequisites: None

3 credits


ECN7505 International Macro: What Every MBA Should Know
3 Elective Credits
This course focuses on the intersection between international macroeconomics and business strategy. It highlights the movements of and interrelations among major macroeconomic variables that affect the performance of nations, in general, and businesses, in particular. None of these economic factors is controlled by any manager, but good managers must react to, cope with, and anticipate them. IM provides an intuitive, logical, and internally consistent framework for managers to: (1) function effectively in a world where business performance and strategies are affected by international institutions, domestic and global economic forces, as well as government and central bank policies , (2) evaluate whether government and central bank policies are sustainable, (3) create and critically evaluate country analyses, (4) clarify how changes in a country's economic climate affect corporate financial plans and capital budgeting decisions, and (5) improve financial projections (e.g., cash flow statements, income statements and balance sheets). With this knowledge, managers are better able to internalize, analyze, and make decisions based on the expected impact that economic, political, and social forces have on companies' strategies, competitive positions, and performances.

Prerequisites: None

3 credits


ECN7510 Financial and Macroeconomics Data Analysis
3 Elective Credits
There are numerous challenges to competently modeling/forecasting financial and macroeconomic variables. Basic statistical analysis may yield misleading results for various reasons including time-varying volatility, structural change, and outliers. Time series data is also often "non-stationary" which, if not addressed, can lead to spurious regression or "nonsense correlations". Analysis of "big data" meanwhile can promote model selection bias where the effects in the final model are overstated. Moreover, the relationship of cause and effect between variables is often two-way, where both variables affect each other. In this class, you will learn several methods to address these problems including: cointegration (to address non-stationarity), vector autoregression (to allow for interdependence between variables), and a machine learning algorithm to conduct unbiased model selection from "big data" while addressing outliers and structural change.

Prerequisites: None

3 credits


ECN7515 Business Model Innovation to Compete in the Digital Economy

3 Elective Credits

Recent surveys to Top Management Teams show that business model innovation is at the forefront of their thoughts and challenges, both in startups and established companies. This course provides the tools to design and operate innovative business models.

The tools to be learned should help students understand how to think about business model innovation, respond to the entry of disruptive business models, and decide whether the company should operate single or multiple business models. We also analyze business model transformation and innovation in entrepreneurial organizations and how these organizations can use business model innovation to challenge established companies even in mature industries.

Examples of questions to be asked in the course are: How can a startup disrupt industries such as dairy, pharmaceutical, retail, financial, wine, and biotechnology? What are the fundamental issues to consider when designing business models that require different customer groups simultaneously? How to build sustainable models? What are the conditions to implement a business model innovation in an organization? How can the simultaneous operation of more than one business model promote a hard-to-imitate competitive advantage?

Regardless of your intended career path, understanding business models is essential. In investment banking or private equity, you need to understand the "engine" (i.e., the business model) that produces profits. In consulting, you need to solve organizational problems, which is very hard without understanding how the business model works. In industry, regardless of the company, economic sector, and position, you need to understand the context in which you operate and how your actions fit into the firm's policies, assets, and decision-making. In entrepreneurship, business model innovation is a powerful tool to succeed.

Prerequisites: None

3 credits


ECN7520 Economic and Financial Forecasting

3 Credits **If you have taken and passed QTM9501, you cannot register for ECN7520, as these two courses are equivalent**

Do you anticipate making or evaluating economic and business forecasts in your career? This _hands-on_ course provides students a comprehensive introduction to the field of forecasting and econometrics. It covers three main areas of forecasting: basic statistical methods, structural models, and time series models. Throughout the course we will focus on applied examples and use software to forecast key economic and business measures of performance (such as asset pricing, investment risk, interest rates, unemployment rates, industry level and firm level sales, revenues and other variables) while learning to assess the strengths and weaknesses of these forecasts.

These techniques can improve corporate financial planning, marketing, sales forecasts, production planning, and many other decisions where better predictions in light of uncertainty can reduce costs, raise profits and lead to better decision-making.

This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall

Prerequisites: None

3 credits


ECN7550 Business Strategy and Game Theory
3 Elective Credits
This course makes extensive use of Game Theory (in addition to applied economics and other emerging strategic models) to provide a systematic and rigorous approach for formulating winning strategies for creating and capturing value in the context of interdependence and uncertainty. This course will empower you with the knowledge and skills to frame the strategic questions for data analysis and turn data into strategic insight and foresight for agile startups as well as for large corporations. Case studies are used to illustrate successful application of strategies. The teaching method utilizes simulations, gaming, and practical, case-based discussions. Topics include: threats and opportunities in the supply chain, the dynamics of pricing rivalry, entry decisions/entry deterrence, mergers and acquisitions, strategic commitment, negotiating, bidding, and managing innovation for sustaining competitive advantage. Antitrust issues are also addressed.

Prerequisites: ECN7200 or ECN7500

3 credits


ECN7555 Health Care: Markets, Analytics and Strategies
(Formerly Health Economics)
3 Elective Credits
Health care costs account for 18% of U.S. GDP, which is one reason the health care industry is abundant with job openings and entrepreneurship opportunities! This is especially true in the Boston area, which has become a global leader in the health care and life sciences industries. This course follows a hands-on, two-pronged approach to solve real-world problems.

- Prong #1 focuses on the market and organizational structures of major stakeholders, including pharmaceutical companies, health care tech companies, insurers, hospitals, physicians, patients, and government.

- Prong #2 uses empirical methods, such as big data, survey, Pay-for-Performance, and Health Technology Assessment, to analyze these stakeholders' challenges, assess business opportunities, and design evidence-based strategies. In addition, you will learn SAS, a highly demanded analytical skill on the job market.

For students interested in health care and life science industries, this course will provide you with the tools and knowledge needed for evidence-based, expert-level opinions. For students interested in in analytics, the methods used in health care analyses are applicable, transferrable, and relevant to a host of other industries and functions, such as marketing and finance.

Prerequisites: ECN7200 or ECN7500

3 credits


ECN 7575 Business Models, Competitiveness, and the Changing European Environment
3 Elective Abroad Credits
Program fee is paid to Glavin Office - program fee includes: accommodations, breakfast, ground transportation, program planned meals and cultural excursions. Not included: tuition, international flight, single room supplement (additional $500), visa costs, additional meals and personal expenses.

ECN 7575 explores competitive and strategic dimensions of companies doing business in the European Union (EU) in the context of EU competitiveness, institutions, policies, history and culture. This course studies ways that companies organize and define core competencies to build successful global brands. It further examines emerging trends, opportunities, and challenges for business and business creation in Italy and in the EU. ECN7575 explores how companies adapt and take advantage of business model disruptions, such as changes in technology and EU regulation, in light of current market dynamics. This course is grounded in economic fundamentals of relevant market definition, competitiveness in different geographies, firm behavior and performance, and provides students with opportunities to evaluate how companies position themselves for success in global markets based on their business model and strategic choices.

ECN 7575 is divided into two parts: two on-campus lectures (WebEx available for Blended Learning students) and a week-long site visit to Italy. In Italy, students will visit 5-6 companies to study challenges and opportunities they are facing in the context of the EU, its institutions, and global competition. Past company visits include among others: Amazon, PayPal, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Ducati, Ermenegildo Zegna, Armani, Eataly, Brembo and DHL. In addition, several faculty from Bocconi University will offer lectures and case discussions pertaining to the current developments in the EU and the European Competitiveness court and relate them to relevant company visits. Applications discussed will also include luxury brand management, integrated supply chains, and consequences of specific business model choices for valuation, revenue potential, and brand equity objectives. Last but not least, several activities are planned that will allow students to engage in and embrace Italian history and culture. Past excursions include a night at La Scala, a guided tour of Milan, a viewing of Leonardo DaVinci's The Last Supper, and attending a soccer game at San Siro.

Prerequisites: ECN7200, ECN7201, ECN7500 or ECN7505

3 credits


ECN7580 Independent Research

1.5-3 CreditsIndependent research is available for all academic divisions. Registration is manual for students through Graduate Programs and Student Affairs.

Independent Research provides an opportunity to conduct in-depth research in areas of a student's own specific interest. Students may undertake Independent Research for academic credit with the approval of a student-selected faculty advisor, the appropriate division chair, and Graduate Programs and Student Affairs. Please note that a student is responsible for recruiting a faculty advisor through the student's own initiative and obtain the advisor's prior consent/commitment before applying for an independent research project. Authorization for such a project requires submission of a formal proposal written in accordance with standards set forth by the Graduate School. The research project normally carries 1.5 or 3 credits.

For more information and a proposal outline please visit:

3 credits