- The Department
- Study Programmes
The more traditional definitions of microeconomics, such as the famous one by Lord Robbins, emphasize that the discipline studies the rational decisions of individuals who face scarcity. Nowadays, perhaps intriguingly, the practice of microeconomics has to do more with the definition by Marx (Karl, not Groucho): "Economics is the relationship between men disguised as relationship between things." Indeed, a large proportion of current microeconomic research has to do with strategic interaction mediated by institutions, which have been designed often with an explicit objective to obtain the best possible outcome.
Research in microeconomics at the DEB of UPF is no exception. A large part of our research effort is devoted to two main lines of research. On the one hand we study positive theories of strategic behavior. On the other hand, we apply those theories to the design of mechanisms and incentive schemes both for private organizations and for the public sector. Within the line of research on strategic behavior, the group at UPF is especially well known for its contributions to the understanding of learning processes and evolutionary dynamics, as a foundation of equilibrium concepts. Within mechanism design, our most important contributions have been in the theory of implementation of social choice functions, in auctions, and in procurement mechanisms. Other relevant research lines have to do with the relationship between communication processes and strategic interaction, the refinement of equilibrium concepts, and applications within industrial organization and political economy.
The researchers in this group have received funding from the Dirección General de Investigación Cientifíca y Técnica, the EU-TMR network program, ERC and the Generalitat de Catalunya. Our research has been published in, among others, the American Economic Review, Econometrica, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of Political Economy, Rand Journal of Economics, Review of Economic Studies and the Proceedings of the NationalAcademy of Sciences.
The researchers in this area are: Larbi Alaoui, Jose Apesteguia, Antoni Bosch-Domènech, Xavier Calsamiglia, Joan de Martí, Jan Eeckhout, Fabrizio Germano, Nagore Iriberri, Humberto Llavador, Andreu Mas-Colell and Rosemarie Nagel. Several doctoral students have written or write dissertations in the area. Some of them have obtained offers for assistant professor positions at, among others: Stockholm University, Texas A&M University, Rutgers University, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Università Bocconi, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universität Mannheim and University College London. The group also collaborates intensely with other research groups in the department: as co-authors, and even as members. The inter-disciplinary collaborations do not end there. Members of the group have published articles in journals of psychology, political science, biology and physics.
Microeconomics is naturally an important part of the training of any economist, so we teach microeconomics at all levels, undergraduate, MSc, MBA and PhD. Also, we teach in other departments: Law, Political Science and Journalism.