Managerial Economics and Business Analysis

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In order to effectively manage and operate a business, managers and leaders need to understand the market characteristics and economic environments they operate in. In this specialization you will build a solid understanding of the operation of markets, understand how to assess the macro-economic environment with examples of real-world events, and finally, develop an analytical framework to combine the power of theory and data to make effective business decisions.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify firm- and country-level economic factors that impact business decisions
  • Develop an analytical framework using statistical tools
  • Apply economic theory and data in the analysis of business environments and trends to make effective business decisions


This course is about microeconomic theory and its use in the analysis of resource allocation and contemporary business problems. In the process, we will need to build a solid understanding of the operation of markets. While newspapers provide daily reminders of the movement of many economies toward market rather than government control of allocation, many US policymakers continue to press for increasing government intervention. Our goal will be to develop a set of tools, a methodology, which will allow reasoned and consistent analysis of consumers, producers, markets, and policy options. In order to reach this level of understanding, we must focus on how markets arrive at equilibrium outcomes. This requires construction of optimal behavior by both consumers and producers, as well as the characteristics of the marketplaces in which they interact. Throughout, I will make a concerted effort to motivate your interest in a theory or an application by referring to real-world events.
The goal of this course is to enable you to assess the macroeconomic environment in which a business operates. Macroeconomic conditions play important roles in business decisions and performance. Aggregate income, unemployment, and inflation rates influence profitability; interest rates determine the cost of capital; and exchange rates affect international competitiveness.
This course provides an analytical framework to help students evaluate key problems in a structured fashion and tools to better manage the uncertainties that pervade and complicate business processes. In this course, you will learn the “language” of uncertainty and the statistical methods for making inferences and decisions on the basis of limited information/data.

The capstone for the specialization will provide a learning experience that examines the global economic environment of business. The capstone involves an in-depth analysis of an actual business situation. The final deliverable consists of a business environment plan that uses statistical tools and economic theory to create a comprehensive analysis of the microeconomic and macroeconomic environment in which the focal company operates.

The business environment plans will be peer reviewed in a crowd-sourcing format as part of a poster session, with participation by one or more focal companies. The deliverable will be designed to create value from the perspective of potential employers while achieving pedagogical and experiential goals for learners. Learner assessment for the capstone will include quizzes as well as peer reviews of capstone projects.


He is a dean emeritus and professor of finance in the College of Business, and professor of economics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He has long been associated with the Illinois MBA and has won many awards in graduate and professional teaching, including the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching, the MBA Faculty of the Year Award, and the Keith E. Sawyer Memorial Service Award from the Illinois Executive MBA. His research interests lie in the area of applied microeconomics and focus on topics in industrial organization, regulatory issues, and labor economics. Along with some of his colleagues in Business, he has also written articles on economic aspects of professional sports. He holds PhD and MA degrees in economics from Cornell University and earned a BS in economics from Bradley University.
He is a professor of economics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. His major research interests are in the arena of the political economy of development. He has published extensively on related topics in the Journal of Applied Econometrics, The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Middle East Development Journal, Journal of Development Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, and International Economic Review. He has won numerous awards for teaching, including Faculty of the Year for the Executive MBA program, Best Teacher Award for the Warsaw-Illinois Executive MBA, Professor of the Year for the Professional MBA, Economics Graduate Student Organization Award for Teaching Excellence at the Graduate Level, the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent By Their Students, and the Omicron Delta Epsilon Award for Teaching Excellence at the Graduate Level. He has earned a PhD and an MA in economics from the University of California, and a BS in mechanical engineering from Tehran University.
She is a clinical professor of business administration. She holds a PhD, MS, and BS in industrial engineering from Purdue University. Her research interests focus on the integration of technology with management and process movement, particularly the development and deployment of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in manufacturing and the global supply chain. Her teaching interests are mainly in operations process management, including product development and design, operation and technology strategy, and project management. Her work has been published in such journals as Advanced Engineering Informatics, Expert Systems with Applications, and Management Research News. Taghaboni-Dutta has consistently been featured on the university-wide list of faculty rated as excellent by their students from 2009 to 2014.