Digital Economics



Mål og innhald

Digital economics analyses how the increased usage of and the new opportunities created by advances in the ICT have changed the economic aspects of our lives. The advances in the ICT have led to the reduction of various costs that affect economic transactions. In this course we focus on the reduced costs of collecting information, disseminating information and copying, and on the effects that these changes have had on the way people buy and sell goods. We first study the effects of reduced costs of information gathering and the rise of platforms - institutions that facilitate the meetings of buyers and sellers. We then study the effects that the reduction of information collection costs have had on the collection of personal data and the resulting possibilities for personalized pricing. Then we analyse the increase in piracy due to a reduction in the costs of copying products. Time permitting, we analyse how the reduction of information dissemination and verification costs have made it easier for sellers and buyers to build reputation. We use the tools from (theoretical) microeconomics and industrial organization to study these issues.


  1. Search on the internet
  2. Two-sided markets
  3. Privacy and personal data
  4. Piracy and IP rights
  5. Reviews and reputation


A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes:


The student knows;

  • how digitalisation has affected some fundamental aspects of trading relationships in the economy.
  • which costs the digitalisation of the economy has reduced.
  • what are some of the effects of these cost reductions.
  • the content of some important articles the in the literature on digital economics.


The students is able to;

  • apply concepts from game theory and microeconomic models to analyse specific trading situations.
  • formalise questions from digital economics using mathematical terminology.
  • solve game-theoretic models when applied to questions from digital economics.
  • read and analyse articles from academic economic literature.

General competence

The student;

  • can elaborate on a variety of consequences that changes in the economic environment have on the incentives of economic agents and on trading institutions.
  • can support made claims with solid economic arguments and, where appropriate, using simple economic models.
  • is able to critically analyse arguments related to questions on digital economics that arise in media and everyday discussions.

Studiepoeng, omfang


Studienivå (studiesyklus)



Krav til forkunnskapar
Krav til studierett
The course is oriented towards students in the Master`s Programme in Economics, Professional Studies in Economics or Master's Programme in Information Technology and Economics, but is open to visiting students upon approval of student request.
Arbeids- og undervisningsformer
Lectures and seminars
Obligatorisk undervisningsaktivitet

Portfolio assessment. The grade awarded will be:

  • 30% based on two home assignments.
  • 70% based on a 2-hour written exam

The exam will be given in the language in which the course is taught.
The exam can be submitted in English. It is also possible to submit in Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.


Assessment in teaching semester.

Regarding re-sit exam


Students with valid absence as defined in UiB's study regulations § 5-5 can apply for an extension of the submission deadline on the written essay by emailing The application must be submitted before the deadline for submission has expired.

School exam

A re-sit exam is arranged for students with valid absence at school exam given that the essay has been submitted according to § 5-5.

If a resit exam is arranged, it is available for students with the following results/absences:

  • Medical certificate/valid absence
  • Interrupted exam

If you have the right to take a resit exam and a resit exam is arranged for students with valid absence, you can register yourself in StudentWeb after January 15th/August 1st.

All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.  
Hjelpemiddel til eksamen
  • Mathematical Formula Collection of K Sydsæter, A. Strøm and P. Berck or Mathematical Formulas for Economists of B Luderer, V. Nollau and K. Vetters.
  • Simple, non-programmable calculators without graphical display, in accorance with university guidelines.
  • The Department of Economics can conduct a sample of aids in the examination room.

    Administrativt ansvarleg
    The Department of Economics at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.