Master Governing Markets: regulation and competition

264px-Seal_Leiden_UniversityThe MSc in Governing Markets: Regulation and Competition explores the interface between public authority and the market. For any public administration student, understanding the interaction between regulation and the market is crucial. What do governments regulate and how does regulation work without curbing competition?

This new specialisation will be offered as from September 2014

Governing Markets: Regulation and Competition is a specialisation within the programme of Master of Science in Public Administration. The programme is offered jointly by the department of Public Administration and the department of Economics.
The specialisation focuses on the interface between public authority and the market. Interaction between regulation and the market is essential, as illustrated by recent problems with the financial sector, food security or public health. What do governments regulate and why? How to achieve good regulation that does not curb competition and overburden society? How to make sense of the complexity with multiple levels of rule-making and a variety of regulatory agencies? Specialisation courses examine regulation from the economic perspective as well as from the policy and administration perspective. We will discuss what markets are, how they are rooted in societal ideas and institutional frameworks, and how the relationship between states and markets varies in the world. Economics of regulation helps to conceptualise when regulation is needed and how regulation can make markets work better. We will also look into politics behind regulation and examine regulatory problems in specific policy sectors. In addition to the specialisation courses, the programme is built on the foundation of core courses that create understanding of public policy decision-making and public values, as well as advance skills in doing academic research.

This master’s is a fulltime day programme taught in English.

  • Every student of Public Adminstration takes two core courses (10ECTS). Those courses constitute a firm base on which the specialisation builds further.
  • Besides the core courses, each student takes the course Research Design and the course Report and Presentation (2* 5.0 ECTS).
  • In addition to these courses students take four specialisation courses (20 ECTS) or three specialisation courses (15 ECTS) and an elective (5.0 ECTS)
  • Students conduct original research on a topic of their choice within their track and present their results in a thesis (20 ECTS).

Specialisation and elective courses in 2014-2015:

Economics of regulation
When will markets fail and what are the possibilities to correct market failures? These are the central questions in this course on the economics of regulation. In economics several potential causes of market failure are distinguished: externalities, collective goods, imperfect competition, and information asymmetries. This course first explains why these causes may give rise to welfare losses. The main focus is on possibilities to correct market failure. What type of intervention can be expected to be efficient, depending on the circumstances?
In case of externalities, for instance, consumers or producers may inflict harm on third parties. There are numerous possibilities to influence potential harmful behavior: liability, rules and rule enforcement, taxes etc. Information asymmetries may, inter alia, result in welfare losses in insurance markets.
After discussing theory, the theory is used to analyse real world examples.

States, Markets and Politics 
The seminar focuses on the interrelations between states and markets from a broad social science perspective. Along with economic thinkers we will discuss states and markets as opposite coordination and allocation mechanisms, study the key assumptions behind this approach, and examine its implications. Along with sociological and institutional theorists we will examine markets as social formations, embedded in their social environment. We will deepen our understanding of state-market interrelations by looking at the historical development of markets and examining the varieties of capitalism. From this analytical basis we will also discuss current policies that attempt to create public sector markets and the results and challenges of these efforts. The seminar aims at developing a deeper and complex understanding of state-market interrelations that is not only relevant for explaining broad social phenomena but that contributes to rigorous thinking about current public policy and management issues.

Markets and competition
Economic theory teaches that imperfect competition is a potential cause of market failure. An important question is whether competition in the marketplace is restricted in such a way as to reduce economic welfare. To answer this question a number of concepts are needed: the definition of the market, market power, horizontal agreements and mergers, vertical agreements and mergers, abuse of market power. Competition policy may contribute to economic welfare by preventing anticompetitive behavior. This course is focused on the analysis of competition and competition policy. Furthermore, attention will be paid to policies toward so-called natural monopolies. This is the case where economies of scale imply that the lowest costs are obtained if there is only one supplier in the market. How to promote economic welfare in these types of cases?

Future proof regulation
Policy makers tend to formulate answers to yesterday’s problems. The reason is straightforward. It takes time to observe a problem, to analyse the causes of a problem, to identify instruments addressing these causes, and to implement these instruments. By that time, the world may have changed. The selected instruments may no longer yield desirable effects. This chain of events raises an important question: how to develop “future proof regulation”?
In order to develop future proof regulation, the first step is thinking about how the future may look like. Obviously, the future is uncertain. One way to address this uncertainty, is to develop future scenarios. Scenarios can be used to test actual or proposed regulation. The evaluation of alternative options depends on the costs, the benefits and the risk attitude of the policy-maker.

Regulation and governance
As a result of public management reforms and what some call the ‘rise of the regulatory state’, regulation has become one of the core interest areas in governance studies. This course covers some of the key discussions related to regulatory policy. Our emphasis lies on different types of regulatory instruments – self-regulation, market mechanisms and state control – and on effective enforcement of regulation. Furthermore, regulators function increasingly in a multi-level context, required to accommodate demands not only on the European but also global level. The issues of regulatory overlap, drift and layering make us wonder about effective combination of regulatory instruments and the nature of regulatory agencies. Many countries and international organisations have recently critically reviewed their regulatory system and searched for a ‘Better regulation’ framework, to ensure its effectiveness while minimizing regulatory burden. In this course we will look at the theoretical arguments about the issues as well as real-life case studies and government responses.

Entry requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from a Dutch university, or
  • Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration obtained from anEAPAA-accredited university
  • Candidates should include a statement of purpose (maximum of 2 A4 pages) in English, in which the candidate explains his/her motivation for applying to the programme.
    • Candidates for the Master Public Administration should include the track they prefer to join.
    • The statement of purpose serves to help the Board of Admissions form an impression of the applicant and understand why he or she is interested in our Master’s programme. It should explain the reasons why the applicant would like to join the programme. This can be done by referring to one’s personal and professional background and interests, by explaining what aspects of the programme the applicant finds particularly interesting or how the programme might contribute to the achievement of the applicant’s personal goals. Students following one of the tracks in the Master’s programme in Public Administration should specifically discuss why they would like to specialize in this area and how the track’s themes connect with their background and current interests.

Additional requirements for non-dutch students

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Public Administration, Political Science, or an equivalent Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
  • Candidates must have obtained pass grades in the following subjects:
    – Public Administration
    – Organisation and Policy theory
    – Research methods
    – Sociology
    Candidates who lack these subjects are required to compensate by taking courses of the Pre-Master’s programme.
  • Candidates for the Master of Public Administration: European Governance should possess basic knowledge of European Union institutions.
  • Proof of sufficient proficiency in English: IELTS test level of at least 7.0 or TOEFL score of at least 100(internet-based) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a minimum score C, evidenced by an appropriate test.
    This requirement does not apply if you have:

    • completed your education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or
    • an (English-taught) International Baccalaureate

Students who have a BSc in Public Administration (Bestuurskunde) from Leiden University do not have to apply for admission. These students can register via Studielink.

Candidates who do not fully qualify for entering the master’s in Public Administration directly, or students with a diploma from an institute for higher professional education (HBO), can be admitted to the pre-master’s programme