Microeconomics of Competitiveness

Spring Semester 2024


Monday 11:15-12:00; 12:15-13:00; 13:15-14:00


PER 21, Auditoire G120

4.5 ECTS


Registration information and course schedule (last update: January 05, 2024)

  • Course Description - Microeconomics of Competitiveness

    Microeconomics of Competitiveness: Firms, Clusters, and Economic Development (MOC) is a university-wide graduate course offered to students from the Harvard University as well as to students from affiliated foreign university such as the Center for Competitiveness of the University of Fribourg. The course has been created in a multiyear development effort by Professor Michael E. Porter and the staff and affiliates of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School


    The MOC course explores the determinants of competitiveness and successful economic development viewed from a bottom-up, microeconomic perspective. While sound macroeconomic policies, stable legal and political institutions, and improving social conditions create the potential for competitiveness, wealth is actually created at the microeconomic level. The sophistication and productivity of firms, the vitality of clusters, and the quality of the business environment in which competition takes place, are the ultimate determinants of a nation's or region's productivity.


    The Moodle of the course provides chapters' PowerPoint and other written materials documents such as the Prof. Porter book "On competition".    


    Center for Competitiveness

    Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness (HBS)

  • Course Organization

    Sessions will run every Monday for three hours, from 11:15 until 14:00.

    Each session will comprise:        

    • A typical case discussion (60 minutes);      
    • A typical lecture (75 minutes).      

    Students will be asked to apply their learning in a group project that analyzes the competitiveness of a selected cluster within a city or a region. Group include 3 to 4 students. 

  • Course Registration Procedure
    • Each student needs to be registered for the course (Patrizia Conforti, Office G 402) in addition to the faculty registration. Once registered, the student will receive the course documentation with all cases to be discussed in class.
    • Registration fee (70 CHF) includes the course support and copyrights. Please bring the exact change.
    • The registration fee (70 CHF) has to be paid to Patrizia Conforti, Office G 402.
  • Grading

    There won’t be an exam (oral or written) at the end of the Spring term. The grading will be based on the average of the two following assessments:


    • Assessment 1: Class participation mainly during the case study discussions;
    • Assessment 2: Group project report and presentation.


    Please note that students have to register for the exam during the Spring term according to the faculty regulations, even though there won’t be an actual exam at the end of the term. Students who don’t register for the exam lose the right to validate the course.


    For students who may fail at the Spring term assessment, a written exam – 90 minutes - will be organized at the fall exam session (end of August 2024 – beginning of September 2024).

  • Language

    The course is taught in English. However, the language shouldn’t be an obstacle to attend the course. It is expected that most students may have a mitigate level of English.