Degree in Digital Business Design and Innovation

In today's world, the digital revolution is transforming the way we communicate and the way we do business. Professionals have to be able to constantly adapt to these changes

Digital Economy Principles

Digital economy is the economic activity that results from billions of everyday online connections among people, businesses, devices, data, and processes. The first part of the course (first semester) will introduce students to the main microeconomic theories, providing them with tools to understand digital economic developments and policy debates, and the ability to assess microeconomic and digital trends.
Type Subject
Primer - Obligatoria

Titular Professors

Previous Knowledge

The popularization and widespread use of digital technologies along with the drop in prices and an increase in the performance of these technologies has led to the emergency of new activities in both public and private sectors. Thus, the main objective for this course is to provide an understanding of the basic concepts related to these specific trends and then linking them to new social and economic changes that are arising as a result of the massive use of the new digital technologies.


Topic 1. What is economics?
What is economics? What are the differences between micro and macroeconomics? Circular flow diagram.

Topic 2. The market forces of supply and demand.
The price mechanism, the interaction of demand and supply, and the equilibrium price that clears the market.

Topic 3. Elasticity and its applications.
The sensitivity of supply and demand to changes in prices and income and the effect on total revenue and profit. How elasticity defines different types of goods.

Topic 4. Digital Economy: An introduction.
What is the digital economy? How did digital and internet socio-technologies rise? Definition and importance of the "economic practices".

Topic 5. Search & advertise digital platforms: The Google case.
Influence of algorithms with digital search engines. Relationship of platform capitalism with respect to online advertising. Introduction to "filter bubbles" effects on society.

Topic 6.
(Part 1). Intermediation and disintermediation processes: The Uber case.
What are the implications of the intermediation processes carried out by the main digital companies? Analysis of the Uber case.
(Part 2). Intermediation and disintermediation processes: The Airbnb case.
What are the implications of the intermediation processes carried out by the main digital companies? Analysis of the Airbnb case.

Topic 7. Social media: The case of Faceook.
Importance of social networks as web-based services. How individual users are targeted for advertising purposes. Understanding of the "free" subscription models.


The lecture component of the course will follow closely the structure and content set out in the following textbooks and reports: Economics, by Gregory Mankiw and Mark Taylor; The Digital Economy, by Tim Jordan; The Global Digital Economy, by Carin Holroyd and Kenneth Coates; Digital Cash, by Finn Brunton; Social Business Models in the Digital Economy, by Adam Jablonskiand Marek Jablonski; Labor in the Global Digital Economy, by Ursula Huws; Digital Economy Report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Students will form project groups at the beginning of the course. Each group will choose a market sector (for any product or service) which will be the focus of weekly project work and a final presentation.


Participation 7.5%
Market Project 25%
Homework completion 7.5%
Innovation & Inspiration 10%
Mid-term exam 20%
Final examination 30%

Evaluation Criteria
Basic Bibliography

Brunton, F. Digital Cash. Princeton University Press, 2019.
Holroyd, C.; Coates, Ken S., The Global Digital Economy: A Comparative Policy Analysis-Student Edition. Cambria Press, 2015.
Huws, U., Labor in the global digital economy: The cybertariat comes of age. NYU Press, 2014.
Jablonski, A.; Jablonski, M., Social Business Models in the Digital Economy. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.
Jordan, T.; The Digital Economy. Polity Press, 2020.
Mankiw, G., Taylor, M., ECONOMICS, Cengage Learning EMEA, 3rd edition, 2015

As well as the main textbook, additional readings will be posted on the e-study or handed out in class. Most of these readings will consist of newspaper or magazine articles, typically from the Financial Times and the Economist, or from relevant economic blogs or institutions.

Additional Material

Some key historical contributions to economic thought:
Smith, Adam (1776). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.
Keynes, John Maynard (1936). The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money.
Schumpeter, Joseph (1942). Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
Friedman, Milton (1962). Capitalism and Freedom

Easier Reads:
Skidelsky, Robert (2009). Keynes: The Return of the Master. Penguin Group.
Heilbroner, Robert L. (1999). The Worldly Philosophers. Touchstone.
Galbraith, John Kenneth (1987). A History of Economics. The Penguin Group.
Krugman, Paul (2008). The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008. W. W. Norton.
Wolf, Martin (2004). Why Globalization Works. Yale University Press.
Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J. A. (2012). Why nations fail: The origins of power, prosperity, and poverty. New York, NY: Crown.
Turner, Adair. (2016). Between Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit, and Fixing Global Finance. Princeton University Press.
Brittan, Samuel (2005). Against the Flow. Atlantic Books London.
Koo, Richard C. (2008). The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics: Lessons from Japan’s Great Recession. John Wiley & Sons.
Ubide, Ángel (2017). The Paradox of Risk: Leaving the Monetary Policy Comfort Zone. Pearson Institue for International Economics.
Galbraith, James K. (2014. The End of Normal: the great crisis and the future of growth. Simon & Schuster.