Degree in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics

Lead the transformation of companies through the use and analysis of data.

Digital economy principles

Digital economy is the economic activity that results from billions of everyday online connections among people, businesses, devices, data, and processes - it's worth three trillion dollars today (this is about 30% of the S&P 500 and more than the GDP of the United Kingdom) and the entire value has been generated in the past 20 years since the launch of the Internet (Forbes). Companies are establishing market leadership by mastering digital innovation and capitalising this new digital economy. 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.

On the completion of this course students should have a basic understanding of:
- Understand the determination of supply and demand.
- Understand market forces and the determination of prices
- Understand the intermediation and disintermediation processes of the main digital platforms.
- Gain insight into the characteristics and functioning of how product and service markets work in the real world, and how applicable and relevant theory is for understanding these markets.
- Understanding of the macroeconomy and the circular flow of income.
- How to measure and interpret economic variables such as GDP, CPI, etc.
- Key relationship between saving and investment and the determination of interest rates.
- Understanding the origins of the digital economy through the most recent history of information and computing technologies.
- Impact of the digital technology revolution on creating new markets.
- Social aspects of contemporary business models, with a special focus on the popularization of cryptocurrencies.


Topic 1. What is economics?
Topic 2. The market forces of supply and demand.
Topic 3. Elasticity and its applications.
Topic 4. Digital Economy: An introduction.
Topic 5. Search & advertise digital platforms: The Google case.
Topic 6 (Part 1). Intermediation and disintermediation processes: The Uber case.
Topic 6 (Part 2). Intermediation and disintermediation processes: The Airbnb case.
Topic 7. Social media: The case of Faceook.

Lectures will follow closely the structure and concepts set out in the following main textbooks: Economics, by Gregory Mankiw and Mark Taylor; The Digital Economy, by Tim Jordan. Throughout the course, additional readings and materials will be shared through the eStudy platform. These materials must be read either to prepare for the following classes or to answer homework questions and activities.


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 Jablonski and Marek Jablonski; Labor in the Global Digital Economy, by Ursula Huws; Digital Economy Report 2019, from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Students are expected to come to class prepared, having completed a first approximation to each topic. Lecture slides will be available to download, and casual online videos will also be referenced for class preparation and review. Good preparation will generate more time for interactive class sessions and project work. 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. The project will progressively construct a comprehensive profile of the chosen market, incorporating what we have learned about each topic into the analysis. The grade for this project will be based on both weekly work and the final presentation. Weekly homework quizzes will also be assigned to test students' knowledge of the material covered in the lectures and should help students to develop a regular study routine and sit the exams with confidence.


Participation 10%
Market Project 25%
Homework completion 10%
Mid-term exam 25%
Final examination 30%

Retake policy: students who fail the course (grade <5) can sit a retake exam which retests all the material covered in the course. Through the retake exam, the student will only be able to obtain a maximum course grade of 5. For this, the student must obtain a mark of 5 to 10 in the retake exam. Any mark below 5 in the retake exam will mean a failure of the course.

Evaluation Criteria
Basic Bibliography

Begg, D., Dornbush, R. & Fisher, S., ECONOMICS, Ed. Mc Graw Hill.
Brunton, F. Digital Cash. The unknown history of the anarchists, utopians, and technologists who created cryptocurrency. Princeton University Press, 2019.
Holroyd, C.; Coates, Ken S., The Global Digital Economy: A Comparative Policy Analysis-Student Edition. Cambria Press, 2015.
Hu, Tung-Hui, A Prehistory of the Cloud. MIT 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 eStudy 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.

Online sources:

FT Alphachat:

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 & Schuste.

Recommended MOOCs: Students can follow an online course in macroeconomics, or consult online topics in macroeconomics. For example:

Social Media: Students might be interested in following the following economists on twitter. For example: