Economics For Managers Course


Program Description

See the world through the lens of economics and gain the knowledge and skills to craft successful business strategy

Understanding concepts of economics—willingness to pay any price, fixed versus variable costs, economies of scale—is critical to business success. This course starts with the fundamentals of supply and demand—where they come from and why they're central to an understanding of business. You will learn how businesses think about pricing and production and powerful ideas like complements and network effects that firms rely on to generate demand. This course also dives into the functioning of markets, the force of competition, and strategies for differentiation.

In the process of exploring these ideas, you will learn how to develop the beginnings of a competitive strategy that will lead to a business thriving over time.

Participating in Economics for Managers will allow you to:

  • Analyze the impact of market changes by constructing supply and demand curves
  • Determine a revenue-maximizing pricing strategy using the concept of elasticity
  • Evaluate techniques to learn about or increase demand
  • Perform a relative cost analysis
  • Examine the competitive landscape and market outcomes and forces
  • Assess monopolies, price discrimination, and differentiation

Program Structure

Economics of Managers consists of approximately 60 hours of material delivered over an eight-week period with a flexible program structure. There is no set time to log in. You complete the coursework on your own time while meeting regular deadlines. All course material is delivered through our innovative online platform.

Our learning model centers around the Harvard Business School case method, featuring interviews with business leaders and executives from companies around the world who candidly discuss challenges they've faced or obstacles they've overcome. We ask you to step into their shoes and engage with your peers to work through these real-world business scenarios.

Topics covered include:

  • Demand & Supply
  • Suppliers & Cost
  • Markets
  • Competition & Differentiation

Participants in Economics for Managers are eligible for a Certificate of Completion from Harvard Business School Online. To earn the certificate, you must successfully complete all coursework by the stated deadlines, including satisfactory performance on quizzes, and actively contribute to the vibrant learning community.

For those interested in learning business fundamentals more broadly, the 3-course CORe program—Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting are taken in tandem—is available for $2,250.

Cohort Dates

January 2020

  • Length: 8 weeks
  • Program Dates: 1/15/20 - 3/11/20
  • Cost: $1,600
  • Application Deadline: January 6

June 2020

  • Length: 8 weeks
  • Program Dates: 6/24/20 - 8/19/20
  • Cost: $1,600
  • Application Deadline: June 15

Who Would Benefit

This course is for anyone looking to gain confidence in their understanding of economics to contribute to business discussions and decision making. There are no prerequisites for the program. Economics for Managers is intended for individuals at all stages of their careers—college students and recent graduates, those considering an MBA or other graduate programs who would like to prepare for the classroom, or professionals looking to contribute more to business discussions and decision-making.


It is free to apply and applications are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis, so early application is encouraged. All applicants must be 18 years of age and demonstrate proficiency in English.

Last updated October 2019

About the School

Harvard Business School Online teaches vital business concepts in a unique and highly engaging way that enables committed learners to transform their careers, their organizations, and their lives.

Harvard Business School Online teaches vital business concepts in a unique and highly engaging way that enables committed learners to transform their careers, their organizations, and their lives. Read less