About the Course Author

Course Author — Dr. Olivia Mesta


Educational Background

I completed my graduate studies at University of Missouri-Columbia in the United States. Since my undergraduate degree is in mathematics, my interests were divided between mathematics, economics, and business finance. In order to explore these areas, I took classes from the business school, mathematical sciences, and economics. As a result, I ended up having a Masters degree in Applied Mathematics, an MBA degree, as well as a PhD in Economics. I taught classes during full time appointments at Wilfrid Laurier University and McMaster University before coming to University of Waterloo. Some of the courses I taught included Microeconomics, Mathematical Economics, Game Theory, Economics of the Canadian Banking and Financial System, Development Economics, and College Algebra for Calculus Bound Students.

Philosophy of Teaching

There are three main factors that guide my teaching philosophy. My lecture notes are designed to promote critical thinking and to engage my students in active learning. I relate the material covered in the lessons to real world applications to allow students to see the applicability of the material so that they can later apply what they have been taught in their jobs. I have also strived to give my students the ability and desire to be curious about the world around them and always aimed to give them the skills they need to pursue their dreams to explore the world around them so that they can build the future they desire.  

Areas of Specialization 

Microeconomics, mathematical economics, financial economics.

Research Interests 

I am interested in studying the effects of entry on the efficiency of different types of market structures. In particular, I am interested in the conditions under which entry creates inefficiencies in oligopoly markets when firms engage in either Cournot (quantity) or Bertrand (price) competition. In my dissertation, I examined the effects of free entry in Cournot markets. Inefficiencies arise when entry is free and firms differ in their cost structures. It is only in the presence of non-identical firms that studying the inefficiencies created by free entry becomes an interesting problem. Entry biases are calculated by comparing the equilibrium number of firms with free entry, to social optimum number of firms. These comparisons are valid in both homogeneous and non-homogeneous good markets.