Industrial Organization and Public Policy II (Econ 846-001)


Prof. Alex Tabarrok

Carow Hall


Tel: 703-993-2314


Web Page:



Office Hours:  If you are on the Fairfax campus, feel free to drop by any time or call for an appointment.  Email is a good way to contact me.  All students should periodically check their GMU email account for important information.


Office Hours: T-Thr: 10-12, 2-4


Textbooks: The primary resource are the articles. Carlton and Perloff's Modern Industrial Organization (Addison-Wesley) is the best undergraduate IO book. The best graduate text is Industrial Organization: Markets and Strategies by Belleflamme and Peitz. Paul Klemperer's book Auctions: Theory and Practice is a very nice introduction to the topic. Note, however, that most of the papers in the book are available online if you want to save some money.


These books cover some of the topics that I will cover but I do not follow any book systematically. You do not need to buy the books. The articles are the primary resource for which the books are secondary.

Grading: The largest share of your grade will be determined by a paper.  Ideally, the paper will serve as a draft for a dissertation chapter and eventually a publication.  I am looking for a 10-20 page, well-written theory or empirical paper in IO.  You may work in a group of two or at most three but note that you cannot all have the same dissertation chapter!  Papers are due on the last teaching day of class -- no exceptions.  You are encouraged to think about topics early and see me for some possible guidance.


            You will also be required to make a 15 minute class presentation on the subject of your paper.   



IO Paper                      35%

Presentation                10%

Homework                   25%

MidTerm/Final            30%



My personal grading scale is as follows.  Note that sometimes the university does not allow certain grades such as Ds � in which case you will receive the next highest grade below D.  Plus-Minuses for B through D grades, where allowed by university policy, will occur at the upper and lower 2.5% level.  For example, 70-72.49 will be B-, 72.5-77.49 B, 77.5-79.9 B+ and so forth.


A+: 90%+

A:   85-89% 

A-:  80-84%

B:   70-79%

C:   60-69%

D:   50-59%

F:    50% -


Disability Policy: If you are a student with a disability and you need academic accommodations, please see me and contact the disability Resource Center (DRC) at 703-993-2474. All academic accommodations must be arranged through that office.

Topics: * Starred topics I will cover in class. Other papers are there for your reference and further study.


Review of Monopoly


CP, 87-105


Price Discrimination


BP Part IV

CP, chapter 9. 10


*Ayres, I., and P. Siegelman. 1995. Race and Gender Discrimination in Bargaining for a New Car. American Economic Review 85 (3):304-21.

*Kline, Patrick M., Evan K. Rose, and Christopher R. Walters. 2021. �Systemic Discrimination Among Large U.S. Employers.� Working Paper 29053. Working Paper Series. National Bureau of Economic Research.


Varian, H. 1985. Price Discrimination and Social Welfare. American Economic Review 75 (4):870-75.


Adams, W. J., and J. L. Yellen. 1976. Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly. Quarterly Journal of Economics 90 (3):475-98.


*Bakos, Y., and E. Brynjolfsson. 1999. Bundling Information Goods: Pricing, Profits, and Efficiency. Management Science 45:1613-30.


Bakos, Y., and E. Brynjolfsson. 2000. Bundling and Competition on the Internet. Marketing Science 19 (1):


*Nalebuff, Barry. 2004. Bundling as an Entry Barrier. Quarterly Journal of Economics 119 (1):159-188.  Also available as a Wharton Working Paper.

Xavier Gabaix, and David Laibson. 2006. Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 121, no. 2. The Quarterly Journal of Economics: 505-540. 


*Lott, J. R., and R. D. Roberts. 1991. A Guide to the Pitfalls of Identifying Price Discrimination. Economic Inquiry XXIX (Jan):14-23.


Dana, J. D. J. 1998. Advance-Purchase Discounts and Price Discrimination in Competitive Markets. Journal of Political Economy 106 (2):395-422.


*Levine, M. E. 2002. Price Discrimination Without Market Power. Yale Journal on Regulation 19:1-36.

*U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th District. 2015. Spirit Airlines v. Northwest Airlines


Platform Markets


*Rochet, Jean-Charles, and Jean Tirole. 2006. Two-Sided Markets: A Progress Report. The RAND Journal of Economics 37 (3):645-67.


Rysman, Marc. 2009. The Economics of Two-Sided Markets. Journal of Economic Perspectives 23 (3):125-43.


*Wright, Julian. 2004. One-Sided Logic in Two-Sided Markets. Review of Network Economics 3 (1).


Monopoly, Product Quality and Durability, Coase Conjecture


CP, chapter 15


*Barzel, Y. 1976. An Alternative Approach to the Analysis of Taxation. Journal of Political Economy 84 (6):1177-97.


*Bulow, J. I. 1982. Durable Goods Monopolists. Journal of Political Economy 90 (2):314-32.


Coase, R. H. 1972. Durability and Monopoly. Journal of Law and Economics 15 (April):143-49.

Groseclose, Tim, and Alexander T. Tabarrok. 2023. A Test of the Coase Conjecture Using Prices of Online Books. SSRN Scholarly Paper. Rochester, NY.


*Masten, S. E., and E. A. Snyder. 1993. United States Versus United Shoe Machinery Corporation: On the Merits. Journal of Law and Economics XXXVI (April):33-70.


Akerlof, G. A. 1970. The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism. Quarterly Journal of Economics 84:488-500.


*Shapiro, C. 1983. Premiums for High Quality Products As Returns to Reputations. Quarterly Journal of Economics 98 (4):659-79.


*Waldman, M. 2003. Durable Goods Theory for the Real World MarketsJournal of Economic Perspectives 17 (1):131-54.


*Bond, E. W. 1982. A Direct Test of the "Lemons" Model: The Market for Used Pickup Trucks. American Economic Review 72 (4):836-40.


*Cawley, J., and T. Philipson. 1999. An Empirical Examination of Information Barriers to Trade in Insurance. American Economic Review 89 (4):827-46.


Hemenway, David. 1990. Propitious Selection. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 105, No. 4. pp. 1063-1069.


Finkelstein, Amy and Kathleen McGarry. 2006. Multiple dimensions of private information: evidence from the long-term care insurance market  2006, American Economic Review September 96(4): 938-958.


Quality Discrimination


CP, chapter 10


*Deneckere, R. J., and P. R. McAfee. 1996. Damaged Goods. Journal of Economics and Management Strategy 5 (2):149-74.


Waldman, M. 1996. Durable Goods Pricing When Quality Matters. Journal of Business 69 (Oct):489-510.


---. 1993. A New Perspective On Planned Obsolescence. Quarterly Journal of Economics 108 (1):273-83.




Klemperer, Paul.  2000. Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature. Introductory chapter to The Economic Theory of Auctions, P. Klemperer (ed.), Edward Elgar (pub.). (Also published in Journal of Economic Surveys, 1999, and reprinted in The Current State of Economic Science S. Dahiya (ed.), 1999.)    


*Klemperer, Paul. 2003.  Why Every Economist Should Learn Some Auction Theory. Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Invited Lectures to 8th World Congress of the Econometric Society, M. Dewatripont, L. Hansen and S. Turnovsky (eds.), Cambridge University Press.


*Klemperer, Paul. 2002. How (Not) to Run Auctions: the European 3G Telecom Auctions European Economic Review 46: 828-845.


*Milgrom, P. 1989. Auctions and Bidding: A Primer. Journal of Economic Perspectives 3 (3):3-22.


*David Lucking-Reiley. 1999. Using Field Experiments to Test Equivalence Between Auction Formats: Magic on the Internet. American Economic Review. 89 (5): 1063-1080.


*Roth, Alvin E. and Axel Ockenfels. 2002. Last-Minute Bidding and the Rules for Ending Second-Price Auctions: Evidence from eBay and Amazon Auctions on the Internet. American Economic Review 92 (4): 1093-1103.


*Tideman, T. N., & Tullock, G. 1976. A New and Superior Process for Making Social Choices. Journal of Political Economy, 84(6): 1145-1159. Retrieved from
*Varian, H. R., & Harris, C. 2014. The VCG Auction in Theory and Practice. The American Economic Review, 104(5): 442-445.

Incentive Schemes, Tournaments, Piece Rates

*Prendergast, C. 1999. The Provision of Incentives in Firms. Journal of Economic Literature XXXVII (1,March):7-63.

*Brown, Jennifer. 2011. Quitters Never Win: The (Adverse) Incentive Effects of Competing with Superstars. Journal of Political Economy 119 (5): 982-1013.

*Knoeber, Charles R. 1989. A Real Game of Chicken: Contracts, Tournaments, and the Production of Broilers. Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization 5 (2): 271-92.

Lazear, E. P., and S. Rosen. 1981. Rank Order Tournaments As Optimum Labor Contracts. Journal of Political Economy 89 (5):841-64.

Baker, G. P. 1992. Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement. Journal of Political Economy 100 (3):598-614.


Holmstrom, B., and P. Milgrom. 1991. Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 7 (sp):24-52.


Lazear, Edward. P. 1996. Performance Pay and Productivity. NBER Working Paper 5672


*Rosen, Sherwin. 1986. Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments. The American Economic Review 76 (4): 701-15.


*Gneezy, U., M. Niederle, and A. Rustichini. 2003. Performance in competitive environments: Gender differences. Quarterly Journal of Economics, August 2003, p. 1049-1074.

The Problem with Strong Incentives


*Hart, O. A. Shleifer, and R.W. Vishny. 1997. The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and Application to Prisons. Quarterly Journal of Economics 451: 1127-162.


*Kane, T. J., and D. O. Staiger. 2002. The Promise and Pitfalls of Using Imprecise School Accountability Measures. Journal of Economic Perspectives 16 (4):91-114.


Dranove, D., D. Kessler, M. McClellan, and M. Satterthwaite. 2003. Is More Information Better? The Effects of "Report Cards" On Health Care Providers. Journal of Political Economy 111 (3):555-88.


Behavioral Economics and Incentives


*Dan Pink. TED Talk: The Surprising Science of Motivation.


*Gneezy, Uri, and Aldo Rustichini. 2000. A Fine Is a Price. The Journal of Legal Studies 29, no. 1 (January 1): 1-17. doi:10.1086/468061


*Amabile, T. M. "Motivation and Creativity: Effects of Motivational Orientation on Creative Writers." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 48, no. 2 (February 1985): 393-399.


Glucksberg, S. (1962). The influence of strength of drive on functional fixedness and perceptual recognition. J. exp. Psychol., 1962, 63, 36-41.

*Li, Jian, Erte Xiao, Daniel Houser, and P. Read Montague. 2009. Neural responses to sanction threats in two-party economic exchange. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106, no. 39: 16835-16840. 

*Eisenberger, Robert, and Linda Rhoades. 2001. Incremental effects of reward on creativity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 81, no. 4: 728-741. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.81.4.728.  


*Benabou, Roland, and Jean Tirole. 2003. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation. Review of Economic Studies 70, no. 3: 489-520. doi:10.1111/1467-937X.00253.


*ARIELY, DAN [1], URI [2] GNEEZY, GEORGE [3] LOEWENSTEIN, and NINA [4] MAZAR. 2009. Large Stakes and Big Mistakes. The Review of Economic Studies 76 (March): 451-469. doi:10.1111/j.1467-937X.2009.00534.x.  


*Frey, Bruno S., and Margit Osterloh. 2005. Yes, Managers Should Be Paid Like Bureaucrats. Journal of Management Inquiry 14, no. 1 (March 1): 96-111.


Quasi-Hyperbolic Discounting

*Laibson, David. 1997. Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting. Quarterly Journal of Economics 112(2): 443-477.

*Shapiro, Jesse. 2005. Is There a Daily Discount Rate? Evidence from the Food Stamp Nutrition Cycle. 89(2-3), pp. 303-25.

*DellaVigna, Stefano, and Ulrike Malmendier. 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym." American Economic Review, 96(3): 694-719.


Management, Productivity and Entrepreneurship

*Bloom, N., Eifert, B., Mahajan, A., McKenzie, D., Roberts, J., 2013. Does Management Matter? Evidence from India. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 128, 1-51. doi:10.1093/qje/qjs044

*Bloom, N., Van Reenen, J., 2010. Why Do Management Practices Differ across Firms and Countries? Journal of Economic Perspectives 24, 203-224. doi:10.1257/jep.24.1.203

*Atkin, David, Azam Chaudhry, Shamyla Chaudry, Amit K. Khandelwal, and Eric Verhoogen. 2017. �Organizational Barriers to Technology Adoption: Evidence from Soccer-Ball Producers in Pakistan*.� The Quarterly Journal of Economics 132 (3): 1101�64.

*Decker, Ryan A., John Haltiwanger, Ron S. Jarmin, and Javier Miranda. 2016. Declining Business Dynamism: What We Know and the Way Forward. American Economic Review 106 (5):203-7.

Decker, R., Haltiwanger, J., Jarmin, R., Miranda, J., 2014. The Role of Entrepreneurship in US Job Creation and Economic Dynamism. Journal of Economic Perspectives 28, 3-24. doi:10.1257/jep.28.3.3

*Hathaway, I., Litan, R.E. 2014. The Other Aging of America: The Increasing Dominance of Older Firms. The Brookings Institution.

Hsieh, C.-T., Klenow, P.J., 2009. Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 124, 1403-1448. doi:10.1162/qjec.2009.124.4.1403

*Goldschlag, Nathan, and Alexander T. Tabarrok. 2018. Is Regulation to Blame for the Decline in American Entrepreneurship? Economic Policy.

*Hopenhayn, Hugo, Julian Neira, and Rish Singhania. From Population Growth to Firm Demographics: Implications for Concentration, Entrepreneurship and the Labor Share. Working Paper. National Bureau of Economic Research, December 2018.

Karahan, Fatih, Benjamin Pugsley, and Aysegul Sahin. Understanding the 30 Year Decline in Business Dynamism: A General Equilibrium Approach. 2015 Meeting Paper. Society for Economic Dynamics, 2015.


*Melitz, M.J., Trefler, D., 2012. Gains from Trade when Firms Matter. Journal of Economic Perspectives 26, 91-118. doi:10.1257/jep.26.2.91


Syverson, C., 2011. What Determines Productivity? Journal of Economic Literature 49, 326-365. doi:10.1257/jel.49.2.326


Patents and Intellectual Property


*Tabarrok, Alex. 2011.Launching the Innovation Renaissance. TED Books (e-book). 

Machlup, F. 1958. An economic review of the patent system. Study No. 15 of the subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights of the Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate, 85th Cong., 2d Sess., Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.


*Mansfield, E. 1986. Patents and Innovation: An Empirical Study. Management Science 32:173-81.


*Lerner, J. 2002. 150 Years of Patent Protection. Working Paper. Harvard University.


Arrow, K. J. 1962. Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention. In The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, ed. R. Nelson, 609-25. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


Klemperer, P. 1990. How Broad Should the Scope of Patent Protection Be? Rand Journal of Economics 21 (1):113-30.


Bessen, J., and E. Maskin. 1999. Sequential Innovation, Patents, and Imitation. MIT Working Paper 11/99.


Scotchmer, S. 1998. Incentives to Innovate. In The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and the Law, ed. P. Newman, 273-76. New York: Macmillan Reference.


Merges, R. P., and R. R. Nelson. 1990. On the Complex Economics of Patent Scope. Columbia Law Review 90:839-916.


*Bittlingmayer, G. 1988. Property Rights, Progress, and the Aircraft Patent Agreement. Journal of Law and Economics 31 (April):227-48.


Hall, B. H., and R. H. Ziedonis. 2001. The Patent Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Study of Patenting in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, 1979-1995. Rand Journal of Economics 32 (1):101-28.


*Moser, P. 2003. How Do Patent Laws Influence Innovation? Evidence from Nineteenth-Century World Fairs. NBER Working Paper Series 9909.

*Murray, F. (et al.). 2009. Of Mice and Academics: Examining the Effect of Openness of Innovation. NBER Working Paper 14819.

*Galasso, Alberto, and Mark Schankerman. Patents and Cumulative Innovation: Causal Evidence from the Courts. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 130, no. 1 (February 1, 2015): 317-69.


*Sampat, B., & Williams, H. L. 2015. How Do Patents Affect Follow-On Innovation? Evidence from the Human Genome. Working Paper no. 21666. National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from /w21666

*Starr, E., Bishara, N., & Prescott, J. in press. Noncompetes in the US Labor Force. Retrieved from

*Dourado, E., & Tabarrok, A. 2015. Public choice perspectives on intellectual property. Public Choice, 163(1): 129-151.


Alternatives to Patents


*Tabarrok, A. 2002. Patent Theory Versus Patent Law. Contributions to Economic Analysis and Policy 1 (1). Article 9.


*Kremer, M. 1998. Patent Buyouts: A Mechanism for Encouraging Innovation. Quarterly Journal of Economics 113:1137-67.


Wright, B. D. 1983. The Economics of Invention Incentives: Patents, Prizes, and Research Contracts. American Economic Review 73 (4):691-707.


Shavell, S., and van T. Ypersele. 2001. Rewards Versus Intellectual Property Rights. Journal of Law and Economics XLIV (2 (pt.1)):525-48.

Bitcoin, Blockchain and DEFI--IO in Cyberspace

Narayanan, Arvind, Joseph Bonneau, Edward Felten, Andrew Miller, and Steven Goldfeder. 2016. Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies: A Comprehensive Introduction. Princeton University Press.

Eyal, Ittay, and Emin Gun Sirer. 2013. �Majority Is Not Enough: Bitcoin Mining Is Vulnerable.� ArXiv:1311.0243 [Cs], November.

Nakamoto, Satoshi. 2008. �Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.� October 31, 2008.

Budish, Eric. The Economic Limits of Bitcoin and the Blockchain. Working Paper. National Bureau of Economic Research, June 2018.

*Narayanan, Arvind, and Jeremy Clark. Bitcoin's Academic Pedigree. ACM Queue 15 (2017): 20.

*Chen, Richard. 2019. �A Comparison of Decentralized Exchange Designs.� Medium. April 21, 2019.

Lu, Alan. 2017. �Building a Decentralized Exchange in Ethereum.� Medium. March 6, 2017.

*Adams, Hyden, NOah Zinsmeister, Moody Salem, River Keefer, and Dan Robinson. n.d. �Uniswap v3 Core.�

Public Good Mechanisms

*Buterin, Vitalik, Zo� Hitzig, and E. Glen Weyl. 2019. �A Flexible Design for Funding Public Goods.� Management Science 65 (11): 5171�87.

*Tabarrok, Alexander. 1998. �The Private Provision of Public Goods via Dominant Assurance Contracts.� Public Choice 96 (3): 345�62.

*Cason, Timothy N., Alex Tabarrok, and Robertas Zubrickas. 2021. �Early Refund Bonuses Increase Successful Crowdfunding.� Games and Economic Behavior 129: 78�95.

The Pharmaceutical Market and Regulation

*Ahuja, Amrita, Susan Athey, Arthur Baker, Eric Budish, Juan Camilo Castillo, Rachel Glennerster, Scott Duke Kominers, et al. 2021. �Preparing for a Pandemic: Accelerating Vaccine Availability.� AEA Papers and Proceedings 111: 331�35.

*Castillo, Juan Camilo, Amrita Ahuja, Susan Athey, Arthur Baker, Eric Budish, Tasneem Chipty, Rachel Glennerster, et al. 2021. �Market Design to Accelerate COVID-19 Vaccine Supply.� Science.


*Lichtenberg, Frank R. and Joel Waldfogel. 2003. Does Misery Love Company? Evidence from Pharmaceutical Markets Before and After the Orphan Drug Act. NBER Working Paper 9750.


*Kremer, Michael and Christopher M. Snyder. 2003. Why are Drugs more Profitable than Vaccines? NBER Working Paper 9833.


Hughes, James W., Moore, Michael J., and Edward A. Snyder. 2002. �NAPSTERIZING� PHARMACEUTICALS: ACCESS, INNOVATION, AND CONSUMER WELFARE. NBER Working Paper 9229.


Peltzman, S. 1973. An Evaluation of Consumer Protection Legislation: The 1962 Drug Amendments. Journal of Political Economy 81, no. 5: 1049-91. Reprinted in Chicago Studies in Political Economy, edited by George J. Stigler, 303-48. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1988.


Klein, Daniel and Alexander Tabarrok 2004. Do Off-Label Drug Practices  Argue Against FDA Efficacy Requirements? Testing an Argument by Stuctured Conversations with Experts.  Working paper.


DiMasi, Joseph A.; Hansen, Ronald W.; Grabowski, Henry G. The Price of Innovation: New Estimates of Drug Development Costs. Journal of Health Economics v22, n2 (March 2003): 151-85.