Industrial Organization I
Fall 2009 GMU Syllabus

Economics 844, meets 7:20-10:00pm, Thursday, during Fall 2009, in room Innovation Hall 134.

Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Asst. Professor, Economics (,
Office Hours: Officially Tues-Thurs 6-7p. But I'm usually in at Carow Hall 10A. Call ahead (703-993-2326) if you want to be sure.

Catalog Entry:

Econ 844 Industrial Organization and Public Policy I (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 611 or permission of instructor. Structure of American industry and underlying determinants. Analysis of structure and conduct on industrial performance in light of theory and empirical evidence. Rational antitrust policy and analysis of impact on structure and performance.
Recommended Texts:
Oz Shy, Industrial Organization, Theory and Applications, MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-69179-5, 1996. (errata)
Jean Tirole, The Theory of Industrial Organization, MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-20071-6, 1994.
Dennis Carlton and Jeffrey Perloff, Modern Industrial Organization, Forth Edition, Addison-Wesley 2005, ISBN 0-321-18023-2.
Class Concept
By grad school, students know the drill cold: read assignments, hear lectures, do homework, and spit it all back on the exam. Problem is, just then the game changes from grades to papers; few will care about your grades, compared to your research papers, written and published. A research paper is not a term paper, and can't be dashed off the weekend before it is due. A research paper does not offer a broad overview; it says something specific and new, even if minor, that fits in a context of other research papers.

My class is designed for this transition. Instead of covering many topics briefly, we cover fewer deeper. The research paper is half your grade, and can be all if you want. You must choose a model paper early in the semeseter, write a referee report on it, and present it in class. Then meeting with me frequently one on one, we look for and then create some variation on that model paper.

Assignments: Lecture Schedule
WeekShy Chapters Lecture Topic
3 Sept 2,3 Overview and Lockin
10 Sept4,5,6 Homogeneous Products & Free Entry
17 Sept 7 Differentiated Products
24 Sept12 Quality and Regulation
1 Oct 10 Networks and Standards
8 Oct Paper Presentations
15 Oct Midterm Exam
22 Oct 11,16 Ads and Search
29 Oct 8 Entry and Mergers
5 Nov no class
12 Nov 9 Research and Development
19 Nov Incentives
26 Nov no class
3 Dec Organization Information Systems
10 Dec Paper Presentations
17 Dec Final Exam 7:30 p.m. - 10:15 p.m.

Misc. Articles

Sam Peltzman, Review of The Handbook of Industrial Organization, The Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 99, No. 1. (Feb., 1991), pp. 201-217.

Hal Varian, How to Build an Economic Model in your Spare Time

Robin Hanson, Location Discrimination in Circular City, Torus Town, and Beyond

Misc. New Economy Articles

Disability Notice

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.

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