GMU Graduate Industrial Organization I

Economics 844-001 (#73016), meets 7:20-10:00pm, Tuesday, during Fall 2021, in Carow Hall main room.

Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Assoc. Professor, Economics (,
Office Hours: Officially Tuesdays 5-7p, but I'm available at far more times.

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.
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: Schedule
Week Shy ChapterLecture Topics
24 Aug2,3 Overview and Lockin Look for Model Paper
31 Aug4,5,6 Homogeneous Products & Free Entry
7 Sep7 Differentiated Products
14 Sep12 Quality and Regulation
21 Sep Paper Presentations
28 Sep. Misc. Fun Topics
5 Oct 10 Networks and Standards
12 Oct No Class
19 Oct11,16 Ads and Search
26 Oct No Class
2 Nov9 Research and Development
9 Nov Incentives
16 Nov No Class
23 Nov Organization Information Systems
30 Nov TBD
14 Dec 7:30-10:15pm, Final Presentations, papers due
On the web page, this links to a page of sources, most of which have links.
Suggested 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, ISBN: 0-321-18023-2, 2005.