GMU Graduate Industrial Organization I

Economics 844-001 (#73016), meets 7:20-10:00pm, Tuesday, during Fall 2023, 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; email me.

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 all of your grade. You must choose a model paper early in the semester, write a referee report on it, and present it in class. Then meeting with me one on one, we look for and then create a variation on that model paper.

Assignments: Schedule
Week Shy ChapterLecture Topics
22 Aug2,3 Overview and Lockin Look for Model Paper
29 Aug4,5,6 Homogeneous Products & Free Entry
5 Sep7 Differentiated Products
12 Sep12 Quality and Regulation
19 Sep Paper Presentations
26 Sep10 Networks and Standards
3 Oct11,16 Ads and Search
10 Oct No Class
17 Oct9 Research and Development
24 Oct Incentives
31 Oct Organization Information Systems
7 Nov TBD
14 Nov TBD
21 Nov TBD
28 Nov TBD
12 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.