GMU Graduate Industrial Organization I

Economics 844-001 (#73016), meets 7:20-10:00pm, Tuesday, during Spring 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. We are supposed to do this via Zoom for now. Email me with a suggestion about when to talk.

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: Lecture Schedule
WeekShy Lecture Topic Assignment
26 Jan2,3 Overview and Lockin Look for Model Paper
2 Feb4,5,6 Homogeneous Products & Free Entry
9 Feb7 Differentiated Products
16 Feb12 Quality and Regulation
23 Feb10 Networks and Standards
2 Mar Paper Presentations
9 Mar11,16 Ads and Search
16 Mar TBD
23 Mar9 Research and Development
30 Mar Incentives
6 Apr Organization Information Systems
13 Apr TBD
20 Apr TBD
27 Apr TBD
4 May Paper Presentations


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.