GMU Graduate Industrial Organization II

Economics 846-001, meets 7:20-10:00pm, Monday, during Spring 2008, in Carow Hall, main room (originally scheduled for IN 207.)

Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Assoc. Professor, Economics (,
Office Hours: Officially Mon 6:00-7:00pm, Th 3:00-4:00pm, but I'm usually in at Carow Hall 10B. Email or call ahead (703-993-2326) if you want to be sure I'll be in.

Catalog Entry:

846 Industrial Organization and Public Policy II (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 611 and 844. Relation between law and economics and theories of social control of property rights. Theories of market structure and industrial 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
WeekLecture Topic Assignment
Jan 28 Overview and Lockin Look for Model Paper
Feb 4 No Class
Feb 11 Product Differentiation Homework 1
Feb 18 Quality and Regulation
Feb 25 Networks and Standards
Mar 3 Ads and Search
Mar 10 Spring Break
Mar 17 Paper Presentations
Mar 24 Midterm Exam
Mar 31 Firm Boundaries, Entry, and Mergers
Apr 7 Capital Structure and Control
Apr 14 No Class
Apr 21 Organization Theory
Apr 28 Organization Information Systems
May 5 Paper Presentations
May 12 Final Exam


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)
F.M. Scherer, Industry, Structure, Strategy, and Public Policy, Harper Collins, ISBN 0-673-99289-6, 1996.
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.
Carl Shapiro, Hal R. Varian, Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy, Harvard Business School Press, ISBN: 087584863X, 1998.
Robert J. Herbold, The Fiefdom Syndrome: The Turf Battles That Undermine Careers and Companies - and how to Overcome Them, October 2005, ISBN 0385510683, Sample Price $14.

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.