Economics 425
Industrial Organization

Course Instructor:

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Course Overview

This course analyzes the behavior of individuals, consumers, and firms as they interact in an imperfectly competitive market. The focus of the course will mainly be theoretical, although several applications and empirical implications will be discussed.


Course Goals

The perfectly competitive market, while efficient, is rarely encountered in the real world. Almost all markets that people interact with utilize some form of imperfect competition, i.e., some agent in that market can utilize market power to their advantage. Industrial Organization is the study of how firms utilize market power in their operations. The presence of market power allows several methods for firms to leverage a market; increasing their profits while competing with others who may share that market power.

The student will demonstrate the ability to think critically and to use appropriate concepts to analyze quantitative and qualitative problems and situations involving firm decisions and strategies.


Course Text

The material for this course is presented both through video-based lectures and text-based readings.  The textbook readings associated with the course lessons is

Contemporary Industrial Organization: A Quantitative Approach, by Lynne Pepall, Dan Richards, and George Norman.

Course Work

There will be 4 problem sets, 4 quizzes, a midterm, and a final. In addition, there will be some optional (extra credit) data exercises, and discussion based assignments, where we will explore some empirical problems in industrial organization. All due dates besides the discussion based assignments are included on the course schedule.


Instructor Interaction

The instructor will make every effort to check the course space every weekday morning for messages. Circumstances may not allow this 100% of the time. Typically, I get grading done about ten days after each due date, but am happy to give preliminary feedback early if requested. For urgent matters, it is easiest to contact me via email.


Late Work Policy

Late work is not accepted without prior approval. Students may request extensions on assignments from the instructor for various reasons, and will be granted on a case by case basis. I am a fairly reasonable person, and am likely to accommodate most requests that are made in a timely manner. For example, if you have a job interview on the day of an exam, tell me in advance, and I?ll let you take it another time. However, I am not likely to approve an extension request the night before something is due (barring an emergency).


Grading

This section will contain grading information and tables and will NOT be public to web visitors for preview of the syllabus.

Course Work

Percent of Final Grade

4 Problem Sets

25

4 Quizzes

15

Midterm

30

Final

30


I use a fairly standard university scale with a few guarantees. For example, if you earn higher than 90% of the points in this class, I guarantee that you will receive an A for this course. If you earn higher than 80% of the points in this class, I guarantee that you will receive at least a B, if not better. I reserve the right to adjust my breakpoints for each grade down at the end of the semester to assign what I believe is the appropriate grade for each student in this class (Note: I will not adjust breakpoints up, thus making any adjustments to the final grades always in the students? favor). Furthermore, I reserve the right to raise any student?s grade for whatever reason I see fit.

            

Grade

Percentage

A

> 90%

B

> 80%

C

> 70%

D

> 60%

F

< 60%



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Lauren's Promise

I will listen and believe you if someone is threatening you.

Lauren McCluskey, a 21-year-old honors student athlete, was murdered on Oct. 22, 2018, by a man she briefly dated on the University of Utah campus. We must all take actions to ensure that this never happens again.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

If you are experiencing sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking, please report it to me and I will connect you to resources or call Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse at 877-334-2887 (24-hour crisis hotline).

Any form of sexual harassment or violence will not be excused or tolerated at Washington State University. WSU has instituted procedures to respond to violations of these laws and standards, programs aimed at the prevention of such conduct, and intervention on behalf of the victims.

WSU Police officers will treat victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking with respect and dignity. Confidentiality is of the utmost importance and WSU Police will assist by providing resources to victims. In addition to its law enforcement efforts regarding sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking, WSU Police refer victims to the appropriate university and/or local community counseling and other resources devoted to assisting victims.

Advocates help survivors determine their own needs in regards to their physical and emotional health, reporting options, and academic concerns. They connect survivors to campus and community services, and provide accompaniment to important appointments (court, hospital, and police) and support throughout the process. WSUPD can also connect you with advocacy services, if desired. The local advocacy group is Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, whose services are free, immediate, and confidential.

Other confidential resources include WSU Counseling and Psychological Services. If you would like to speak with a counselor after business hours, WSUPD can contact the on-call counselor and have them call you directly or a crisis telephone number is provided. Information shared with the counselor will not be provided to WSUPD without expressed permission from you.

WSU Counseling and Psychological Services 509-335-2159 (crisis services line)


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