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Industrial Organization

Industrial Organization at Yale is a strong and distinctive group. Many of the central ideas of the field were developed at Yale, and many of the field’s top scholars were trained here.

There is a large and diverse “IO” faculty at Yale, distributed across the Economics Department, the Yale School of Management, the Yale School of the Environment, and the Yale School of Public Health. Their research—and that of Yale PhD students in IO—spans a broad range of substantive questions concerning the functioning of imperfectly competitive markets, the exercise of market power, and competition policy. Yale also has a strong tradition in the development of empirical methods for the study of such questions. Harmonious relations across fields within Economics have made Yale a particularly attractive place for faculty and students whose research interests combine insights and analytical tools from IO with questions traditionally viewed as within the realms of other fields—e.g., the economics of education, health care, taxation, development, or the environment.

The Cowles Research Program in Industrial Organization provides direct research support to students and faculty, support for postdoc positions, and support for short term and long term academic visitors.

Seminars and Conferences

A central element of the Yale research environment in IO is the weekly Industrial Organization Seminar, organized jointly between the Economics Department and the School of Management. Preceding the seminar is an IO Faculty Lunch, in which visiting scholars meet with IO faculty from around Yale to discuss current topics in the field. The Department also runs a weekly Industrial Organization Prospectus Workshop. This workshop is primarily for graduate students presenting thesis work at various stages of development. For third-year students, the goal is a finished thesis prospectus. Interested faculty and outside visitors may also present early work in progress.

Every year, the Industrial Organization Program hosts a "Models and Measurement" summer conference. This conference brings together scholars across fields of applied microeconomics whose research uses economic models as a foundation for empirical work. Recent conference presentations have included topics such as collusion among generic prescription drug makers, the role of firm buyer power in distorting technology adoption, the design of defined contribution plans, and the use of model-based estimation in applied microeconomics. Recent research at these conferences has also focused on tools for improved estimation of demand models, a building block for most applied work in this space.

For more information about the Models and Measurement summer conferences, see the Cowles Conferences and Workshops page.

Graduate Teaching and Research

We offer a two-semester sequence (Econ 600 and 601) that covers a broad range of topics. Students in this sequence are given a firm grounding in the tools of frontier research in IO and the wide range of challenging research questions studied by IO economists and others concerned with the nuances that determine market outcomes under imperfect competition.

The first semester begins by locating the study of industrial organization within the broader research traditions of economics and related social sciences. Alternative theories of decision making, organizational behavior, and of market evolution are sketched and contrasted with standard neoclassical theories. The semester includes a detailed examination of the determinants and consequences of industrial market structure. The second semester moves on to policy issues including public control of utilities and antitrust regulation, as well as modeling of dynamic oligopoly, collusion, and technological change.

For detailed field descriptions, please see the Department’s PhD Program Page.