Industrial Economics

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Martin Pesendorfer 32L.4.19


This course is available on the BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, BSc in Economics, BSc in Economics and Economic History, BSc in Economics with Economic History, BSc in International Social and Public Policy and Economics, BSc in Mathematics and Economics, BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, BSc in Social Policy and Economics and Diploma in Accounting and Finance. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available with permission to General Course students.


Students must have completed Microeconomic Principles I (EC201) or Microeconomic Principles II (EC202) and Introduction to Econometrics (EC220) or Principles of Econometrics (EC221).  Students who believe they have completed an equivalent course instead of one of these must receive permission from Prof Pesendorfer first.

Course content

The aim of the course is to provide students with a working knowledge of theoretical and empirical methods for industry studies. Topics may include: monopoly, price discrimination, pre-requisites in game theory, oligopoly theory, product differentiation, demand estimation, production function estimation, conduct in concentrated industries (cartel stability, limit pricing, etc.), empirical techniques for oligopoly models, identification of conduct, markets with asymmetric information, matching models, entry in strategic settings, advertising, auction markets, empirics of auction markets, winner’s curse, and insurance. The topics will be discussed with detailed applications for selected industries and considering competition policy questions.


15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT.

This course is delivered through a combination of classes and 50 hours across Michaelmas Term and Lent Term. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of virtual classes, live streamed (recorded) lectures, and some flipped content delivered as short online videos.

Formative coursework

At least four problem sets will be required and assessed by class teachers.

Indicative reading

A detailed reading list will be provided at the beginning of the course. The key text is Tirole’s The Theory of Industrial Organization. Specific sections will be assigned (others are too advanced for this course). There will be additional required readings on empirical articles and case studies on competition policy.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Economics

Total students 2019/20: 46

Average class size 2019/20: 23

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills