The Economics of Industry

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof John Sutton 32L. 4.32 , Dr Pasquale Schiraldi 32L. 4.22 and Prof Martin Pesendorfer 32L.4.19


This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, MSc in Economics and MSc in Economics (2 Year Programme). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Students must have completed Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics (EC400).

In exceptional circumstances, students may take this course without EC400 provided they meet the necessary requirements and have received approval from the course conveners (via a face to face meeting), the MSc Economics Programme Director and their own Programme Director. Contact the Department of Economics for more information ( regarding entry to this course.

Course content

A graduate course in Industrial Organization, which aims to provide students with a working knowledge of current theoretical and empirical methods for industry studies. Applications of these methods are considered in industry case studies.

Topics include: Pre-requisites in Game Theory, An introduction to current developments in Oligopoly Theory. A formal analysis of conduct in concentrated industries (cartel stability, limit pricing, predatory pricing, etc), Demand estimation in homogenous and differentiated product industries, Production function estimation, Empirical techniques for oligopoly models and auction markets, Identification of conduct, Economies of Scale, R&D, Advertising, Vertical restraints. The topics will be discussed with detailed applications for selected industries and considering competition policy questions.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

This year at least for Michaelmas Term, some or all of this teaching may have to be delivered through a combination of virtual webinars, online videos, and virtual classes.

Formative coursework

Two marked assignments per term.

Indicative reading

Two books which provide a basic framework are J Tirole, Theory of Industrial Organization, MIT Press, 1989 and J Sutton, Technology and Market Structure, MIT Press, 1998. A full reading list will be supplied at the beginning of the course.


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.
Essay (50%, 6000 words) in the ST.

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: 30

Average class size 2019/20: 15

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information