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Empirical Industrial Organization: A Progress Report

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  • Liran Einav
  • Jonathan Levin

Abstract

The field of industrial organization has made dramatic advances over the last few decades in developing empirical methods for analyzing imperfect competition and the organization of markets. These new methods have diffused widely: into merger reviews and antitrust litigation, regulatory decision making, price setting by retailers, the design of auctions and marketplaces, and into neighboring fields in economics, marketing, and engineering. Increasing access to firm-level data and in some cases the ability to cooperate with firms or governments in experimental research designs is offering new settings and opportunities to apply these ideas in empirical work. This essay begins with a sketch of how the field has evolved to its current state, in particular how the field's emphasis has shifted over time from attempts to relate aggregate measures across industries toward more focused studies of individual industries. The second and primary part of the essay describes several active areas of inquiry. We also discuss some of the impacts of this research and specify topics where research efforts have been more or less successful. The last section steps back to offer a broader perspective. We address some current debates about research emphasis in the field, and more broadly about empirical methods, and offer some thoughts on where future research might go.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.24.2.145
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 24 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 145-62

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:24:y:2010:i:2:p:145-62

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.24.2.145
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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jakob Kapeller & Bernhard Schütz & Stefan Steinerberger, 2013. "The impossibility of rational consumer choice," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 39-60, January.
  2. Burghardt, Dirk, 2013. "The Impact of Trade Policy on Industry Concentration in Switzerland," Economics Working Paper Series 1317, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  3. Thomas Fagart, 2011. "Collusion in an investment game," Post-Print dumas-00643721, HAL.
  4. Vera Catarina Rocha, 2012. "The entrepreneur in economic theory: from an invisible man toward a new research field," FEP Working Papers 459, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  5. Tovar, Jorge, 2012. "Consumers’ Welfare and Trade Liberalization: Evidence from the Car Industry in Colombia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 808-820.
  6. Jonathan D. Levin, 2011. "The Economics of Internet Markets," NBER Working Papers 16852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Christopher T. Conlon & Julie Holland Mortimer, 2010. "Effects of Product Availability: Experimental Evidence," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 798, Boston College Department of Economics.
  8. Pennerstorfer, Dieter & Weiss, Christoph, 2013. "Spatial clustering and market power: Evidence from the retail gasoline market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 661-675.
  9. Beker, Pablo & Hernando-Veciana, Angel, 2013. "Bidding Markets with Financial Constraints," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1017, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  10. Christopher T. Conlon & Julie Holland Mortimer, 2013. "Demand Estimation under Incomplete Product Availability," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 1-30, November.
  11. James J. Heckman, 2010. "Building Bridges between Structural and Program Evaluation Approaches to Evaluating Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 356-98, June.
  12. Lawrence J. White, 2012. "Market Power: How Does it Arise? How is it Measured?," Working Papers 12-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.

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