14.20 | Spring 2003 | Undergraduate

Industrial Organization and Public Policy


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Recitations: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session


14.20 is a course in industrial organization, the study of firms in markets. Industrial organization focuses on firm behavior in imperfectly competitive markets, which appear to be far more common than the perfectly competitive markets that were the focus of your basic microeconomics course. This field analyzes the acquisition and use of market power by firms, strategic interactions among firms, and the role of government competition policy. We will approach this subject from both theoretical and applied perspectives. Students must have completed at least an introductory semester of microeconomics at the level of 14.01 before enrolling in 14.20.

The course will rely heavily on the required textbook by Jeffrey Church and Roger Ware, Industrial Organization: A Strategic Approach (Irwin McGraw-Hill, 2000, 1st edition). The text is denoted on the reading list as “C&W.” Occasional additional readings (typically short news articles) may be handed out in the lecture preceding their discussion. Students are encouraged to scan the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, business section of the New York Times, or The Economist magazine for articles relevant to the topics covered in the course.

You are responsible for ALL assigned readings. It is particularly important that you do the application readings and prepare any discussion questions BEFORE CLASS. These form the basis of class discussion, in which you are expected to participate and which will be graded.

The requirements for the course, in addition to attendance and participation in class discussion, include problem sets, a set of group assignments based on the Competitive Strategy Game, and a midterm and final examination. Please read the requirements and expectations statements that follow, and ask if you’re confused about anything.

NOTE: This course requires consistent and sustained work over the term, on a weekly or more frequent basis. It is not well-suited to a “let it ride, cram before the exam” strategy. If that’s what you need to make your schedule work, this isn’t the course for you.


Students are asked to submit their answers to the Student Information Form (PDF) at the start of the term.

Required assignments and their weight for determining your final 14.20 grade:


Participation in Class Discussion (cumulated over term)
This requires your attendance at lectures and completing readings in advance! There will often be discussion questions handed out prior to a lecture. Students may be asked to present their responses on a spot basis.

15% **Group Project: Competitive Strategy Game
**Weekly Strategy Submissions
Final write-up due on Lec #36.
20% 4 Problem Sets handed out during the term.
You may discuss problem sets and work out solutions together, however:
ALL identical write-ups on problem sets will be given “0” credit.
20% Midterm Exam (closed book): Covers Material Through Lec #17
Due on Lec #18 in class.
40% Final Exam (closed book): Comprehensive
Scheduled During Finals Week


The success of this class depends on you! Your enrollment in 14.20 signifies your agreement to attend all lectures, participate actively in the discussions, and complete all required assignments.

The name(s) on the top of an assignment records everyone who has contributed to that assignment. If yours is the only name (e.g. on exams or problem sets), you affirm that the work is yours alone.

Discussing problem sets with other students, or seeking help from the TA or professor, is permitted and encouraged, but you must write up the solution yourself in your own words. If you do discuss problem sets with other student(s), you should record their name(s) as part of your “Study Group” for that problem set.

Copying from another student’s assignment or permitting another student to copy from your assignment will result in a “0” for that assignment for all involved students.

Giving or obtaining help during an exam, including but not limited to copying, or changing exam answers at any time after the time has been called on an exam, will result in a “0” for the exam and referral to the Committee on Discipline.

Late assignments will NOT be accepted.

Requests to re-grade an assignment must be made in writing to Professor Rose within 3 days of receiving your graded work. For requests other than numerical errors in adding up points the entire assignment will be regarded. This may result in a higher or lower grade.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2003
Learning Resource Types
Exams with Solutions
Problem Sets with Solutions