Industrial Organization

Understanding how firms, industries, and economic sectors are structured and make decisions

Scholars in the Department of Economics and Chicago Booth are working to increase our understanding of ways firms, industries, and economic sectors are structured and make decisions. They study how firm decisions contribute to or deviate from market efficiency, and explore how to improve policies governing these industries. Researchers study market-clearing mechanisms, incentives, and competitions across a wide range of settings, including financial markets, energy markets, and the Internet.

Recent conferences organized within this initiative have focused on how a better understanding of decisions at the individual and firm level aggregate to impact the broader macroeconomy. Specifically, the Firm Dynamics and the Aggregate Economy explored the factors that may explain clear differences in firm growth and productivity between enterprises in developed and developing nations. A conference on Industrial organization of the Financial Sector conference brought together researchers to discuss work that tries to understand consumer and firm behavior in financial products markets, with particular attention to the role of imperfect competition, information frictions, and regulations.