Many students have asked me about the types of things covered in Industrial Organization (Econ 400), and I typically respond with blah blah blah price theory blah blah blah structure-conduct-performance until the student leaves my office. Perhaps a better response would simply be to give students a list of interesting topics that would come under an IO umbrella, such as Comcast’s dispute with Netflix. There’s many issues embedded there, including this tasty one:
A recent study found that at peak times, Netflix represented 20 percent of Internet download traffic in the United States. That makes it a de facto competitor for incumbent distributors like Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which are eager to protect both the subscription television business and the emerging video-on-demand business.
I wonder how soon cable and satellite television will be relegated to economic history courses, a la the video rental business.
Perhaps you can write a paper on that next term.