Industrial Organization: Survey of Reading Materials in Universities in Canada and the United States

Article excerpt

1) Objective: The major objectives of the survey are to provide information on books and journal articles assigned to students, weights allotted to grading; pre-requisites for enrollment in courses; objectives and/or content of courses; frequently used articles and books; and new areas of emphasis, if any, recently introduced in teaching of industrial organization courses. The reporting of such information might promote the quality of teaching and assist instructors to prepare and upgrade their reading lists. Students might use the information to completion of term projects, major papers and problem sets. Publishers can use the data (Arabic numerals in parentheses), to arrive at decisions with regard to reprinting of monographs and journal articles. Librarians might use the data to develop a strong collection reflecting instructional and research needs.

2) Survey: To meet the above mentioned needs in academic institutions, a questionnaire was directed to heads of economics departments requesting their cooperation in the transmittal of reading lists and related information. A sample of one hundred and five (105) North American Universities (consisting of South, North, East and West of the United States) and Canada were chosen to study. The selection of the American Universities where the program of economics is considered to be strong at the undergraduate and graduate levels was made possible with the information obtained from reference works. Some of the reference guides consulted were:

1. Guide to Graduate Study in Economics, Agricultural Economics and Related Fields: United States of America and Canada, edited by W. F. Owen, 5th ed., 1979.

2. The World of Learning, by Europa Publications, 41st ed., 1991.

3. American Universities and Colleges edited by American Council on Education, 13th ed., 1987.

Fifty-four (54) Universities responded to the survey. The areas of recent emphasis in teaching were augmented by literature search, and interviews with senior instructional staff at major Universities. Incomplete bibliographic details were corrected by comparing titles with public catalogues, and journals at resource centres.

3) Tabulation: A total of (973) nine hundred seventy three titles, of which (167) one hundred and sixty seven monographs and (806) eight hundred and six journal articles were selected from course outlines received. Among monographs, texts (37) were separated and arranged alphabetically by last name of author under the heading titled "Core Texts". The supplementary monographs were combined with journal articles and arranged in accordance with their areas of emphasis under broad subject headings. Space constraints prompted to condense the manuscript of seventy four pages without distorting its quality.(2) Monographs used by at least two or more Universities and journal articles by four or more Universities were only listed under a classified subject headings listed below:

1. Core texts 2. Nature and Organization of Firms 3. Market Structure 4. Monopolization 5. Monopolistic competition including Product Differentiation 6. Oligopoly 7. Entry Barriers 8. Public Policy

There was close uniformity in course outlined examined. The following overview emerged, based on the analysis of course outlines, interviews with senior faculty members and literature search in academic libraries: industrial organization was offered as a full year course in two semesters: the first one dealt with the market structure, conduct and performance, including profitability, productivity, technical progress, entry barriers, vertical and horizontal integration. The second one covered regulation of industries with competitive market structure touching on antitrust issues or anti-combines laws to limit market power and to promote socially optimal performance of industries. The analysis of the first part of the course was devoted on the application of price theory to market structure, conduct and performance paradigm where as the second one on policy issues. …