IOCB Support Blog


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Industrial Organization, a Contract Based approach (aka IOCB) offers an extensive and an up-to-date panorama of Industrial Organization. It is aimed at advanced undergraduates, graduates, academics and practitioners with an interest in the field.

The analysis of market interactions, business strategies and public policy is performed using the standard framework of game theory and the recent advances of contract theory and information economics.

The book is written from a European perspective, set side by side with the US experience. The reader is introduced to all important models of the current research literature within a common simple structure (cf. TOC). As the adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. We thus try to convey a graphical overview of the topics we approach. The 8 gray boxes indicate Parts while the other boxes more or less refer to the 25 chapters. Locations on the chart do not respect truthfully the content, rather they loosely reflect connexions with each other.


The extensive 500+ bibliography covers all landmark articles. The book contains 300k+ words, runs around 1000 pages according to typesetting options, contains 1500+ cross-references and 700+ index entries. Time-wise, it took me about 5 full years of work, or 10k hours i.e, 10 hours per page of final product. Money-wise, the output comes at a total cost of approximatively 200k€ to the Catalan Government, my official employer i.e., less than 3 cent per inhabitant or 200€ per page of final product (Kudos to Andreu Mas-Collel for devising the contractual scheme I currently enjoy).


Written by nboccard

13/12/2010 at 19:54

7 Responses

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  1. I just read about your open source approach. I am working a project and running into similar incentive issues as you. Except, perhaps, I do like the idea of a bound version…

    Did you consider publishing through Google and having it available at Amazon? It would seem to me that this could be a compliment. You get the option of pricing it low, and then it is available to those who like the formal, printed copy. I would think you could still open source it. I am thinking about suc issues. Anyway, good luck.


    15/12/2010 at 17:05

  2. To publish an open access textbook is a very nice idea, congratulations. I am not sure whether this conforms with the homo oeconomicus assumption but it may be the case by getting more reknowned.
    Yet, I am disappointed by your relatively standard homo oeconomicus application. The assumptions are blatantly wrong as nobel prize winner Herbert Simon and many others have shown in psychology, sociology and behavioral economics. The time is ripe to skip neoclassics and the homo oeconomicus and to proceed to a new paradigm; my guess is, evolutionary economics will be the more fruitful next paradigm with better connections to the other behavioral sciences. Understanding innovation processes and predicting innovation success will be the ultimate test of economic paradigms – that’s my guess as a behavioral scientist and innovation researcher. Eric Beinhocker’s book “The origin of wealth” (2006) looks ahead for such a new paradigm; join him and the other evolutionary scientists – even in a textbook.


    16/12/2010 at 10:28

    • Dear Wolfgang

      Thank you for your comment but I stand by my choices. As I explain in the open-source post, I believe I made a rational choice, thus behaving like a perfect homo oeconomicus. Next, the time is ripe for alternatives to neoclassical economics to come up with books that explain the world as it is. Your are welcome to follow in my footsteps by taking my source files and working out the same IO book from an evolutionary economics perspective.

      Yours, Nicolas


      16/12/2010 at 10:42

  3. Nicolas,

    Thank you for giving us access to your text. Is this version different to the one posted on Google Books? If so, how?




    18/12/2010 at 01:35

    • Tx Rafael
      The 2010 version is the second edition whereas the one on display at google books is the first edition published in 2006. It is not for sale anymore.


      18/12/2010 at 09:14

  4. Cher Nicolas, I was looking for an updated book in Industrial Organization (more recent that Tirole 1988) and I must admit that I had a hard time. I came across your book and I was amazed by its comprehensiveness! I have not read the book in its entirety but my first impression is really good. My fields of research are Experimental Economics and Organizational Economics but I lost track of recent research in IO and I thought I needed an extensive textbook for that.
    By the way, I am also a frenchman leaving abroad (I spent 10 years in Spain by the way).
    Good luck with your book!

    Brice Corgnet,
    Economic Science Institute
    Chapman University.California

    • Hi Brice
      Thank for the encouragement. Spread the word.


      10/04/2012 at 11:09

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