Joseph Harrington

Joseph Harrington
  • Patrick T. Harker Professor
  • Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    331 Vance Hall
    3733 Spruce Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: Industrial Organization, Microeconomic Theory, Organizations

Links: Personal Website


Joe Harrington is the Patrick T. Harker Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at Wharton.

Professor Harrington has published more than 75 articles and his research has appeared in many leading journals including the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Econometrica, Management Science, and American Journal of Sociology. His current research focuses on collusion and cartels, with the objectives of understanding observed collusive practices, developing observable markers of collusion, and designing competition policy to detect and deter collusion. His research is on the interface of theory and practice and has been presented before competition authorities throughout the world including those of Chile, European Union, Japan, South Africa, and the U.S. He has also published two textbooks: Economics of Regulation and Antitrust (4th edition, MIT Press) with Kip Viscusi and John Vernon, and Games, Strategies, and Decision Making (2nd edition, Worth Publishers).

Professor Harrington has given many keynote addresses on the topic of collusion and cartels including the Bayard Wickliffe Heath Memorial Lecture at the U. of Florida Levin College of Law, the Conference Policy Lecture at the European Conference in Competition & Regulation, and plenary talks at the annual meetings of the European Association for Industrial Economists (EARIE), Chile Economics Association, and the German Economics Association.

He has performed extensive service on editorial boards in the field of industrial organization including co-editor at the RAND Journal of Economics and the International Journal of Industrial Organization and is currently associate editor at Economics Letters, the Journal of Industrial Economics, and the Review of Industrial Organization. Previously President of the Industrial Organization Society (IOS), he is a member of the IOS Board of Directors and the Scientific Committee of the Competition and Regulation European Summer School and Conference.

Prior to joining the Wharton faculty, Professor Harrington was Professor of Economics at Johns Hopkins University where he was Department Chair from 2007 to 2012 and Program Chair of the M.A. Program in Applied Economics from 1997 to 2012. In the Fall of 2012, he visited Universidad Carlos III de Madrid where he held a Cátedras de Excelencia (Chair of Excellence) funded by Banco Santander

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All Courses

  • BEPP2500 - Managerial Economics

    This course will introduce you to "managerial economics" which is the application of microeconomic theory to managerial decision-making. Microeconomic theory is a remarkably useful body of ideas for understanding and analyzing the behavior of individuals and firms in a variety of economic settings. The goal of the course is for you to understand this body of theory well enough so that you can effectively analyze managerial (and other) problems in an economic framework. While this is a "tools" course, we will cover many real-world applications, particularly business applications, so that you can witness the usefulness of these tools and acquire the skills to use them yourself. We will depart from the usual microeconomic theory course by giving more emphasis to prescription: What should a manager do in order to achieve some objective? That course deliverable is to compare with description: Why do firms and consumers act the way they do? The latter will still be quite prominent in this course because only by understanding how other firms and customers behave can a manager determine what is beswt for him or her to do. Strategic interaction is explored both in product markets and auctions. Finally, the challenges created by asymmetric information - both in the market and within the firm - are investigated.

  • BEPP2840 - Game Thy For Bus & Life

    The objective of this course is to make you more skilled in strategic reasoning. Strategic situations permeate our lives and we will examine many such situations through the lens of game theory. The course is composed of game-theoretic concepts, applications, and experiential learning. The bulk of the applications are to business situations including product entry, bargaining, managerial incentive contracts, and network effects. Given the ubiquitous presence of strategic situations in human societies, applications will also extend to politics, war, sports, history, crime, theology, and every day life, and cover such topics as steroid use in sports, traffic congestion, corruption, racial discrimination, and sexual harassment. Students will regularly participate in experiments involving strategic reasoning, and form teams to compete in a simulated industry environment.

  • BEPP2990 - Independent Study

  • BEPP9500 - Managerial Economics

    Public goods, externalities, uncertainty, and income redistribution as sources of market failures; private market and collective choice models as possible correcting mechanisms. Microeconomic theories of taxation and public sector expenditures. The administration and organization of the public sector.

  • PPE4998 - Directed Honors Research

    Student arranges with a Penn faculty member to do research and write a thesis on a suitable topic. For more information on honors visit:

Awards and Honors

  • SEEK Grant, 2013-2014
  • President (2012-13) and Vice President (2010-11), Industrial Organization Society, 2012
  • Cátedras de Excelencia (Chair of Excellence), Departamento de Economía, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Sept 2012 – Dec 2012, 2012
  • National Science Foundation Grant, 2012-2015
  • Honorable Mention for the Jerry S. Cohen Memorial Fund Writing Award for antitrust scholarship, 2010
  • ENRE Best Publication Award, INFORMS (Energy, Natural Resources and Environment Section), 2007
  • ENCORE Fellow (U. of Amsterdam), 2006
  • Fellow of the International Journal of Industrial Organization, 2005
  • Duncan Black Award for the Best Article in Public Choice, 1990

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Latest Research

Ulrich Doraszelski, Joseph Harrington, Mark Satterthwaite (Work In Progress), Can Collusion Be Sustained Under Demand Uncertainty and Entry and Exit?.
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In the News

The T-Mobile-Sprint Merger: Can Dish Network Help Make It Happen?

Years in the making, the T-Mobile-Sprint merger finally looks set to move ahead – provided the two telecom firms can help to establish a new wireless competitor: Dish Network.Read More

Knowledge at Wharton - 8/9/2019
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