Joseph Harrington

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

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    3408 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: industrial organization, microeconomic theory, organizations

Links: Personal Website

Overview

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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Research

Teaching

Past Courses

  • BEPP250 - 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 compared 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 determin what is best 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.

  • BEPP284 - GAME THEORY FOR BUSINESS

    The objective of this course is to make you more skilled in the art and science of 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 investment and entry, bargaining, managerial incentive contracts, network effects, product location, and two-sided markets. However, given the ubiquitous presence of strategic situations in human societies, applications will extend to politics, war, sports, history, crime, theology, and every day life, and cover the existence of God, steroid use in sports, racial discrimination, land conflict, trench warfare in World War I, and the Medieval Law Merchant. Students will regularly participate in experiments involving strategic reasoning, and form teams to compete in a simulated industry environment.

  • BEPP950 - 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.

  • BEPP962 - APPLIED ECONOMICS SEM

    The goal of this course is to help doctoral students develop critical thinking skills through both seminar participation and writing of referee reports. To this end students will attend the Wharton Applied Economics each Wednesday at noon seminar when it meets; prepare two written referee reports on WAE papers per semester, due before the seminar is presented; after attending the seminar - and the ensuing discussion of the paper - students will prepare follow-up evaluations of their referee report reports, due one week after the seminar.

  • MGEC612 - MICROECON FOR MGR - ADV.

    This course will cover the economic foundations of business strategy and decision-making in market environments with other strategic actors and less than full information, as well as advanced pricing strategies. Topics include oligopoly models of market competition, creation, and protection, sophisticated pricing strategies for consumers with different valuations or consumers who buy multiple units (e.g. price discrimination, bundling, two-part tariffs), strategies for managing risk and making decisions under uncertainty, asymmetric information and its consequences for markets, and finally moral hazard and principle-agent theory with application to incentive contacts.

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

In the News

Knowledge @ Wharton

Activity

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

Are Antitrust Officials Using a Flawed Framework to Find Cartels?

Wharton research shows that the framework used by antitrust authorities to find cartels is biased -- but the extent of the skewing is not as big as once thought.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2016/04/28
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Awards and Honors

SEEK Grant 2013
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