The UCLA Department of Economics has succeeded in assembling an outstanding collecting of scholars who are global leaders in the study of industrial organization. We are seeking the financial support and active partnership of individuals and organizations who wish to help us build on this accomplishment. We aim to further develop this new research community, influencing business research and industrial policy across the world.

Spearheading this effort are John Asker and Simon Board, UCLA economics professors and co-directors of the Industrial Organization Research Group (IORG), a dynamic new venture focused on industrial organization (IO).

Industrial organization research uses economic tools to study the structure of firms and markets. It investigates firms’ strategies in competitive environments, their influence on economic performance, and their impact on consumers. This leads to new tools and insights that can improve firm performance, and inform the formulation of the laws and regulations that shape the business environment.

The IORG will be at the forefront of research, education and broader community engagement on IO-related issues. It will develop new methods to study firm strategy, and bring new perspectives on firms’ decisions.

The UCLA Department of Economic and the IORG seeks the financial support and active partnership of individuals and firms that want to be a part of this endeavor.

Ever since the 1960s, the UCLA department of economics has been at the forefront of research industrial organization with Armen Alchian, Harold Demsetz and Benjamin Klein revolutionizing the study of economics and the practice of public policy.

“Armen Alchian, Harold Demsetz, and Ben Klein [were] all luminaries in UCLA’s remarkable constellation of industrial organization economists.” – Timothy Muris, former head of the FTC.

With our new generation of eminent economists, we wish to build on this tradition and solidify our place as a world-leader in Industrial Organization.

Vision for the IORG

Broad impact through research, education and community engagement

Pushing the Frontier of Research

Our world-class faculty and graduate students are pushing the frontier of IO-research. This research combines cutting-edge methods in economic theory and statistical analysis with a deep understanding of industry institutions, providing new insights into such questions as:

  • What determines the pattern of industry evolution over time?

  • How should industrial regulation be best conducted?

  • How do firms acquire and maintain long term competitive advantage?

  • How does the internal organization of a firm affect firm performance?

  • how should markets be designed to generate the greatest gains from trade?

  • how can data be better used to inform decision making by managers and policy makers?

John Asker

John Asker

John Asker joined UCLA’s Economics Department in 2014 after spending a decade on faculty at NYU’s Stern School of Business. His research covers topics related to antitrust policy, cartel behavior, vertical restraints, auction design, firm-level productivity and the effects of industry subsidies. To investigate these issues he employs a mix of theoretical and empirical methods. His papers have been published in journals such as the American Economic Review, the RAND Journal of Economics, the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Political Economy. He is also Co-editor of American Economic Journal: Microeconomics and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and a B.Ec(Hons) from the Australian National University. For more information, go to

Simon Board

Simon Board

Simon Board joined UCLA’s Economics Department in 2007. His research proposes innovative designs for contracts and pricing mechanisms, including auctions, revenue management systems and relational contracts. He also studies how reputational incentives motivate investment in different industries and at different stages of a firm’s lifecycle. His work has been published in the American Economic Review, Econometrica, and the Journal of Finance. He teaches a class on the economics of e-commerce and technology, and has won the Warren C. Scoville Distinguished Teaching Award. He is an associate editor at the American Economic Review, the International Economic Review and Theoretical Economics. He holds a Ph.D. from Stanford Business School and a B.A. from Cambridge University. For more information, go to

Training Tomorrow’s Leaders

The IORG is educating graduate students and undergraduates—the next generation of industry leaders, researchers and policy makers. At the graduate level, students learn by collaborating on projects with faculty, and interacting with leading IO researchers in seminars and conferences that we host. They work on contemporary problems faced by firms and industries, and are placed in leading universities and consultancies.

At the undergraduate level, our research has a great impact on the material that we teach, including classes on strategy, entrepreneurship and antitrust; classes that were not traditionally offered to economics undergraduates. The IORG helps attract the very best faculty, graduate students and visiting scholars that boost our ability to develop innovative classes, integrate outside speakers and train the next generation of business leaders.

Community Engagement

Great research never exists in a vacuum. At the core of the academic mission is the importance of disseminating research ideas to those who can use them most effectively. Members of the IORG write for industry publications, advise policy makers and industry, and collaborate with the private sector in instances where the academic mission and industry objectives coincide.

Graduate student support is crucial

The IORG seeks financial support for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships and research funding. These funds provide support for high-caliber graduate students to do path-breaking work. This is critical for their intellectual development and helps them to become critical members of UCLA’s research community. Attracting and training the very best graduate students is essential for UCLA’s academic mission: they help faculty with research, train both other graduate students and undergraduates, and go onto become world leading researchers.

UCLA is a compelling choice for many graduate student candidates, and we attract many of the best candidates from around the world. Nevertheless, competition for the best students is intense. When attracting the most sought-after students, it is helpful to offer a generous level of financial support and a promise of research assistantship opportunities.

Faculty research support is crucial

Great research on industrial activity requires resources for data, travel and research assistant time. Data, in particular, is a challenge in that the best data is often commercially valuable and, hence, expensive to procure. Funds that can be deployed to support faculty (and graduate student) efforts to combine great ideas with great data are crucial to generating impactful research, attracting new faculty and building a group with enduring intellectual dominance.

How you can help

Your support will enable the IORG to become the world’s premier destination for IO research and study. This is an exciting opportunity to have a front-row seat to the latest IO research as well as a direct hand in training the thought leaders and innovators of the future.

Examples of what support can do:

$10,000 will support a typical data-based research project for a year.

$20,000 will support a conference or a year’s research seminar series

$50,000 will fund a research assistant position for a year, supporting a PhD student.

$100,000 will provide multi-year support for a faculty research agenda

$200,000 will support our visiting scholars program, attracting faculty for long-term visits.


For more information on supporting the IERG and opportunities to get involved, please contact: or