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MobLab in Industrial Organization Courses

Doug Norton

How does MobLab fit with your Industrial Organization course? Really well, actually. Below are common topics covered in IO courses that mesh well with MobLab games:

  • Quantity Competition
  • Price Competition
  • Spatial Competition
  • Collusion
  • Vertical Relations
  • Research and Development
  • Monopoly
  • Third Degree Price Discrimination
  • Basic Game Theory

In each outline below I link to our game guides and (where applicable) to our module guides. If you already have an account, you can check these games out in the game library. If you don’t have an account, create one. It’s commitment free and gives you access to all the materials. Here is the link to sign up.

Quantity Competition – Cournot and Stackelberg (shown below) games – Students participate in a market with at least one other competitor. In the Stackelberg version of this game there is a first mover. See our module on Cornout Competition and that builds intuition for how “N” effects market equilibrium and consumer welfare.

Price Competition – Bertrand – Students participate in a market with price competition for Econ 101 notes. With the default parameters marginal cost is $2 and the market demand curve is Q(P) = 3600 – 200P.  You can explore factors that soften price competition like capacity constraints and price matching.

Collusion – Cournot or Bertrand – Enable chat communications between players and make the games indefinitely repeated to facilitate collusive arrangements. See our module on Bertrand Competition and Collusion here.

Vertical Relations – Double Marginalization – Students participate as wholesaler-retailer pairs. In the case of double marginalization, both act as monopolists. However, the game can be manipulated to allow for contractual solutions to the double mark up problem. Contractual solutions include vertical integration and franchising.

Basic Game Theory – Battles of the Sexes – Having students participate in a simple 2×2 matrix game (there are many on the MobLab platform) like Battle of the Sexes can help to facilitate a discussion on Network Externalities and the coordination problem of which technology emerges.

Spatial Competition – Two Candidate Election –  While the game is skinned a political science game our Two Candidate Election game can be used effectively to teach Hotelling Spatial Competition and explain why firms tend to locate side-by-side.

Research and Development – R&D Patent Race – This game is useful for an illustration of how R&D investments function as a kind of all-pay-auction.

Soon we will be releasing a monopoly game (better for the learning objectives than Cournot N=1) that will allow students to explore third degree price discrimination. Keep an eye out for that! Beyond games, it is worth mentioning that our survey technology can be used to poll students on class content regardless of subject.

Please contact us at with any additional questions.