Industry Studies Program

Mission Statement

Founded in 1991, the Industry Studies Program is devoted to the study of firms, industries, and markets. The principal goal is to promote and foster high quality academic research.

The past few decades have witnessed many theoretical and empirical advances in industrial organization. Indeed, industrial organization has been one of the fastest growing fields in economics. New perspectives offered by behavioral economics have led to new models. New data and computing power have allowed researchers to do empirical works that used to be infeasible.

ISP is set up to advance theoretical and empirical research within the Boston University Economics Department, which already boasts much expertise in fields such as labor, development, health, and financial markets. The vision is for researchers in these other fields also to work in an industrial perspective. ISP also has a broad focus, and seeks to encourage research in macroeconomics of industry, the organization of factor markets and firms, international competitiveness, and more.

Grants through ISP

All faculty members are encouraged to run appropriate grants through ISP. Grants run through ISP must be approved by the ISP director and by the dean’s office. The procedures for running a grant through ISP are simple, and an instruction sheet can be obtained from the administrative coordinator. If you are doubtful about whether your proposal is appropriate for ISP, please check with the ISP director in advance.


ISP sponsors the weekly microeconomic seminar in both the fall and spring. In the Spring Semester, ISP also helps with the organization of the BU/MIT/Harvard Health Economics Seminar.

Seed Grants

To promote research on industrial organization and related topics, ISP offers seed grants up to $5,000 each, targeted mostly to junior faculty in the department. In addition, ISP may be able to provide research assistants. The implicit contract for an ISP seed grant is that the recipient will submit an overhead-bearing grant proposal through ISP within a reasonable period of time (usually one year). In addition, small grants may be provided to graduate students for data purchase for dissertation research in industrial organization. Download the application (pdf) online or contact the administrative coordinator.

Visiting Scholars

The Visiting Scholars program is an important ISP activity; the aim is to invite prestigious senior scholars and promising junior scholars whose research is consistent with the ISP’s mission. The length of the visit must be at least one week, and the terms are negotiable, although only limited financial support is available. Faculty may suggest or nominate visitors by writing a brief memo to the ISP director.


Professor Juan Ortner
Program Director

Miriam Hatoum
Administrative Coordinator

Industries Studies Program
Boston University
270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215