Stephen Martin's book is a marvellous effort. No other text provides such a comprehensive and updated overview of the literature of modern industrial economics. I wholeheartedly recommend it for graduate courses in the subject or as a reference for any professional economist. However, the level at which the material is presented will put the book beyond the reach of most undergraduate students in the UK.
The feature that most distinguishes Advanced Industrial Economics from competitors such as Jean Tirole's The Theory of Industrial Organization and Oz Shy's Industrial Organization is the extended treatment of the literature on empirical tests of market structure and performance.
This was long overdue, and Martin has to be commended for introducing new generations of students to empirical work in this field.
As a teaching tool, there is much to admire in the book as well: many of the issues are given a historical perspective so that students can better appreciate the direction in which both the theory and the empirical work has progressed.
Martin also provides a wealth of material on the book's website, including an extended discussion of the theory of contestable markets as well as a solutions manual.
The only complaint I have is that he is too pessimistic about the progress made by the theory of the firm.
On this specific topic, Tirole's book remains the standard reference.
Francesco Giovannoni is lecturer in economics, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Advanced Industrial Economics
Author - Stephen Martin
ISBN - 0 631 21756 8 and 21757 6
Publisher - Blackwell
Price - £65.00 and £24.99
Pages - 533