Is Sam Adams Beer?

Bloomberg reports [link here] that the creator of Sam Adams beer – a brand of Boston Beer Company – is now a billionaire.

As industrial organization economists, what however is “beer”? In 1983, when the company began, it was not “beer” from an analytic perspective, or at least that is an argument implicit in our beer case Tremblay & Tremblay. In short, a market revolves around competition among sellers. Companies such as Bost Beer Company simply weren’t in the game in the 1980s.

We will develop models of a “dominant firm” and a “competitive fringe” later this term as a static model. So remember this when the time comes as an example that it is a static model, but that when we look at things 30 years later, we should expect to observe the ex ante status quo (pardon my lack of Latin).

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