Skip to: search, navigation, or content.

Indiana University Bloomington


The Kelley Advantage

Our faculty members sit on the editorial boards of more than 10 leading journals in economics.

Daniel P. O'Brien

Daniel P. O'Brien

Contact Information

obriend [at] indiana [dot] edu (E-mail)
Business School

Download Vita

Faculty Web Page

  • Visiting Professor of Business Economics
  • Senior Economic Policy Adviser, U.S. Federal Trade Commission


  • Bloomington


  • PhD in Economics, Northwestern University, 1989
  • MA in Economics, Northwestern University, 1986
  • BA in Economics, Carleton College, 1984

Professional Experience

  • Senior Economic Policy Adviser, Federal Trade Commission, 2007-Present
  • Chief, Economic Regulatory Section, Antitrust Division, 2005-2007
  • Economist, Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission, 2002-2005
  • Deputy Director, Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission, 2000-2002
  • Assistant Director for Antitrust II, Federal Trade Commission, 1998-2000
  • Principal, Charles River Associates, 1995-1998
  • Economist, Antitrust Division, 1992-1995
  • Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Michigan, 1989-1992

Professional Interests

Industrial Organization, Microeconomics, Game Theory, Antitrust, Regulation


Professor O'Brien is visiting Kelley during the 2014-2015 academic year, on leave from his position as Senior Economic Policy Adviser in the Bureau of Economics at U.S. Federal Trade Commission. He has taught economics at Northwestern, Michigan, Georgetown Law, and the University of Verona (Italy). He has been a staff economist and manager at both the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, where his work involved conducting or overseeing economic analysis of the competitive effects of mergers and other potentially anticompetitive business strategies. He has also been a consultant with Charles River Associates, where he represented private clients on antitrust and regulation issues before U.S. agencies. While at the FTC, he worked on consumer protection issues (mainly privacy and disclosure) as well as antitrust. He also presented workshops on competition policy for foreign competition authorities in several countries, including the Czech Republic, the countries of the Andean Community, the European Commission, Brazil, South Korea, Sweden, Egypt, and Peru. His research covers a range of microeconomics topics, most of which relate to policy questions raised in his work. He has published articles in the American Economic Review, Rand Journal of Economics, American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, Journal of Industrial Economics, International Journal of Industrial Organization, Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization, Antitrust Law Journal, and other journals in economics and law. His current research includes work on vertical pricing practices, the economics of privacy and disclosure, and divestiture solutions to mergers.

Selected Publications

  • O'Brien, Daniel P. (2014), "The Welfare Effects of Third Degree Price Discrimination In Intermediate Good Markets: The Case of Bargaining," RAND Journal of Economics, Vol. 45(1): 92-115.

  • Gale, Ian and Daniel P. O'Brien (2013), "The Welfare Effects of Use-or-Lose Provisions in Markets with Dominant Firms," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 5(1): 175-193.

  • O'Brien, Daniel P. (2008), "The Antitrust Treatment of Vertical Restraints: Beyond the Possibility Theorems," The Pros and Cons of Vertical Restraints, Konkurrensverket, Swedish Competition Authority, 40-101.

  • O'Brien, Daniel P. and Greg Shaffer (2005), "Bargaining, Bundling, and Clout: The Portfolio Effects of Horizontal Mergers," RAND Journal of Economics, 36(3): 573-595.

  • Cooper, James, Froeb, Luke, O'Brien, Daniel P. and Mike Vita (2005), "Vertical Antitrust Policy as a Problem of Inference," International Journal of Industrial Organization, 23(7-8): 639-664.

  • Cooper, James, Froeb, Luke, O'Brien, Daniel P. and Steven Tschantz (2005), "Does Price Discrimination Intensify Competition? Implications for Antitrust," Antitrust Law Journal, 72(2): 327-373.

  • O'Brien, Daniel P. and Abraham Wickelgren (2003), "A Critical Analysis of Critical Loss Analysis," Antitrust Law Journal, 71(1): 161-184.

  • Gale, Ian and Daniel P. O'Brien (2001), "The Antitrust Implications of Capacity Reallocation By A Dominant Firm," Journal of Industrial Economics, 49(2): 137-160.

  • O'Brien, Daniel P. (2001), "Comments on The Microsoft Antitrust Case," Journal of Industry Competition & Trade, 1(1): 53-61.

  • O'Brien, Daniel P. and Steven C. Salop (2000), "Competitive Effects of Partial Ownership: Financial Interest and Corporate Control," Antitrust Law Journal, 67(3): 559-613.

  • O'Brien, Daniel P. and Greg Shaffer (1997), "Non-linear Supply Contracts, Exclusive Dealing, and Equilibrium Market Foreclosure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 6(4): 755-785.

  • O'Brien, Daniel P. and Greg Shaffer (1994), "The Welfare Effects of Forbidding Discriminatory Discounts: A Secondary Line Analysis of Robinson-Patman," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, 10(2): 296-318.

  • Kodres, Laura E. and Daniel P. O'Brien (1994), "The Existence of Pareto Superior Price Limits," American Economic Review, 84(4): 919-932.

  • O'Brien, Daniel P. and Greg Shaffer (1993), "On the Dampening-of-Competition Effect of Exclusive Dealing," Journal of Industrial Economics, 41(2): 215-221.

  • O'Brien, Daniel P. and Greg Shaffer (1992), "Vertical Control With Bilateral Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, 23(3): 299-308.