Edward Hastings Chamberlin, 1899-1967, was an American economist and Professor at Harvard University. He performed a major innovation in modern microeconomic theory, specially regarding the study of the structure of markets, developing monopolistic competition.
With his clever and original work “The Theory of Monopolistic Competition”,1933, Chamberlin became the father of modern industrial organization analysis providing this field with the theoretical core that it was lacking. He changed the focus of microeconomics from the industry to the firms, including important variables as selling costs and product differentiation, in contrast to neoclassical economists, who studied markets only from a pricing power perspective.
Chamberlin gave special importance to what he coined as product differentiation, as a key aspect through which firms are able to control the prices of their products without being monopolists. Along with Joan Robinson’s work, Chamberlin’s book is considered to be the foundations of market structure analysis.