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How Many Cheers for Antitrust's 100 Years?

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Author Info

  • Demsetz, Harold

Abstract

This article describes the ambiguity inherent is U.S. antitrust policy, arguing that it is a necessary consequence of the true, but not commonly understood, task of antitrust policy. Competition is multidimensional in form and its different dimensions cannot be maximized together. Therefore, antitrust policy cannot maximize competition per se, but aims to achieve an efficient mix of competitive forms. Inadequate knowledge of the technical and preference tradeoffs involved guarantees that questions about the appropriate competitive mix will remain open to debate. The resulting policies, in the authors' opinion, merit one cheer out of a possible three. Copyright 1992 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 30 (1992)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 207-17

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:30:y:1992:i:2:p:207-17

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Cited by:
  1. Michael Utton, 2000. "Fifty Years of U.K. Competition Policy," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 267-285, May.
  2. Giocoli, Nicola, 2010. "Games judges don't play: predatory pricing and strategic reasoning in US antitrust," MPRA Paper 33810, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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