The Economics of Welfare Standards in Antitrust
AbstractThere has been considerable debate concerning whether consumer surplus or total surplus should be the welfare standard for antitrust. This debate misses two critical issues. First, antitrust is not straightforwardly welfaristâ€”it does not maximize but protects, and it does not forbid all actions that seem likely to lower some welfare measure. Rather, antitrust enforcement has both process and consequence components: â€œanticompetitiveâ€ actions that harm consumers are illegal but other actions that harm consumers are not. Second, the enforcement process involves multiple steps and multiple decision makers. Mergers, for instance, are proposed by the merging parties, reviewed and perhaps challenged by antitrust agencies, and reviewed by courts. Hence, a full discussion of what standard is or should be applied must specify by whom and how it fits in the overall process. We conclude that, while some popular arguments for a consumer surplus standard are weak, other arguments have some merit.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series with number qt1tw2d426.
Date of creation: 20 Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: F502 Haas, Berkeley CA 94720-1922
Phone: (510) 642-1922
Fax: (510) 642-5018
Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/iber_cpc/
More information through EDIRC
antitrust; merger policy; consumer surplus; welfare analysis; antitrust standards;
Other versions of this item:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Russell Pittman, 2007.
"Consumer Surplus as the Appropriate Standard for Antitrust Enforcement,"
EAG Discussions Papers
200709, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
- Russ Pittman, 2007. "Consumer Surplus as the Appropriate Standard for Antitrust Enforcement," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 3.
- Kamerbeek, S.P., 2009. "Merger Performance and Efficiencies in Horizontal Merger Policy in the US and the EU," MPRA Paper 18064, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Fiammetta Gordon & David Squires, 2008. "The Deterrent Effect of UK Competition Enforcement," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(4), pages 411-432, December.
- Jarig Sinderen & Ron Kemp, 2008. "The Economic Effect Of Competition Law Enforcement: The Case Of The Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(4), pages 365-385, December.
- Dennis W. Carlton, 2007.
"Does Antitrust Need to be Modernized?,"
EAG Discussions Papers
200703, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
- Kaplow, Louis & Shapiro, Carl, 2007.
Handbook of Law and Economics,
- Kaplow, Louis & Shapiro, Carl, 2007. "Antitrust," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt9pt7p9bm, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Louis Kaplow & Carl Shapiro, 2007. "Antitrust," NBER Working Papers 12867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Fumagalli, Eileen & Nilssen, Tore, 2008. "Waiting to Merge," Memorandum 13/2008, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
- Barros, Pedro P. & Hoernig, Steffen & Nilssen, Tore, 2008.
"Keeping Both Eyes Wide Open: The Life of a Competitive Authority among Sectoral Regulators,"
12/2008, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
- Hoernig, Steffen & Nilssen, Tore & Pita Barros, Pedro Luis, 2008. "Keeping Both Eyes Wide Open: The Life of a Competition Authority Among Sectoral Regulators," CEPR Discussion Papers 6861, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2008.
"A model of delegated project choice,"
8963, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- John Vickers & Mark Armstrong, 2007. "A Model of Delegated Project Choice With Application to Merger Policy," Economics Series Working Papers 347, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Marc Fusaro & Richard Ericson, 2010. "The Welfare Economics of “Bounce Protection” Programs," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 55-73, March.
- Oliver Budzinski, 2009. "Modern Industrial Economics and Competition Policy: Open Problems and Possible Limits," Working Papers 93/09, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.