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Regime Shift in Antitrust

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  • Ghosal, Vivek

Abstract

This paper empirically models the longer-run deep-seated shift in intellectual thinking that followed the Chicago School’s criticism of the older antitrust doctrine, the shorter-run driving forces related to switches of the political party in power, merger waves, changes in economic activity and the level of funding and quantifies their impact on enforcement by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice over the period 1958-2002. The key findings are: (1) a distinct regime-shift in antitrust enforcement during the 1970s and, post-regime-shift, there has been a marked compositional change with a quantitatively large increase (decrease) in criminal (civil) antitrust court cases initiated; (2) post-regime-shift, there appears to be a change in the role played by politics with Republicans initiating more (less) criminal (civil) court cases than Democrats and the estimated quantitative effects are large; (3) disaggregating the total number of court cases into the main categories under which they are initiated (price-fixing, mergers, monopolization and restraints-of-trade) shows that individual types of cases have widely differing responses to changes in the driving forces; and (4) in a horse-race between the regime-shift and political effect on one side and the remaining variables on the other, the former forces win hands-down in explaining broad shifts in enforcement. Modeling the longer-run shift and disaggregating the court cases emerge as crucial to gaining insights into the intertemporal shifts in enforcement. The paper elaborates on the causes for the shift in enforcement and on the effectiveness of antitrust.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 5460.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5460

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Keywords: Antitrust enforcement; regime-shift; politics; supreme court; effectiveness;

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References

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  1. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Bergman, Mats A. & Jakobsson, Maria & Razo, Carlos, 2003. "An Econometric Analysis of the European Commission's Merger Decisions," Working Paper Series 2003:6, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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  7. Long, William F & Schramm, Richard & Tollison, Robert D, 1973. "The Economic Determinants of Antitrust Activity," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 351-64, October.
  8. Banerjee, Anindya & Lumsdaine, Robin L & Stock, James H, 1992. "Recursive and Sequential Tests of the Unit-Root and Trend-Break Hypotheses: Theory and International Evidence," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 271-87, July.
  9. Kennan, John, 1979. "The Estimation of Partial Adjustment Models with Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1441-55, November.
  10. Robert W. Crandall & Clifford Winston, 2003. "Does Antitrust Policy Improve Consumer Welfare? Assessing the Evidence," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 3-26, Fall.
  11. Amacher, Ryan, et al, 1985. "The Behavior of Regulatory Activity over the Business Cycle: An Empirical Test," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(1), pages 7-19, January.
  12. Jonathan B. Baker, 2003. "The Case for Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 27-50, Fall.
  13. Tomaso Duso & Damien J. Neven & Lars-Hendrik Röller, 2002. "The Political Economy of European Merger Control: Evidence using Stock Market Data," CIG Working Papers FS IV 02-34, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  14. Basu, Susanto, 1996. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 719-51, August.
  15. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1996. "Macroeconomic Implications of Variation in the Workweek of Capital," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 79-134.
  16. Ghosal, Vivek, 2002. "Potential foreign competition in US manufacturing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 1461-1489, December.
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  18. Posner, Richard A, 1970. "A Statistical Study of Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 365-419, October.
  19. repec:reg:wpaper:263 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Ghosal, Vivek & Gallo, Joseph, 2001. "The cyclical behavior of the Department of Justice's antitrust enforcement activity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 27-54, January.
  21. Faure-Grimaud, Antoine & Martimort, David, 2003. " Regulatory Inertia," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(3), pages 413-37, Autumn.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alessandro Marra & Alessandro Sarra, 2010. "Incomplete antitrust laws and private actions for damages," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 111-135, October.
  2. Vivek Ghosal, 2011. "The Law and Economics of Enhancing Cartel Enforcement: Using Information from Non-Cartel Investigations to Prosecute Cartels," CESifo Working Paper Series 3506, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Ghosal, Vivek, 2006. "Discovering Cartels: Dynamic Interrelationships between Civil and Criminal Antitrust Investigations," MPRA Paper 5499, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Ajay Bhaskarabhatla & Enrico Pennings, 2012. "Defensive Disclosure under Antitrust Enforcement," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-010/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Jeroen Hinloopen & Adriaan Soetevent, 2006. "Trust and Recidivism; the Partial Success of Corporate Leniency Program in the Laboratory," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-067/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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