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Policy Watch: Antitrust Goes to College

  • Steven C. Salop
  • Lawrence J. White

It may have come as a shock to many economists, especially those in academia, to learn that the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has been investigating alleged price fixing and information exchange of financial aid among 23 prestigious east coast colleges and universities. These schools include the "Ivy overlap group"—MIT, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale—and the "Pentagonal/Sisters group"—Amherst, Barnard, Bowdoin, Bryn Mawr, Colby, Mount Holyoke, Middlebury, Smith, Trinity, Tufts, Vassar, Wesleyan, and Williams. We have no specific knowledge concerning the possible validity of these allegations or expertise about their legality. Rather, in this article, we wish to present the potential applicability of current antitrust doctrines to colleges and their conduct and the possible defenses that they might raise to justify their actions.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.5.3.193
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 5 (1991)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 193-202

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:5:y:1991:i:3:p:193-202
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.5.3.193
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  1. Greenwald, Bruce C & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1986. "Externalities in Economies with Imperfect Information and Incomplete Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 229-64, May.
  2. Shapiro, Carl & Willig, Robert D, 1990. "On the Antitrust Treatment of Production Joint Ventures," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 113-30, Summer.
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