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The Legislative History of the Sherman Act Re-examined

Listed author(s):
  • Hazlett, Thomas W

According to Robert Bork's influential analysis, the Sherman Act was expressly instituted by the 51st Congress to advance consumer welfare, but has often been misinterpreted by federal courts handing down anticonsumer decisions. This paper suggests that the political coalition backing the 1890 antitrust statute sought multiple social ends and did not faithfully seek to impose economic efficiency. The key evidence includes historical economic trends, congressional debate, the legislative agenda of Senator John Sherman, and the political conflict generated by the most contentious (and most electorally important) issue of the 51st Congress: the highly protectionist McKinley Tariff Act. Copyright 1992 by Oxford University Press.

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

Volume (Year): 30 (1992)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 263-276

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:30:y:1992:i:2:p:263-76
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