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The Legislative History of the Sherman Act Re-examined

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  • Hazlett, Thomas W

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hazlett, Thomas W, 1992. "The Legislative History of the Sherman Act Re-examined," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(2), pages 263-276, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:30:y:1992:i:2:p:263-76
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eckbo, B. Espen, 1983. "Horizontal mergers, collusion, and stockholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 241-273, April.
    2. Ordover, Janusz A & Saloner, Garth & Salop, Steven C, 1990. "Equilibrium Vertical Foreclosure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 127-142, March.
    3. Michael A. Salinger, 1988. "Vertical Mergers and Market Foreclosure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(2), pages 345-356.
    4. Jensen, Michael C. & Ruback, Richard S., 1983. "The market for corporate control : The scientific evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 5-50, April.
    5. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    6. Allen, Bruce T, 1971. "Vertical Integration and Market Foreclosure: The Case of Cement and Concrete," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 251-274, April.
    7. Dodd, Peter, 1980. "Merger proposals, management discretion and stockholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 105-137, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul H. Rubin & Mark A. Cohen, 1992. "Politically Imposed Entry Barriers," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 333-344, Summer.
    2. repec:oup:jcomle:v:5:y:2009:i:4:p:747-786. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Giocoli, Nicola, 2008. "Competition vs. property rights: American antitrust law, the Freiburg School and the early years of European competition policy," MPRA Paper 33807, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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