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The evolvability of business and the role of antitrust


  • Ian Wilkinson

    (The University of Sydney)


In this paper, based on theories of complex adaptive systems, I argue that the main case for antitrust policy should be extended to include the criteria of "evolvability." To date, the main case focuses on economizing, including market power as a key filter for identifying suspect cases. Both production and transaction costs are considered as part of economizing and other factors are use to consider the benefits of different industry structures. CAS analysis focuses attention on dynamics, evolution and networks. As I will show, the criteria of evolvability requires us to consider various types of direct and indirect network impacts in business that go beyond the traditional focus on production and transaction costs. These network impacts stem from the connections between transactions and relations over time and place, including how business arrangements at one time, limit or enable arrangements in the future. An assessment of the impacts, I argue, can and should be included in the rules of antitrust and in the processes of antitrust case analysis and decision making.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Wilkinson, 2012. "The evolvability of business and the role of antitrust," Papers 1203.1311,
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1203.1311

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daniel Hernandez–Hernandez & Alexander Schied, 2005. "Robust Utility Maximization in a Stochastic Factor Model," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-007, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, revised Aug 2006.
    2. Hernández-Hernández Daniel & Schied Alexander, 2006. "Robust utility maximization in a stochastic factor model," Statistics & Risk Modeling, De Gruyter, vol. 24(1/2006), pages 1-17, July.
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    4. W. H. Fleming & S. J. Sheu, 2000. "Risk-Sensitive Control and an Optimal Investment Model," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 197-213.
    5. Alexander Schied & Ching-Tang Wu, 2005. "Duality theory for optimal investments under model uncertainty," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-025, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, revised Sep 2005.
    6. Alexander Schied, 2007. "Robust Optimal Control for a Consumption-investment Problem," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-026, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    7. Hans FÃllmer & Peter Leukert, 1999. "Quantile hedging," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 251-273.
    8. Hiroaki Hata & Yasunari Iida, 2006. "A risk-sensitive stochastic control approach to an optimal investment problem with partial information," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 395-426, September.
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