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When Economics Met Antitrust: The Second Chicago School and the Economization of Antitrust Law

Listed author(s):
  • Patrice Bougette

    ()

    (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Marc Deschamps

    (BETA - Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Frédéric Marty

    ()

    (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

In this article,we use a history of economic thought perspective to analyze the process by which the Chicago School of Antitrust emerged in the 1950s and became dominant in the US. We show the extent to which economic objectives and theoretical views shaped antitrust laws in their inception. After establishing the minor influence of economics in the promulgation of US competition laws, we then highlight US economists' very cautious views about antitrust until the Second New Deal. We analyze the process by which the Chicago School developed a general and coherent framework for competition policy. We rely mainly on the seminal and programmatic work of Director and Levi (1956) and trace how this theoretical paradigm was made collective, i.e. the "economization" process took place in US antitrust. Finally, we discuss the implications, if not the possible pitfalls, of such a conversion to economics - led competition law enforcement.

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File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01027432/document
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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-01027432.

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Date of creation: 21 Jul 2014
Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-01027432
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01027432
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  1. Einer Elhauge, 2007. "Harvard, Not Chicago: Which Antitrust School Drives Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions?," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 3.
  2. Nabila Arfaoui, 2014. "Eco-innovation and Regulatory Push/Pull Effect in the Case of REACH Regulation: Empirical Evidence from Survey Data," GREDEG Working Papers 2014-19, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, revised Dec 2015.
  3. Miscamble, Wilson D., 1982. "Thurman Arnold Goes to Washington: A Look at Antitrust Policy in the Later New Deal," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(01), pages 1-15, March.
  4. Nicola Giocoli, 2012. "Crossed destinies: law and economics meets the history of economic thought," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 20(3), pages 15-24.
  5. Nicola Giocoli, 2015. "Old lady charm: explaining the persistent appeal of Chicago antitrust," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 96-122, March.
  6. Stephen Breyer, 2009. "Economic Reasoning and Judicial Review," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages 123-135, February.
  7. DiLorenzo, Thomas J & High, Jack C, 1988. "Antitrust and Competition, Historically Considered," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(3), pages 423-435, July.
  8. 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.
  9. Patrice Bougette & Frédéric Marty & Julien Pillot & Patrice Reis, 2012. "Exclusivity in High-Tech Industries: Evidence from the French Case," Post-Print halshs-00691836, HAL.
  10. Gressley, Gene M., 1964. "Thurman Arnold, Antitrust, and the New Deal," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(02), pages 214-231, June.
  11. William E. Kovacic & Carl Shapiro, 2000. "Antitrust Policy: A Century of Economic and Legal Thinking," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 43-60, Winter.
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