Comment on Crandall and Winston
In a paper published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives in the fall of 2003, Robert Crandall and Clifford Winston all but call for the repeal of the Nation’s antitrust laws. Their qualifications to make such a radical proposal are in doubt, but more importantly their purported review of empirical studies of overt price-fixing effects is shallow, biased, and naïve. Crandall and Winston’s assertion that the direct benefits of convicting pricefixers are slight is central to their paper’s thesis. Their review is shallow because the five studies that they examine comprise less than 2% of the economic literature that quantitatively estimates the price effects of explicit price-fixing schemes; it is biased because the chosen studies find no or weak price effects, whereas the vast majority of such studies find significant positive effects on price during the collusive period; it is naïve because the selected studies are either severely flawed or irrelevant.
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- Robert W. Crandall & Clifford Winston, 2003.
"Does Antitrust Policy Improve Consumer Welfare? Assessing the Evidence,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 3-26, Fall.
- Robert W. Crandall & Clifford Winston, 2005. "Does antitrust policy improve consumer welfare? Assessing the evidence," Chapters, in: Governments, Competition and Utility Regulation, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Block, Michael Kent & Nold, Frederick Carl, 1981. "The Deterrent Effect of Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 429-45, June.
- Jonathan B. Baker, 2003. "The Case for Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 27-50, Fall.
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