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Competition vs. property rights: American antitrust law, the Freiburg School and the early years of European competition policy

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  • Giocoli, Nicola

Abstract

The goal of the paper is to investigate the extent of the influence of American antitrust tradition on the foundation and early years of European competition policy. This as part of a wider research program aiming at assessing the role of economic theory in the development of antitrust law and policy. My argument may be summarized in four propositions. First, by taking into account what I call the “competition versus property rights” dichotomy, it turns out that the economists’ contribution to the historical evolution of US antitrust law has been smaller than usually believed. Second, as far as the foundation of EEC competition policy is concerned, the influence of the American antitrust tradition has, again, been less than what is commonly claimed. Third, a crucial role on the birth of EEC antitrust has been played by a law and economics argument based on the constitutional standing of competition rules, an argument put forward by the highly influential Freiburg School of Ordoliberalism. Fourth, the ordoliberal origin of EEC competition rules, when combined with the Community’s integration goal, helps explain why the impact of the “competition versus property rights” dichotomy on European antitrust law has been limited and, contrary to the US, always solved more favorably to the “competition” pole than to the “property rights” one.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33807
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/33807/1/MPRA_paper_33807.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016919.
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    3. Reder, Melvin W, 1982. "Chicago Economics: Permanence and Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 1-38, March.
    4. J. Bradford De Long, 1990. "In Defense of Henry Simon's Standing as a Classical Liberal," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 9(3), pages 601-618, Winter.
    5. 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.
    6. Barber,William J., 1989. "From New Era to New Deal," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521367370.
    7. Fiorito, Luca & Henry, John F., 2007. "John Bates Clark on Trusts: New Light from the Columbia Archives," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(02), pages 229-250, June.
    8. Vanberg, Viktor J., 2004. "The Freiburg School: Walter Eucken and Ordoliberalism," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 04/11, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    9. Kovacic, William E, 1992. "The Influence of Economics on Antitrust Law," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(2), pages 294-306, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hugues Bouthinon-Dumas & Frédéric Marty, 2012. "Cartel and Monopoly Policy," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics and Theory of the Firm, chapter 34 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Bougette, Patrice & Budzinski, Oliver & Marty, Frédéric, 2017. "Exploitative abuse and abuse of economic dependence: What can we learn from the industrial organization approach?," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 111, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    3. Bougette, Patrice & Deschamps, Marc & Marty, Frédéric, 2015. "When Economics Met Antitrust: The Second Chicago School and the Economization of Antitrust Law," Enterprise & Society, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 313-353, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Giocoli, Nicola, 2008. "Three alternative (?) stories on the late 20th-century rise of game theory," MPRA Paper 33808, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Marc Deschamps, 2013. "L'articulation économie, droit et politique dans la pensée ordolibérale," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-31, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    7. Stephen Martin, 2010. "Economic Arguments in U.S. Antitrust and EU Competition Policy: Two Roads Diverged," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1257, Purdue University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Antitrust; Freiburg School; Ordoliberalism; property rights; competition law;

    JEL classification:

    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • B13 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Neoclassical through 1925 (Austrian, Marshallian, Walrasian, Wicksellian)

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