A Case for Affirmative Action in Competition Policy
We analyze the trade-off faced by competition authorities envisaging a one-shot structural reform in a capitalistic industry. A structure is (1) a sharing of productive capital at some time and (2) a sharing of sites or any other non-reproducible assets. The latter represent opportunities. These two distinct dimensions of policy illustrate the importance of a dynamic theory in which firms may differ in several respects. Though equalization of endowments and rights is theoretically optimal, realistic constraints force competition authorities to adopt second-best solutions. Affirmative action here appears to explain why helping the disadvantaged contributes maximally to social surplus.
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