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Alternatives to the U.S. Antitrust Agency Approach to Market Definition

  • F. William McElroy

    (Georgetown University)

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    1. Introduction Along with widespread acknowledgement of the importance of relevant market definitions to the outcome of most antitrust cases, there is extensive commentary on the inconsistency with which the concept has been applied by the courts. Consistency, of course, requires a coherent underlying framework. Based on the above statement of Justice Fortas and the central importance of competition policy in a free-enterprise system, it might be expected that economists would have contributed significantly to developing the requisite framework. That this has not historically been the case has been pointed out by Stigler: "My lament is that this battle on market definitions...has received virtually no attention from us economists. Except for a casual flirtation with cross- elasticity of demand and supply, the determination of markets has remained an undeveloped area of economic research at either the theoretical or empirical level."

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    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 9706003.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: 04 Jun 1997
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:9706003
    Note: Type of Document - WordPerfect; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP; pages: 35 ; figures: included
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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    1. Jonathan H. Hamilton & W. Bentley MacLeod, 1987. "Spatial Competition and the Core," Working Papers 704, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    2. Stigler, George J, 1982. "The Economists and the Problem of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 1-11, May.
    3. Vives, Xavier, 1985. "On the efficiency of Bertrand and Cournot equilibria with product differentation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 166-175, June.
    4. Greenhut, John & Greenhut, M L & Li, Sheng-yung, 1980. "Spatial Pricing Patterns in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 329-50, March.
    5. Philips, Louis & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1982. "Spatial Competition and the Theory of Differentiated Markets: An Introduction," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(1-2), pages 1-9, September.
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