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


  • F. William McElroy

    (Georgetown University)


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."

Suggested Citation

  • F. William McElroy, 1997. "Alternatives to the U.S. Antitrust Agency Approach to Market Definition," Industrial Organization 9706003, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:9706003
    Note: Type of Document - WordPerfect; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP; pages: 35 ; figures: included

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jonathan H. Hamilton & W. Bentley MacLeod & Jacques-François Thisse, 1991. "Spatial Competition and the Core," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 925-937.
    2. 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.
    3. John Greenhut & M. L. Greenhut & Sheng-yung Li, 1980. "Spatial Pricing Patterns in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(2), pages 329-350.
    4. Stigler, George J, 1982. "The Economists and the Problem of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 1-11, May.
    5. 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.
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    JEL classification:

    • L - Industrial Organization


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