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How the Chicago School Overshot the MarkThe Effect of Conservative Economic Analysis on U.S. Antitrust$
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Robert Pitofsky

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372823

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372823.001.0001

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The Chicago School’s Foundation Is Flawed: Antitrust Protects Consumers, Not Efficiency

The Chicago School’s Foundation Is Flawed: Antitrust Protects Consumers, Not Efficiency

Chapter:
(p.89) The Chicago School’s Foundation Is Flawed: Antitrust Protects Consumers, Not Efficiency
Source:
How the Chicago School Overshot the Mark
Author(s):

John B. Kirkwood

Robert H. Lande

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372823.003.0008

This paper demonstrates that the Chicago School is wrong, as to both congressional intent and to recent case law. It begins by demonstrating that the wealth transfer concern is the primary reason for the passage of the antitrust laws and is a far more plausible explanation than the efficiency goal. It then analyzes the treatment of these issues in recent antitrust cases. It shows how these cases can be best explained in terms of a concern with wealth transfers, as opposed to a concern with efficiency. It is argued that the foundation of the Chicago School is flawed, and that the correct path of antitrust policy should not be determined by the view that increasing efficiency is more important than protecting consumers.

Keywords:   Chicago School, antitrust policy, efficiency, wealth transfer

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