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Heterodox Antitrust Economics

 |  September 21, 2017

Posted by Social Science Research Network

Heterodox Antitrust Economics

By James Ming Chen (Michigan State University)

Abstract:     Antitrust economics is a discipline developed by academic economists in concert with the refinement of per se rules and the rule of reason by the Supreme Court. Distinct bodies of antitrust thought — such as the Chicago school, the post-Chicago school, and behavioral antitrust economics — have emerged. These competing schools of thought fall short of capturing the full complexity of economic conduct. Antitrust law cannot and should not seek to replicate often conflicting insights devised by economists. Rather, what antitrust economics can accomplish is at once more modest and more helpful. The laudable resort to economic theory in any of its guises, behavioral or otherwise, should never become detached from economic fundamentals.

Antitrust economics and cognate branches of the behavioral sciences should strive to speak of human conduct exactly as it is observed — neither a special magic and accursed, nor preternaturally blessed, but merely here.

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