The Social Contract at the Basis of Competition Law

Posted by Social Science Research Network

The Social Contract at the Basis of Competition Law

By Michal S. Gal (University of Haifa)

Abstract:     Competition law constitutes an important part of the social contract that stands at the basis of market economies, which conceptualizes the relationship between the state and its citizens, as well as among citizens, and legitimizes state action. This article seeks to unveil the social contract that stands at the basis of competition laws by shedding light on the assumptions at its basis. It then explores whether these assumptions indeed further the goals of the social contract, namely total and individual welfare. In particular, in light of recent challenges to the welfare effects of market economies, this short article seeks to determine whether equality and inclusive growth goals should play a more pronounced role in the competition laws of developed jurisdictions, and if so, by what means.

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