By: Daniel Crane (Pro Market)
For the last several years, I have been Tweeting annually about the paucity of new US law professor hires interested in antitrust. My data are pulled from the annual self-reported spreadsheet compiled by Northwestern Professor Sarah Lawsky (you can find the 2021 spreadsheet here). Prof. Lawsky’s spreadsheet allows each new hire to report up to four research interests, and most report at least three. That renders a total number of slots for reported interest in a field; antitrust is what interests me.
Over the past five years, there have been 417 self-reported new hires, and therefore 1,668 slots in which to report a research interest. Over those five years, only seven candidates have reported an interest in antitrust—that’s seven out of 1,668 slots. Only two—Erik Hovenkamp (USC) and Sam Weinstein (Cardozo) have named antitrust as their primary research interest.
A couple of qualifications on the data before getting into analysis: While these data probably capture most new law hires, they are self-reported, and therefore not entirely complete. At least one high-profile entry-level candidate, Lina Khan, who was hired by Columbia (and has now been nominated to the FTC), doesn’t show up on the list. Also, as Pallavi Guniganti observed on Twitter, some more senior scholars who hadn’t previously taken as much of an interest in antitrust may be shifting in that direction—take, for example, Columbia Professor Tim Wu who has become increasingly involved in antitrust in the last few years and is now working on competition policy in the White House for the National Economic Council…