In new research, Manuel Wörsdörfer compares the philosophies of two formative antitrust thinkers writing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States and Europe: Louis D. Brandeis and Walter Eucken. A discussion of their body of thought highlights the antitrust concerns of the time and how their positions can be adapted to today’s regulatory environment, particularly regarding Big Tech.
Some progressive politicians and advocates have argued that lax antitrust policies enabled the inflation surge that began in 2021 and that aggressive antitrust enforcement is crucial to combatting inflation. These assertions are misguided and misleading. Similar greedflation theories emerged during previous inflation spikes, but their promotion this time has proven counterproductive. The allure of trustbusting ideas, it seems, is starting to wane.
Darren Bush, Mark Glick, and Gabriel A. Lozada argue that the Consumer Welfare Standard is inconsistent with modern welfare economics and that a modern approach to antitrust could integrate traditional Congressional goals as advocated by the Neo-Brandesians. Such an approach could be the basis for an alliance between the post-Chicago economists and the Neo-Brandesians.
In their research, published in History of Economic Ideas, Thierry Kirat and Frédéric Marty stress the importance of the late 1930s in the making of antitrust. The moment was exceptional for its consensus within the economic discipline and the implementation of voluntarist public enforcement, particularly under Thurman Arnold according to the prescriptions of the Second Chicago School, institutionalists, and the preferences of the Neo-Brandeis movement.
Much of the conversation of the proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger has focused on the risks to consumers. However, the merger also poses serious implications for the grocers’ upstream suppliers, particularly smaller regional firms.
Due to a change in how the FDIC resolves failed banks, uninsured deposits have become de facto insured. Not only is this dangerous for risk in the banking system, it is not what Congress intends the FDIC to do, writes Michael Ohlrogge.
Former special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy Tim Wu responds to the November 27 letter signed by former chief economists at the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department Antitrust Division calling for a separation of the legal and economic analysis in the draft Merger Guidelines.
ProMarket is dedicated to discussing how competition tends to be subverted by special interests.
The posts represent the opinions of their writers, not necessarily those of the University of Chicago, the Booth School of Business, or its faculty.
For more information, please visit ProMarket Policy.