“That most of us identify antitrust policy with consumer welfare is itself
some measure of Chicago’s influence. Nothing reflects the influence of
an idea so much as the acceptance and use of its language, even if it is
not always used in the same way.”
--- Thomas E. Kauper,
How the Chicago School Overshot the Mark
Unlike the Harvard School theorists, who emphasized the importance of market structure and advocated continuous scholarly engagement with the phenomena specific to particular industries, and in opposition to whose arguments the Chicago School theorists were led to develop policy proposals of their own, post-Chicago theorists,1 as the name suggests, have been reluctant to remove themselves completely from the project of the Chicago School theorists to reform the administration and interpretation of the antitrust statutes. Like Chicago theorists, they tend to advocate a single-goal, economics-centric policy; Chicagoans and post-Chicagoans agree that antitrust should be grounded exclusively in the language of economics.2 But if the two camps of theorists share certain strengths, they also share some weaknesses. As no less an authority than Herbert Hovenkamp has quipped, “just as Chicago School antitrust policy became oversold, post-Chicago antitrust has been oversold as well.”3 The real value of post-Chicago economics, as Hovenkamp goes on to say, “is its renewed recognition that markets are more varied and complex than the orthodox Chicago School was willing to admit.” Hovenkamp is certainly right on both points, and yet, in emphasizing to so great an extent the significant influence of changes in economic theory on the Court’s antitrust jurisprudence, he seems not to give the Court its due. Indeed, if there is
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Publication information: Book title: Antitrust and the Supreme Court. Contributors: David Ramsey - Author. Publisher: LFB Scholarly. Place of publication: El Paso, TX. Publication year: 2012. Page number: 159.
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