Antitrust and the Changing Corporation

Antitrust and the Changing Corporation

Antitrust and the Changing Corporation

Antitrust and the Changing Corporation

Excerpt

"We certainly need to know more than that in its natural appearance, a trust resembles an octopus," J. B. Clark commented in 1901. This observation has been repeated in less laconic form, and in less inspired phrases, by writers down to and including the present day. The present study represents an effort to ascertain the extent to which the literature dealing with the modern business corporation, written between the 1880's and the present, contains insights into the actual form of that artificial body which may be useful in dealing with problems of antitrust enforcement. The literature is diverse: recent writers have described the modern corporation as a "solar system," a "communications network," and as possessing a "corporate conscience." In part, these modern descriptions may reflect industrial evolution upwards from a primitive octopuslike state; but to a greater extent they indicate a diversity in attitudes among students of the corporation. Nevertheless, concepts developed in this literature may be synthesized to a substantial extent; and the synthesis may be applied to the problem of describing an appropriate role for the economist in formulating antitrust policy and assisting in its enforcement.

My greatest debt is to Professor Jesse W. Markham of Princeton University, who, as chairman of my doctoral dissertation advisory committee, furnished invaluable guidance and assistance from the inception of the project, and whose encouragement has since been instrumental in raising my sights towards publication of a substantially revised version of the dissertation.

The other members of my advisory committee at Princeton were Professors Stanley E. Howard and Jacob Viner. Professor Howard read much of the original draft and, by his careful observations of looseness in thought and expression, impressed upon me at an early stage the necessity for clarity and rigor. Professor Viner read the . . .

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