Economic Law and Economic Growth: Antitrust, Regulation, and the American Growth System

By George E. Garvey; Gerald J. Garvey | Go to book overview

PLAN OF THE BOOK

Economic law is a policy tool, and a policy tool must be wielded with an eye to social objectives. Economic development has been at the center of the American national experience. The burden of proof is on the analyst who would substitute a norm other than growth as the guiding principle of American lawmaking, particularly in the area of economic policy. The relationship between economic law and the American growth system, then, defines the necessary ground of our analysis. A quick reprise of the history of the American growth system, going back to a time well before the framing of modern economic law, would therefore provide an appropriate backdrop.

Antebellum history, the subject of Chapter 1, not only reveals the essential features of the American growth system, but also shows how the price mechanism fits into the larger structure. Chapter 2 updates the story by showing how Big Business threatened to damage the workings of the price mechanism, and just how the populists in uneasy league with the progressives sought to ensure a regime of competitive pricing through the institutions of antitrust law and rate regulation. Chapters 3 through 5 deal with the main contending orientations in post-World War II economic law. In Chapter 6 and the Epilogue, we gather up the foregoing themes and make specific policy and institutional recommendations.


NOTES
1.
See Allan Nevins, Study in Power: John D. Rockefeller, Industrialist and Philanthropist, 2 vols. ( New York: Scribner, 1953), vol. 1, intro. 21.
2.
Munn v. Illinois, 94 U.S. 113, 126 ( 1877). Ten years after the Munn decision, Congress enacted the Interstate Commerce Commission Act, the initial entry by the U.S. federal government into what would become rate regulation. Act of Feb. 4, 1887, ch. 323, 24 Stat. 379 (codified as amended in scattered sections of 49 U.S.C.).
3.
Act of Oct. 15, 1914, ch. 323, 38 Stat. 730 (codified as amended at 15 U.S.C. §§ 12-27 [ 1982]).
4.
Act of Sept. 26, 1914, ch. 311, § 1, 38 Stat. 717 (codified as amended at 15 U.S.C. § 41 [ 1982]). In 1938, the FTC Act was amended to ensure a strong proconsumer role for the agency. Act of Mar. 21, 1938, ch. 49, § 3, 52 Stat. 111 (codified as amended at 15 U.S.C. § 45 [ 1982 & Supp. V 1987]).
5.
See Lawrence Goodwyn, The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), esp. intro. 2; Louis M. Hacker , The World of Andrew Carnegie, 1865-1901 ( Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1967), 166-86; and Steven Hahn and Jonathan Prude, The Countryside in the Age of Capitalist Transformation: Essays in the Social History of Rural America (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1985).
6.
The analysis of progressivism in these pages generally follows that of Samuel P. Hays in Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency: The Progressive Conservation Movement, 1890-1920, 2d ed. ( New York: Atheneum, 1978), preface. See also for statements of the urban theme, Richard M. Abrams, ed., The Issues of the Populist andProgressive Eras, 1892-1912

-7-

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Economic Law and Economic Growth: Antitrust, Regulation, and the American Growth System
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Introduction ANTITRUST, REGULATION, AND THE AMERICAN GROWTH SYSTEM 1
  • Notes 7
  • 1- Antebellum America: Emergence of the Growth System 13
  • Notes 26
  • 2- The Context and Functions of Modern Economic Law 33
  • Notes 52
  • 3- Neopopulism and the Image of the Atomized Market 59
  • Notes 73
  • 4- Neoclassical Price Theory and Rate Regulation 81
  • Notes 99
  • 5- The Chicago School, Antitrust, and Consumer Surplus 103
  • Notes 116
  • 6- Antitrust, Regulation, and the Field of Policy Choice 121
  • Notes 137
  • Epilogue ECONOMIC LAW, INDUSTRIAL POLICY, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH 145
  • Notes 152
  • SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 157
  • Index 165
  • About the Authors 169
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