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Antitrust Policy after Chicago

Herbert Hovenkamp
Michigan Law Review
Vol. 84, No. 2 (Nov., 1985), pp. 213-284
DOI: 10.2307/1289065
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1289065
Page Count: 72
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Antitrust Policy after Chicago
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Abstract

The so-called "Chicago School" of analysis has achieved ascendancy within the fields of antitrust policymaking and scholarship. In this Article, Professor Hovenkamp predicts that flaws in the Chicago model's basic premises will one day cause it to be eclipsed, just as previously ascendant doctrines have been eclipsed. Professor Hovenkamp enumerates and expands upon a list of criticisms of the Chicago School's neoclassical efficiency model, grouping the arguments within two categories: criticisms from "outside" and "inside" the model. From "outside" the model, Professor Hovenkamp disputes the premises that policymakers can know enough about the real world to make truly efficient decisions, that antitrust law can pursue the single goal of efficiency and remain consistent with other legal policies, and that the antitrust laws' legislative history reflects an exclusive concern with efficiency. Furthermore, from "inside" the model, the author argues that even if it were appropriate for antitrust policy to take account only of efficiency concerns, the Chicago School's neoclassical efficiency model is not sophisticated enough to account for real world behavior. He demonstrates that Chicago scholars' erroneous characterization of markets as static leads them to underestimate the importance and severity of strategic behavior. Professor Hovenkamp reinforces his critique of the Chicago School model by describing two previously overlooked forms of strategic behavior and by showing how such behavior can and does undermine the model's reliance on the market.

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