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Monoculture versus diversity in competition economics

Oliver Budzinski
Cambridge Journal of Economics
Vol. 32, No. 2 (March 2008), pp. 295-324
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23601629
Page Count: 30
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Monoculture versus diversity in competition economics
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Abstract

Economics rightfully represents the major basis for competition policy. Next to generating knowledge about competition and its welfare effects, the currently popular 'more-economic approach' is charged with a number of additional hopes and expectations. While this article highlights the benefits of economics-based competition policy, it takes a cautious stance towards excessive expectations, in particular regarding the idea that a monocultural, 'unified' competition theory as an exact, objective and unerring scientific approach to antitrust could make normative assessment and generalisations superfluous. Diversity in competition economics is advocated in two ways. First, competition economics is empirically characterised by a considerable pluralism of theories and policy paradigms. Second, it is demonstrated that this diversity of theories is theoretically beneficial for future scientific progress. As no ultimate competition theory can ever be expected., the 'more-economic approach' must be extended in order to embrace diversity.

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