Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2221971
 


 



Behavioral Economics and Its Meaning for Antitrust Agency Decision Making


James C. Cooper


George Mason University School of Law - Law & Economics Center

William E. Kovacic


George Washington University - Law School

2012

Journal of Law, Economics and Policy, Vol. 8, No. 4, Fall 2012
George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 13-17

Abstract:     
Of all fields of regulation in the United States, antitrust law relies most heavily on economics to inform the design and application of legal rules. When drafting antitrust statutes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Congress anticipated that courts and enforcement agencies would formulate and adjust operational standards to account for new learning. The field of economics — especially industrial organization economics — would give broad statutory commands much of their analytical content.

In principle, the flexibility of U.S. antitrust statutes makes competition policy adaptable and accommodates for upgrades over time. This evolutionary process is only effective if antitrust institutions can identify significant advances in economic learning and refine enforcement policy and doctrine accordingly. Owing to their expertise in economics and law, the two federal antitrust agencies — the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) — are crucial instruments of adaptation. The antitrust system’s quality depends on the agencies’ commitment to reassess existing doctrine and policy in light of new developments.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

Keywords: Amos Tversky, Bayesian, Cass Sunstein, Christine Jolls, Coasian, Continental T.V., Inc. v. GTE Sylvania, confirmation, Daniel Kahneman, David Laibson, Farina, Hayek, Korobkin, Rachlinski, regulators, Ronald Coase, Schwinn, status quo bias, Stefano DellaVigna, Ulen, Ulrike Malmendier, Xavier Gabaix

JEL Classification: C11, C12, D21, D23, K21, L42, L44, L51, R38

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Date posted: February 22, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Cooper, James C. and Kovacic, William E., Behavioral Economics and Its Meaning for Antitrust Agency Decision Making (2012). Journal of Law, Economics and Policy, Vol. 8, No. 4, Fall 2012; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 13-17. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2221971

Contact Information

James C. Cooper (Contact Author)
George Mason University School of Law - Law & Economics Center ( email )
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-9582 (Phone)

George Mason Law School Logo

William E. Kovacic
George Washington University - Law School ( email )
2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202.994.8123 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.gwu.edu/faculty/profile.aspx?id=1731

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