Competition for Antitrust: The National Civic Federation and the Founding of the FTC

22 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2015 Last revised: 7 Mar 2015

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Thomas K. Duncan

Radford University - Department of Economics

Nicholas A. Snow

Wabash College - Economics

Date Written: February 3, 2015

Abstract

Regulation by the state can benefit or harm any business in society. While the market provides for consumers rather than special interests, rationally acting interests will be incentivized to use political means to capture rents, particularly if public clamor for regulation exists. The formation of the Federal Trade Commission, rather than providing a check on business interests, follows the pattern of regulatory capture. The National Civic Federation, a group with strong business interest ties, was crucial to ensuring this outcome at the commission’s founding.

Keywords: Regulatory Capture, National Civic Federation, Federal Trade Commission, Regulation, Interventionism

JEL Classification: G38, N41, N42, P16

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J. and Duncan, Thomas K. and Snow, Nicholas A., Competition for Antitrust: The National Civic Federation and the Founding of the FTC (February 3, 2015). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 15-16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2559755 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2559755

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

Thomas K. Duncan (Contact Author)

Radford University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6952
Radford, VA 24142
United States

Nicholas A. Snow

Wabash College - Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 352
Crawfordsville, IN 47933-0352
United States

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