Three Economist's Tools for Antitrust Analysis: A Non-Technical Introduction

31 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2017

See all articles by Russell W. Pittman

Russell W. Pittman

U.S. Department of Justice - Economic Analysis Group; Kyiv School of Economics; New Economic School (NES)

Date Written: January 13, 2017


The importance of economics to the analysis and enforcement of competition policy and law has increased tremendously in the developed market economies in the past forty years. In younger and developing market economies, competition law itself has a history of twenty to twenty-five years at most – sometimes much less – and economic tools that have proven useful to competition law enforcement in developed market economies in focusing investigations and in assisting decision makers in distinguishing central from secondary issues are inevitably less well understood. This paper presents a non-technical introduction to three economic tools that have become widespread in competition law enforcement in general and in the analysis of proposed mergers in particular: critical loss analysis, upward pricing pressure, and the vertical arithmetic.

Keywords: Merger enforcement; Critical loss analysis; Upward pricing pressure; Vertical arithmetic; Horizontal mergers; Vertical mergers; Antitrust economics

JEL Classification: K21, L4, L40, L41, L42

Suggested Citation

Pittman, Russell, Three Economist's Tools for Antitrust Analysis: A Non-Technical Introduction (January 13, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Russell Pittman (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Justice - Economic Analysis Group ( email )

450 5th St. NW
Antitrust Division
Washington, DC 20530
United States
202-307-6367 (Phone)
202-307-3372 (Fax)

Kyiv School of Economics ( email )

vul. Yakira, 13, 3d floor, suite 334
Kyiv, 04119

New Economic School (NES) ( email )

100A Novaya Street
Moscow, Skolkovo 143026

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