The Social Contract at the Basis of Competition Law
Reconciling Efficiency and Equity: A Global Challenge for Competition Policy (Gerard and Ilanos eds., Cambridge University Press, 2019
21 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2017 Last revised: 22 Dec 2019
Date Written: August 6, 2017
Competition law constitutes an important part of the social contract that stands at the basis of market economies, which conceptualizes the relationship between the state and its citizens, as well as among citizens, and legitimizes state action. This article seeks to unveil the social contract that stands at the basis of competition laws by shedding light on the assumptions at its basis. It then explores whether these assumptions indeed further the goals of the social contract, namely total and individual welfare. In particular, in light of recent challenges to the welfare effects of market economies, this short article seeks to determine whether equality and inclusive growth goals should play a more pronounced role in the competition laws of developed jurisdictions, and if so, by what means.
Keywords: antitrust, competition law, social contract, inequality, welfare, total welfare, individual welfare
JEL Classification: K21, K12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation