Antitrust and Labor Markets: A Reply to Richard Epstein
9 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2021 Last revised: 10 Feb 2022
Date Written: December 4, 2021
In his article, The Application of Antitrust Law to Labor Markets—Then and Now, Richard Epstein argues that rather than urge courts and regulators to apply antitrust law to labor markets, reformers who care about labor market competition should try to constrain unions. In this reply, I argue that Epstein’s assumptions about labor market structure are contradicted by mountains of empirical evidence. The anticompetitive behavior of employers causes significant harm to social welfare—both in terms of economic output and equity. Antitrust law is a valuable tool for addressing America’s ailing labor markets.
Keywords: antitrust; labor markets; labor monopsony; unions
JEL Classification: K21, K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation