Antitrust and Labor Markets: A Reply to Richard Epstein

9 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2021 Last revised: 10 Feb 2022

See all articles by Eric A. Posner

Eric A. Posner

University of Chicago - Law School

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

Posner, Eric A., Antitrust and Labor Markets: A Reply to Richard Epstein (December 4, 2021). University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 945, Available at SSRN: or

Eric A. Posner (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

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