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Economics and the Design of Competition Law

David S. Evans

Global Economics Group; University College London

October 2005

The courts have adopted implicitly and explicitly economic premises in developing rules towards business practices under the competition laws in the United States and the European Community. Courts in both jurisdictions hold the view that monopoly is not bad in and of itself because it can promote long-run innovation and investment. They have sought to determine, subject to relevant legislation, rules that can assess whether practices are harmful to competition generally or in particular factual circumstances. In some cases, these premises become modified over time as the result of economic learning; in other cases these premises do not have close counterparts in academic economics. This article describes the economics that seems to underlie competition law; it draws contrasts and comparisons between the US and Europe. It also explores ways in which economists, authorities, and the courts can better question, and bring evidence to bear, on these economic premises.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

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Date posted: October 18, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Evans, David S., Economics and the Design of Competition Law (October 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=827465 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.827465

Contact Information

David S. Evans (Contact Author)
Global Economics Group ( email )
111 Devonshire St.
Suite 900
Boston, MA 02108
United States
University College London ( email )
Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
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