Antitrust in the Not-for-Profit Sector

38 Pages Posted: 18 May 2006 Last revised: 27 Aug 2010

See all articles by Tomas Philipson

Tomas Philipson

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Richard A. Posner

University of Chicago Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 2006

Abstract

Despite the conceptual differences between for-profit and non-profit firms stressed in conventional economic analyses of the non-profit sector, U.S. antitrust law generally does not distinguish between these two organizational forms. This paper argues that the same incentives to restrain trade exist in the non-profit sector as in the for-profit sector. Altruistic firms benefit from exploiting market power, just as non-altruistic ones do, even when they would price below cost without regard to competition. Therefore, promoting competition is socially valuable regardless of the particular objectives of producers, and the fact that antitrust law does not distinguish between the two sectors is efficient.

Suggested Citation

Philipson, Tomas J. and Posner, Richard A., Antitrust in the Not-for-Profit Sector (April 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w12132. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=896206

Tomas J. Philipson (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

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Richard A. Posner

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

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