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The Global Limits of Competition Law$
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D. Daniel Sokol and Ioannis Lianos

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804774901

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804774901.001.0001

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The Limits of Antitrust and the Chicago School Tradition

The Limits of Antitrust and the Chicago School Tradition

(p.15) 1 The Limits of Antitrust and the Chicago School Tradition
The Global Limits of Competition Law

George L. Priest

Stanford University Press

This chapter provides historical context for Judge Frank Easterbrook's writing. It places Easterbrook's article within the Chicago School antitrust tradition. In particular, it suggests that two Chicago School thinkers, Aaron Director and Ronald Coase, laid the intellectual foundations for Easterbrook in two critical areas. The first was in the emphasis on conceptualizing the market, rather than more active antitrust enforcement, as a default mechanism for economic organization. That is, the market could self-correct for monopolistic behavior. The second foundation regarded the expectation of judicial error. The concern with judicial error focused on the fact that judges were more likely to make errors based on false positives “Type I” errors of mistaken prosecution) than false negatives (“Type II” errors of insufficient prosecution). The complexity of competition law and the prospective nature of some of the analysis performed create some uncertainty over the extent of Type I and II errors.

Keywords:   Judge Frank Easterbrook, The Limits of Antitrust, Chicago School, antitrust tradition, Aaron Director, Ronald Coase, monopolistic behavior, economic organization, judicial error

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