This symposium began with a call for papers “reassessing the validity of the Chicago School’s assumptions about competition and considering whether a more aggressive approach to antitrust enforcement is now warranted.” That framing uncritically accepts the premises of antitrust’s new populist movement: first, that “the Chicago School” marked an abrupt break from prior academic analysis of antitrust law, and second, that its adherents shared a common positive agenda fundamentally at odds with robust antitrust enforcement. Both of those premises are false. The Chicago School represented a logical continuation of the antitrust analysis developed over the preceding decades, and its members shared no positive doctrinal agenda. Instead, they shared a commitment only to promoting consumer interests by means of rigorous economics. Of course, that commitment influenced how the economics profession and antitrust policymakers thought, and progressive “post-Chicago” scholarship today shares the same commitment to consumer welfare and economic rigor. Such scholarship thus has far more in common with Chicago School scholarship of the 1960s and 1970s than with today’s populist movement, which abandons any coherent framework altogether.
Muris, Timothy J. and Nuechterlein, Jonathan E.
"Chicago and Its Discontents,"
University of Chicago Law Review: Vol. 87:
2, Article 8.
Available at: https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/uclrev/vol87/iss2/8