Anty-antymonopol raz jeszcze

Polecam recenzję, którą prof. Donald J. Boudreaux (GMU, Econ) uczcił drugie wydanie słynnej pracy sędziego Posnera “Antitrust Law”. Mój ulubiony fragment to oczywiście:

(...) Ale czy prawo antymonopolowe powinno dalej istnieć? Przy odpowiedzi na to pytanie kończy się moja zgoda z Posnerem. Opierając się na moim rozumieniu konkurencji, jak też i omylności (oraz nieunikalnie politycznej natury) publicznego egzekowowania ustaw antymonopolowych, wydaje mi się, że sytuacja konsumentów byłaby lepsza, gdyby wszystkie takie ustawy zostały uchylone a odpowiedzialni za ich egzekwowanie znaleźli inne zatrudnienie. (...)

Więcej po angielsku, zdecydowanie polecam:

(...) One important objection to antitrust policy is that enforcement authorities lack sufficient knowledge to consistently promote competition. Posner plays down this argument by claiming that “economics is an improving discipline” (p. x). I’m not convinced. Economists certainly publish more articles featuring more rigorous mathematical and econometric techniques, but it is difficult to make an empirical case that our understanding of the relevant area of economics, competition, has improved much over the past three or four decades. (...) > > Still, economic understanding has improved. Nearly all improvements in our understanding involve the discovery that private arrangements reliably overcome problems (real and imaginary) that the blackboard theorist and the government official believe can be solved only by government intervention. (...) > > Almost all of the original bases for antitrust intervention have been shattered by sound economics. Price-cutting is no longer an obvious means of monopolizing; bigness is no longer believed to be inevitable, inevitably harmful, or perpetual; and the myriad contracting arrangements devised by actual market participants are increasingly understood to enhance competition despite having been ignored by authors of textbooks. The advances that have occurred in economic theorizing are generally abstruse demonstrations of theoretical possibilities. Only when these theories have been supported by solid empirical findings should they serve as the basis for policy, particularly in light of the overwhelming evidence demonstrating the robustness of competition. The most important developments in economics tend to show that unregulated markets are likely to remain competitive— and that regulation is likely to be used in antisocial ways. (...) > > Posner appears unconcerned about the potential for antitrust to be used for anticompetitive, rent-seeking purposes. He finds the evidence for this point to be inconclusive. In contrast, as I read the record, two important facts loom. First, antitrust has been, in large part, a weapon for rent-seekers to wield against their entrepreneurial rivals. (For the most comprehensive collection of this evidence, see Fred S. McChesney & William F. Shughart, eds., The Causes and Consequences of Antitrust, 1995.) This fact remains, regardless of the motives or level of economic understanding of the politi- cians who enacted antitrust statutes. Second, Aaron Director’s instincts were sound: competition is robust and generally takes place regardless of private attempts to squelch it. These two facts convince me that the costs of antitrust likely outweigh its benefits. (...) > > Despite the impression that the reader likely gets from reading Judge Posner’s book and almost all other books on antitrust—the evidence that markets are prone to monopolization is extraordinarily weak, whereas the evidence that antitrust is used to hamstring competitive rivals is powerful. (...) > >