Antitrust Policy After Chicago

This article begins with the premise that nothing – not even an intellectual structure as imposing as the Chicago School – lasts forever. In fact, a certain amount of stagnation is already apparent. Most of the creative intellectual work of the Chicago School has already been done – done very well, to be sure. The new work too often reveals the signs of excessive self-acceptance, particularly of quiet acquiescence in premises that ought to be controversial.

Today the cutting edge of antitrust scholarship is coming, not from protagonists of the Chicago School, but rather from its critics. The critics began as most critics of a model do, first by making refinements in the given model, then by uncovering some major anomalies, and finally, in some cases, even by considering alternatives to the classical market efficiency model. This process is only barely underway, and this essay will do no more than carry it marginally toward its goal. However, the initial premise of this paper cannot easily be refuted: the Chicago School, just as its predecessors, is mortal.