Document Type

Book Review


Professor McGee reviews THE ANTITRUST PARADOX: A POLICY AT WAR WITH ITSELF, by Robert H. Bork. Professor McGee argues that it would be easy to balance the allocative efficiency and the productive efficiency effects of various transactions if we could generate information for the economic models as easily as it is done in the model of perfect competition-simply by assuming it. Since information is costly in the real world, however, we must develop proxies or general rules, formed with the guidance of economic analysis, that seem likely to produce more good than harm as the law is applied to various kinds of business arrangements. Professor McGee explains that the main thrust of Bork's book is to develop and justify a set of such proxies. To do this Bork discusses the legislative history of the Sherman Act and examines the role and capabilities of the institutions that decide antitrust cases. Bork then develops an economic analysis of antitrust and applies it to a wide range of different types of transactions and arrangements that make up the main grist for the antitrust mill. Professor McGee basically agrees with Bork's approach, with most of his analysis, and with the main body of his conclusions. He argues that perhaps one should not review a book with which he is in such basic agreement. He proceeds, nonetheless, by attempting to extend Bork's basic analysis in certain areas, criticizing it with moderation in others, and by suggesting some different ways of looking at some of the issues and cases that Bork did discuss.