Review of Industrial Organization 19: 1–2, 2001.
Editor’s Introduction: Symposium on Free-Market
Competitive Goals and Antitrust Policies
The following ﬁve contributions are about the nature of competition and its eco-
nomic goals, with attention also to the antitrust policies that try to improve them.
The papers are especially germane at this time, amid the current triumphal era of
free markets which has blossomed since the fall of communism in 1989–1990.
The ﬁrst two articles criticize the ascendant free-market doctrines. William J.
Curran III, in his “Markets, Morals, or Wealth? Delusions of a Standardized An-
titrust Value”, focuses on antitrust-related problems and policy beliefs in the real
world of industries, policies and ideologies. Curran has been for more than 20 years
the Editor-in-Chief of the Antitrust Bulletin, a leading journal covering both the law
and the economics of antitrust policy in the United States and abroad.
In the second article, “Economists as a Human Herd”, Donald C. Wellington of
the University of Cincinnati directs his critique more at academic ideas. His focus
is on economists and their doctrinal views.
The two papers were submitted separately, and their directions are somewhat
divergent. Yet they share a common critical focus on current free-market doctrines,
both as they are common among academics on their campuses and as they often
reign in the larger struggles among power groups and ideologies.
The Editors invited several distinguished scholars to respond to Curran’s and
Wellington’s critiques. The scholars have long and deep interests in the literat-
ure of competition, monopoly and antitrust. The result is three discussions, which
variously raise provocative insights and proposals.
The ﬁrst is by Dennis C. Mueller of the University of Vienna, who has long
been a leading expert on mergers, market dominance and antitrust policies. He
addresses and criticizes “Delusions Regarding the Proper Role of Markets and
The second contribution is by Mark Blaug, now at the University of Ams-
terdam, who has been for decades the foremost authority on the history of eco-
nomic thought. He advances provocative views on the underlying values in “Is
Competition Such a Good Thing? Static Efﬁciency versus Dynamic Efﬁciency”.
The third paper is by Sam Peltzman, of the University of Chicago. He is prob-
ably the most erudite and insightful member of the new Chicago School (which