Standard Oil and Predatory Pricing: Myth Paralleling Fact

Standard Oil and Predatory Pricing: Myth Paralleling Fact The Supreme Court in 1911, on the occasion of the first major test of the Sherman Act, ordered the dissolution of the Standard Oil Trust. In his 1958 paper John McGee argued that predatory pricing is, in general, irrational and, relying solely on the information in the Trial Record related to that decision, concluded that Standard Oil did not engage in predatory pricing. His paper has had an extraordinary influence on both antitrust policy in the United States and economic lore. This paper documents the breadth and scope of the influence of McGee’s paper and offers several possible explanations for it. We suggest four reasons: (1) the lack of a theoretical challenge for 25 years, (2) the failure of scholars to replicate McGee’s empirical findings, (3) the unique status of the Standard Oil case in the history of American antitrust and (4) the influence of the Chicago School on economic and legal thinking. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Industrial Organization Springer Journals

Standard Oil and Predatory Pricing: Myth Paralleling Fact

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Subject
Economics; Industrial Organization; Microeconomics
ISSN
0889-938X
eISSN
1573-7160
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11151-011-9280-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Supreme Court in 1911, on the occasion of the first major test of the Sherman Act, ordered the dissolution of the Standard Oil Trust. In his 1958 paper John McGee argued that predatory pricing is, in general, irrational and, relying solely on the information in the Trial Record related to that decision, concluded that Standard Oil did not engage in predatory pricing. His paper has had an extraordinary influence on both antitrust policy in the United States and economic lore. This paper documents the breadth and scope of the influence of McGee’s paper and offers several possible explanations for it. We suggest four reasons: (1) the lack of a theoretical challenge for 25 years, (2) the failure of scholars to replicate McGee’s empirical findings, (3) the unique status of the Standard Oil case in the history of American antitrust and (4) the influence of the Chicago School on economic and legal thinking.

Journal

Review of Industrial OrganizationSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 24, 2011

References

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