Papers and Publications on Competition Law & Policy in Global Markets
 
I am working on a series of papers focused on the effect of international market integration on competition law and policy.  Some of these papers are sufficiently advanced to be summarized here; two of them have been published.
 
International Market Integration and Its Effects on Antitrust Law and Enforcement
 
Tim Büthe.  "The Politics of Market Competition: Trade and Antitrust in a Global Economy."  In The Oxford Handbook of International Trade, edited by Lisa L. Martin.  Oxford–New York: Oxford University Press, 2014: 213-232.
International political economists have long recognized increased competition in product markets as a key benefit of liberalizing trade policy.  Antitrust—known as competition policy outside the United States—is supposed to achieve the same end by intervening against price-fixing, bid-rigging, and other forms of anticompetitive behavior and abuses of market power.  And indeed, trade policy and competition policy have been deeply intertwined since the late 19th century.  This chapter provides an overview of different ways of thinking theoretically about the relationship between the international integration of product markets and competition law and enforcement.  I argue that the dominant approaches in economics and law suffer from being either devoid of politics or relying on a model of politics that deprives both firms and competition regulators of transnational/-governmental agency.  I sketch a more overtly political approach, which can explain the simultaneous spread of competition law and trade openness in the last two decades.
 
Tim Büthe.  "Antitrust/Competition Policy in Open Economies: The Effect of Economic Globalization on Competition Law and Its Enforcement."  Unpublished manuscript, Duke University, 2015.
In this paper (work in progress), I more fully develop the theoretical argument about competition law and enforcement as a genuine complement to economic openness, sketched in the chapter for the Oxford Handbook of International Trade.  The predominantly theoretical analysis is accompanied by brief empirical explorations.
 
 
Economic Globalization and Its Effects on U.S. Antitrust Law Enforcement
 
Tim Büthe and Stephen Morgan.  "Foreign Competition and U.S. Antitrust Enforcement, 1930-2011: Special Interest Theory Reconsidered."  Manuscript, Duke University and Michigan State University, September 2015.
Do governments reduce, intensify, or in other ways materially change the enforcement of their antitrust laws after they open their markets to foreign competition?  We examine this question focused on the United States.  We begin with a review and replication of the only previous systematic empirical study of this issue, "Antitrust Enforcement and Foreign Competition," by Shughart, Silverman, and Tollison (1995).  We find their analysis both theoretically and empirically deficient.  We improve upon their work theoretically by presenting an alternative argument about the consequences of increased foreign competition for U.S. antitrust enforcement, grounded in the public interest approach to regulation.  Empirically, we conduct improved time series statistical analyses of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division's antitrust enforcement, covering more than eighty years and differentiating between import penetration, net imports, and total trade (exports + imports).  These analyses yield a more nuanced picture of the changes in U.S. antitrust enforcement in response to economic globalization.  Our analyses suggest that the U.S. government has generally been more concerned with maintaining the regulatory effectiveness of U.S. antitrust regulators in the context of the global integration of markets (broadly consistent with a sophisticated public interest perspective) than with selective enforcement of antitrust law for protectionist purposes (as expected by the special interest approach).  In the conclusion, we explore some of the broader implications for long-standing debates in the social sciences, including about the relative importance of market failure and government failure.
Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the 9th Conference on Empirical Legal Studies (CELS, Berkeley, Nov. 2014), the International Political Economy Society meeting (IPES, Washington, Nov. 2014), and the Joint Annual Meeting of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and the Western Agricultural Economics Association (San Francisco, July 2015).
 
 
Antitrust/Competition Provisions in International Trade Agreements
 
Anu Bradford and Tim Büthe.  "Competition Policy and Free Trade: Antitrust Provisions in PTAs."  In Trade Cooperation: The Purpose, Design, and Effects of Preferential Trade Agreements, edited by Andreas Dür and Manfred Elsig.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015: 246-274.
Trade agreements increasingly contain provisions concerning what were traditionally considered "domestic, behind-the-border" policies, which often go well beyond current World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments.  One traditionally domestic policy now frequently covered in international agreements is competition policy, which has been the focus of articles and even entire chapters of numerous preferential trade agreements (PTAs).  Yet, these competition policy provisions in PTAs have only in recent years attracted the attention of scholars and practitioners.  What is actually covered by these competition policy provisions in PTAs?  And why do we find them in PTAs at all?  This chapter provides a first, preliminary answer to these questions.  We start with a review of the small existing literature on competition provisions in PTAs.  Based on a detailed coding of a random sample of 182 PTAs from the Design of Trade Agreements (DESTA) Database, we then examine how competition policy is covered in PTAs and how that coverage has changed over time. We then turn to some possible explanations for the far more frequent inclusion of competition policy provisions in PTAs over the past two decades.  Our analysis of the specific competition policy provisions included in our sample of PTAs shows that provision to promote trans-governmental regulatory cooperation and more generally effective competition law enforcement are substantially more common than provisions aimed at constraining the other country's competition regulators.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

< page last updated 5 September 2015 >