Welcome to the website for the data project "The Law and Politics of Antitrust in Open Economies"!  This interdisciplinary project, funded primarily by the U.S. National Science Foundation (grants SES-1228483 and SES-1228453), seeks to advance our understanding of the international and comparative dimension of antitrust/competition law and enforcement by enabling better, more comprehensive empirical analysis.
The analysis of competition policy remains underdeveloped, especially its international dimension.  The major "schools of thought" that have shaped antitrust law and its enforcement assume a closed economy, even though advanced industrialized countries (and many developing countries) have increasingly been opening their markets to foreign-produced goods and services while exports have become ever more important for many of their domestic producers.  Moreover—and contrary to the traditional expectation of trade economics—substantial trade liberalization has coincided with a rapid proliferation of competition laws during the last 20-25 years.  This global spread of competition laws has increased concerns about selective enforcement and other possible tensions between national systems of competition regulation and global markets.  It also has prompted a lively debate among scholars and practitioners over the need for an international antitrust regime.
The research conducted by several teams of researchers under the guidance of Prof. Tim Büthe at Duke University and Prof. Anu Bradford at Columbia Law School seeks to advance these debates empirically by collecting systematically comparable data on competition laws and enforcement actions across a wide range of countries, including detailed coding of the competition laws of all jurisdictions that have enacted one or more such laws by the end of 2010.  A special focus of the project is to improve our understanding of how trade openness affects competition regulation through in-depth analyses of U.S. antitrust enforcement over the last half century.
Select from the menu on the left to learn more about the project and the research teams.