This paper analyzes the question of market power. Longstanding definitions and analytical tools are inadequate because they conflate conditions under which a firm has unbeneficial control over its markets (market power) with situations where firms are successful because they are superior in how they serve customers (expanding consumer welfare).
The antitrust populist ranks are chock-a-block with economists, policy wonks, and go-getter attorneys. If they are so confident in their claims of rising concentration, bad behavior, and harm to consumers, suppliers, and workers, then they should put those ideas to the test with some slam dunk litigation.
The central irony of the Economists’ Hour is that in criticizing the influence of economists over policy, Appelbaum engages in a great deal of economic speculation himself. Appelbaum would discard the opinions of economists in favor of “the lessons of history,” but all he is left with is unsupported economic reasoning.