2020 Antitrust and Competition Conference - Monopolies and Politics

May 14-15, 2020
Chicago, IL

About the Conference

In 2017, the Stigler Center embarked on an ambitious project to reinvigorate the discussion of concentration and monopoly in the United States, culminating in the conference Is There a Concentration Problem in America? In 2018, the Center brought together scholars and experts to consider digital platforms specifically. From the 2018 conference a consensus emerged that the issues raised by these platforms must be addressed, and—to provide independent expertise on potential policy responses—the Center formed a Committee for the Study of Digital Platforms and organized its 2019 conference on Digital Platforms, Markets and Democracy: A Path Forward.

While there has been progress in studying the political impact of social media and digital platform concentration, political considerations have become increasingly relevant also in the wider study of market concentration. Yet the relationship between market concentration and undesirable political outcomes remains unclear and should be further analyzed.

Thus, the first goal of the conference is to explore whether these links exist and what form they take. Second, U.S. antitrust was born also to restrain the excessive concentration of political power. Over the years, this goal has been eliminated from the antitrust practice. Should we now create a separate political antitrust? If so, how could it be administered to avoid arbitrariness? To explore these topics, the Stigler Center is dedicating its fourth annual antitrust and competition conference to Monopolies and Politics.

Call for Papers & Long Abstracts

Paper and long abstract* submissions are welcome on two main topics:

    Market concentration and undesirable political outcomes
  • The relationship between market concentration and undesirable political outcomes
  • If/how concentration leads to political extremism, authoritarianism, or other undesirable outcomes
  • Evidence that monopolies pose a threat to democracy
  • Other related topics
    Politics and antitrust
  • Traditional antitrust has developed a consumer welfare standard. Is it possible to develop a citizen welfare standard to administer a political antitrust?
  • How could a citizen welfare standard be used?
  • How to administer a political antitrust (e.g. role of judicial system and regulators, limits on political interference, etc.)
  • Other related topics

Paper/Long Abstract Submission: Submit your paper HERE.

Deadline: Please submit papers for consideration by uploading no later than November 3, 2019.

Official acceptance notices will be sent by January 15, 2020.

The conference will be by invitation only. Researchers interested in receiving an invitation, please submit your CV and invitation request HERE.

Conference Organizers
  • Luigi Zingales, Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance & Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Guy Rolnik, Clinical Associate Professor of Strategic Management, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

For more information, contact:

Sebastian Burca, Associate Director, Stigler Center

*Please note that long abstracts and papers should be at least 3 pages long.

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