Free from What? Competition, Regulation and Antitrust During the Gilded Age

45 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2015

See all articles by Nicola Giocoli

Nicola Giocoli

University of Pisa - Department of Law

Date Written: October 30, 2015

Abstract

As the embodiment of classical competition, freedom of contract was still a fundamental notion for the American economists of the Gilded Age. For this reason, it played a key role in the controversies about competition and regulation that agitated the US legal and political landscape between 1880 and 1910, following the dramatic rise in industrial size and concentration. The essay argues that when debating about the good and the bad of a free market system vis-à-vis government interference, American jurists and politicians were actually referring to the freedom of contract ideal developed by the Classics and still endorsed by most economists of the time.

Keywords: competition; regulation; antitrust; American constitutional law; Gilded Age; reproduction cost; history of American economics

JEL Classification: B12, B13, K21, L43

Suggested Citation

Giocoli, Nicola, Free from What? Competition, Regulation and Antitrust During the Gilded Age (October 30, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2695362 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2695362

Nicola Giocoli (Contact Author)

University of Pisa - Department of Law ( email )

via Collegio Ricci 10
Pisa PI, 56126
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://https://pisa.academia.edu/NicolaGiocoli

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