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Academic Articles Awards > General Antitrust

Culture, Economics, and Antitrust: The Example of Trust

Albert Allen Foer, Antitrust Bulletin, forthcoming.

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What role do cultural dimensions of cooperation and competition play in economic life? Taking a multidisciplinary perspective, this essay uses the example of the concept of trust to consider some implications for competition policy. The author suggests that the field of competition policy is at core about the authoritative allocation of categories of economic activity along a spectrum with individualism and competition at one end and collectivism and cooperation at the other. The allocation is a function of the state, made on the basis of a variety of imprecise inputs—cultural, political, historic, economic, and institutional – and not merely neoclassical economic theory. Sensitivity to the cultural aspects of competition and cooperation places constraints on overly optimistic expectations for global harmonization of antitrust enforcement.

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