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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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Readers’ vote will close on February 9, 2018. Readers’ vote will allow you to nominate 1 article for each of the Awards, i.e., 10 Academic articles, 10 Business articles, and the best Soft Laws. The readers’ short-list of Academic and Business Articles will be communicated to the Board together with the 20 articles nominated by the Steering Committees. The Board will decide on the award-winning articles. Results will be announced at the Awards ceremony to take place in Washington DC on the eve of the ABA Antitrust Spring Meeting on April 10, 2018.

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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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