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Full-Text Articles in Economic History

Whatever Did Happen To The Antitrust Movement?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2018

Whatever Did Happen To The Antitrust Movement?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust in the United States today is caught between its pursuit of technical rules designed to define and implement defensible economic goals, and increasing calls for a new antitrust “movement.” The goals of this movement have been variously defined as combating industrial concentration, limiting the economic or political power of large firms, correcting the maldistribution of wealth, control of high profits, increasing wages, or protection of small business. High output and low consumer prices are typically unmentioned.

In the 1960s the great policy historian Richard Hofstadter lamented the passing of the antitrust “movement” as one of the “faded passions of ...


Progressive Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

Progressive Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Several American political candidates and administrations have both run and served under the “progressive” banner for more than a century, right through the 2016 election season. For the most part these have pursued interventionist antitrust policies, reflecting a belief that markets are fragile and in need of repair, that certain interest groups require greater protection, or in some cases that antitrust policy is an extended arm of regulation. This paper argues that most of this progressive antitrust policy was misconceived, including that reflected in the 2016 antitrust plank of the Democratic Party. The progressive state is best served by a ...


Defending A Mixed Economy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp May 2016

Defending A Mixed Economy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay reviews Jacob S. Hacker's and Paul Pierson's very engaging book, American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget what Made America Prosper (2016).


The Progressives: Economics, Science, And Race, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2015

The Progressives: Economics, Science, And Race, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay is a brief review of Thomas C. Leonard, Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era (Princeton Univ. Press 2016).


The Striking Success Of The National Labor Relations Act, Michael L. Wachter Dec 2012

The Striking Success Of The National Labor Relations Act, Michael L. Wachter

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Although often viewed as a dismal failure, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) has been remarkably successful. While the decline in private sector unionization since the 1950s is typically viewed as a symbol of this failure, the NLRA has achieved its most important goal: industrial peace.

Before the NLRA and the 1947 Taft-Hartley Amendments, our industrial relations system gave rise to frequent and violent strikes that threatened the nation’s stability. For example, in the late 1870s, the Great Railroad Strike spread throughout a number of major cities. In Pittsburg alone, strikes claimed 24 lives, nearly 80 buildings, and over ...


The Genius Of The 1898 Bankruptcy Act, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 1999

The Genius Of The 1898 Bankruptcy Act, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.