Review of Industrial Organization

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 179–196 | Cite as

The Determinants of State-Level Antitrust Activity



While there has been a considerable literature exploring the determinants of antitrust enforcement in the United States, these studies have been based either on aggregate federal enforcement data over time (exploring cyclical influences) or cross-industry studies, usually for a single year or aggregated over several years. What has never been investigated is the pattern of state-level antitrust litigation. This is somewhat surprising, as this has been a major activity of many state attorneys general. In this paper, we explain state antitrust activity across states, examining a number of the economic and political determinants that have been proposed in the literature.


Antitrust enforcement Political economy 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Antitrust Committee of the Section on Commercial and Federal Litigation, New York State Bar Association. Commercial (2003) Committee report: The state of state antitrust enforcement. NYSBA NY Litigator 8(1): 4–10Google Scholar
  2. Areeda P. A., Baxter W., Reasoner H. (1994) Antitrust policy. In: Feldstein M. (eds) American economic policy in the 1980’s. University of Chicago, Chicago, pp 573–626Google Scholar
  3. Becker G. (1968) Crime and punishment: An economic approach. The Journal of Political Economy 76: 169–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Besanko D., Spulber D. F. (1989) Antitrust enforcement under asymmetric information. The Economic Journal 99: 408–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Block M. K., Nold F. C., Sidak J. G. (1981) The deterrent effect of antitrust enforcement. Journal of Political Economy 89(3): 429–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. DeBow M. (2004) State antitrust enforcement: Empirical evidence and a modest reform proposal. In: Epstein R., Greve M. (eds) Competition laws in conflict: Antitrust jurisdiction in the global economy. AEI Press, Washington, DC, pp 267–287Google Scholar
  7. Elzinga K. G., Breit W. (1976) The antitrust penalties: A study in law and economics. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  8. Feinberg R. M. (1980) Antitrust enforcement and subsequent price behavior. Review of Economics and Statistics 62(4): 609–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ghosal V., Gallo J. (2001) The cyclical behavior of the department of justice’s antitrust enforcement activity. International Journal of Industrial Organization 19: 27–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ghosal V., Harrington J. E., Stennek J. (2007) Issues in antitrust enforcement. In: Ghosal V., Stennek J. (eds) The political economy of antitrust. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 1–23Google Scholar
  11. Harrington J. E. (2004) Cartel pricing dynamics in the presence of an antitrust authority. RAND Journal of Economics 35(4): 651–673CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hirsch B. T., Macpherson D. A. (2003) Union membership and coverage database from the current population survey: Note. Industrial and Labor Relations Review 56(2): 349–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lee L. W. (1980) Some models of antitrust enforcement. Southern Economic Journal 47(1): 147–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Long W. F., Schramm R., Tollision R. (1973) The economic determinants of antitrust activity. Journal of Law and Economics 16(2): 351–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Masson, R. T., & Reynolds, R. J. (1977). Statistical studies of antitrust enforcement: A critique. In American statistical association proceedings, business and economic statistics section part I.Google Scholar
  16. Peltzman S. (1976) Toward a more general theory of regulation. Journal of Law and Economics 19(2): 211–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pittman R. (1992) Antitrust and the political process. In: Audretsch D. B., Siegfried J. J. (eds) Empirical studies in industrial organization: Essays in honor of leonard W. Weiss. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, pp 147–160Google Scholar
  18. Priest G. L., Klein B. (1984) The selection of disputes for litigation. Journal of Legal Studies 13: 1–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rose J. (1994) State antitrust enforcement, mergers, and politics. Wayne Law Review 41: 71Google Scholar
  20. Salop S. C., White L. J. (1988) Private antitrust litigation: An introduction and framework. In: White L. J. (eds) Private antitrust litigation: New evidence, new learning. MIT Press, Boston, pp 3–60Google Scholar
  21. Siegfried J. J. (1975) The determinants of antitrust activity. Journal of Law and Economics 18: 559–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. White L. J. (1988) Litigation and economic incentives. Research in Law and Economics 11: 73–90Google Scholar
  23. Wood B. D., Anderson J. E. (1993) The politics of US antitrust regulation. American Journal of Political Science 37(1): 1–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsAmerican UniversityWashingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations