A Variety of Ideas on Competition
The choice of a pan-institutional approach to study the development of national and international antitrust institutions invites an extended explanation of the theories of ‘varieties of capitalism’. Varieties of capitalism is a theoretical framework that explains why countries all over the world have applied and enforced capitalistic models through different institutions, which in turn reflect specific — and local — logics of growth and interests (Howell, 2003, pp. 103–124; Lane, 2005, pp. 227–247; Nölke and Vliegenthart, 2009, p. 670). Indeed, while models of capitalism generally determine the limits of what is locally accepted as beneficial, within such frames, institutions shape social actions and might well evolve as new interests and ideas influence local society. With this in mind, this chapter first identifies the model of capitalism and so antitrust that characterise the US, Europe, Japan and the BRICS. Secondly, it provides an analysis of the main ideas underpinning national understandings of competition and competitiveness. Indeed, it is because of their different cultural and ideological traditions that the US, Europe, Japan and the BRICS could develop distinct models of capitalism and so introduce structural peculiarities in their antitrust institutions.
KeywordsEconomic Freedom Competition Policy Consumer Welfare Chicago School Harvard School
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