The origins of the antitrust movement

An Interest-Group Perspective


  • Joao Felipe Rodrigues Lanza Museu Ferroviario Paulista
  • Thomas J. DiLorenzo Loyola University Maryland



Antitrust, Regulation, Competition, Monopoly


Several contemporary studies have highlighted the need to introduce competition in the transport, energy industries, as well as other markets held to be natural monopolies due to the inefficiency generated by government-regulated monopolies. However, little has been studied on the consequences of the regulation known as antitrust law; it dates back to a protectionist political process from the late 19th century, which laid the foundations for most government regulation on several industries accused of monopoly practices. The present article has studied the origins of the antitrust movement as a political initiative, analyzed the evidences of the industries accused of monopolization, and has proven the research hypothesis that antitrust
laws and their derivatives have actually restricted competition more than improved market performance by correcting alleged “market failures”.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


ANDERSON, T.; HILL, P. The Birth of a Transfer Society. Hoover: Institution Press, 1980.

ARMENTANO, Wiley. R. Bork. New York: Wiley, 1982.

BORK, R. The Antirust Paradox. Basic Books, 1978.

BORK, R. Legislative Intent and the Policy of the Sherman Act. J. Law and Econ, v. 9, n. 16, 1966. DOI:

BROZEN, Y. Concentration, Mergers, and Public Policy. New York: Wiley, 1982.

CLARK, J. D. The Federal Antitrust Policy. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1931.

CLARKSON, K.; MILLER, L. Industrial Organisation and Public Policy. McGraw-Hill, 1982.

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD. 51º Congresso. 1ª Sessão. House, 1890.

DEMSETZ, H. Two Systems of Belief About Monopoly. Boston, 1974.

ELY, R. T. The Future of Corporations. Harpens, 1887.

FREY, B.; et. al. Consensus and Dissention Among Economists. American Economic Review, v. 74, 1974.

GOLDSCHMIDT, M.; MANN, F.; WESTON, F. Industrial Concentration: The New Learning. Little Brown, 1974.

GORDON, S. D. Attitudes Toward Trusts Prior to the Sherman Act. Southern Economic Journal, v. 20, 1963. DOI:

GUNTON, George. The Economics and Social Aspects of Trusts. Political Science Quarterly, 1888. DOI:

GRAY, R.; PETERSON, J. Economic Development in the United States. Irwin, 1965.

HAYEK, F. Law Registration and Liberty. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979.

HAZLETT, T. Interview with George Stigler. Journal of Legal Studies, v. 46, 1984

HOWARD, M. Antitrust and Trade Regulation. Prentice Hall, 1983.

JOHNSON, M. B. Can Economic Analysis Give Better Guidance to Antitrust Policy? Economic Inquiry, v. 10, 1983. DOI:

KEARL, C. et. al. A Confusion of Economists?. American Economic Review, v. 30, 1979.

LETWIN, W. Law and Economic Policy in America: The Evolution of the Sherman Antitrust Law. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965.

MCGEE, J. McGee. Predatory Price Cutting: The Standard Oil (N.J.) Case. International Journal of Law and Economy, v. 137, 1958. DOI:

MCNULTY, P. A Note on the History of Perfect Competition. J. Political Economy, v. 10, 1967.

NEW YORK TIMES. New York Times de 1º de outubro de 1890: caderno 2, 1890.

NORTH, D. Growth and Welfare in the American Past: A New Economic History. Premice Hall, 1966.

PATTEN, Simon. The Economic Effects of Combinations. Age of Steel, 1889.

POSNER, R. Antitrust Law: An Economic Perspective. University of Chicago Press, 1976.

SCHERER F. M. Industrial Market Structure and Economic Performance. Rand McNally, 1982.

SHUGHART, R.; TOLLISON, R. The Positive Economics of Antitrust Policy: A Survey Article. Law and Economy, v. 39, 1985. DOI:

STINGLER, G. Economists and the Problem of Monopoly. American Economy Review, v. 9, 1982.

TOLLISON, R. et. al. The Antitrust Pork Barrel. J. Law and Econ, v. 25, 1982. DOI:

TOLLISON, R. D. The Political Economy of Antitrust. The Political Economy of Antitrust, Lexington Books, 1980.

TOLLISON, R. D.; MCCORMICK, R. Politicians, Legislation, and the Economy. In: MARTINUS, Nijhoff (ed.). Inquiry Into the Interest-Group Theory of Government. London: Rochester Studies, 1981.

WELLS, David A. Recent Economic Changes. New York: DeCapro Press, 1889.



How to Cite

Lanza JFR, DiLorenzo TJ. The origins of the antitrust movement: An Interest-Group Perspective. MisesJournal [Internet]. 2019 Aug. 19 [cited 2024 Jun. 16];7(2). Available from: