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As readers have noticed, the last several volumes of Research in Law and Economics have consisted of special issue volumes. This will continue. This volume is one of the best. Jack Kirkwood put this volume together with modest assistance from me. I believe this is an outstanding volume and expect to meet the high standard set here in future volumes.
This is the first paper in a volume devoted exclusively to antitrust law and economics. It summarizes the other papers and addresses two issues. First, after showing that the federal courts generally view consumer welfare as the ultimate goal of antitrust law, it asks what they mean by that term. It concludes that recent decisions appear more likely to equate consumer welfare with the well-being of consumers in the relevant market than with economic efficiency. Second, it asks whether a buyer must possess monopsony power to induce a price discrimination that is not cost justified. It concludes that a buyer can often obtain an unjustified concession simply by wielding bargaining power, but the resulting concession may frequently – though not always – improve consumer welfare.
This volume brings together work by scholars from around the world dealing with law and economics policy issues. The volume contains several industrial organization articles, including two dealing with definitions of market power. The first provides a dynamic context to market power indices and the second a guide to a better profit measure.