Introduction to Harberger’s Monopoly and Resource Allocation–The Pioneering Article on Deadweight Loss and Empirical Measurement of the Social Costs of Monopoly

Hill Wellford, Nov 01, 2009

Arnold Harberger´s 1954 article, Monopoly and Resource Allocation,brought empirical analysis of the social costs of monopoly into the mainstream of antitrust work. In the mid-twentieth century, the dominant mode of monopoly analysis in the United States (and therefore worldwide) was structural rather than empirical, and that structural approach supported a highly interventionist antitrust regime. Harberger´s 1954 article broke with the then-current economic orthodoxy and set monopoly research on a path that would lead to a strong shift toward empiricism and the development of a more cautious approach for antitrust enforcement. The article is famous for bringing monopoly deadweight loss analysis into the mainstream.

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