The Chicago School, Transaction Cost Economics and the Roberts Court's Antitrust Jurisprudence


The Roberts Court’s reign at the United States Supreme Court is only in its nascent stages.  Already, however, its antitrust activity level has far exceeded the Court’s single case average prior to the 2003-04 Term by a significant margin.  The recent flurry of antitrust activity and the likely significance the Roberts Court will have on the development of antitrust jurisprudence warrants some reflection and analysis.  I argue that the Roberts Court decisions embrace the Chicago School of antitrust analysis, Transaction Cost Economics, and insights from comparative institutional analysis gleaned from New Institutional Economics.  Despite the rise of Post-Chicago Economics in economics departments and elite journals, the substance of the Roberts Court’s antitrust jurisprudence suggests a significant amount of skepticism is appropriate concerning any prediction of the demise of the Chicago School or Transaction Cost Economics in antitrust in the coming years.