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I Can See Clearly Now: Lee Benham, Eyeglasses, And The Empirical Analysis Of Advertising And The Effects Of Professional Regulation

Bruce Kobayashi () and Timothy Muris

CPI Journal, 2013, vol. 9

Abstract: Our classic this time is Lee Benham’s empirical analysis on the effects of advertising restrictions in the prices of eyeglasses. Kobayashi and Muris provide a context in which this article was written and note its continued importance over the 40 years since its publication. As the authors note, the results challenged conventional economic wisdom and provided empirical evidence that addressed two important theoretical controversies: the pro-competitive versus anticompetitive effects of advertising, and the public versus private interest theories of the regulation of licensed occupations. It also heralded an era of antitrust analysis based on empirical foundations it is a must read for any antitrust practitioner.

Date: 2013
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