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The Chicago School of Anti-Monopolistic Competition: Stigler’s Scorched Earth Campaign Against Chamberlin

Craig Freedman
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Craig Freedman: University of New South Wales

A chapter in In Search of the Two-Handed Economist, 2016, pp 165-342 from Palgrave Macmillan

Abstract: Abstract George Stigler did not think much of case studies, the 1950s Harvard approach to industrial organization. “Each new PhD gravely decided in some mysterious fashion whether the industry chosen for his doctoral dissertation was or was not acting in a socially desirable way” (Stigler 1988a: 162). So perhaps he would have been amused or annoyed that his campaign to destroy the idea of monopolistic competition serves as an illustration of how marketing and ideological demands intertwine to shape methodological exposition. While Milton Friedman and his work might seem to provide a more obvious candidate for such a case study, because he was the much more public face of the Chicago counter-revolution, it is easy to overlook the subtlety of his marketing which, at least for a number of professional readers, served to underplay the ideological component helping to shape and drive his work. If Chicago is to serve as an ideal encapsulation of the interplay of ideology and marketing in economics, then the logical imperative is to focus on someone who distinctly shaped that post-war Chicago School.

Keywords: Demand Curve; Imperfect Competition; Neoclassical Economic; Chicago School; Price Theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-58974-3_5

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