Eric A. Posner & Cass R. Sunstein, Antitrust and Inequality, 2 Am. J. L. & Equal. 190 (2022).
Abstract: In its current form, antitrust law is sometimes said to advance consumer welfare and to disregard economic inequality. In fact, because monopoly and monopsony benefit shareholders at the expense of workers and consumers antitrust law redistributes resources from (generally wealthier) shareholders to (generally less wealthy) workers and consumers. Antitrust enforcement agencies seeking to reduce inequality might adjust their priorities and target markets that are disproportionately important for low-income people. Agriculture and health care would be good places to start; food and medicine compose a larger share of the budget of low-income people than of others, and these goods are essential to basic well-being. Regulators should also give priority to labor markets, especially labor markets in which lower-income people participate, and especially where pay gaps based on race or gender are large. In some cases, it is also appropriate to consider sacrificing economic efficiency for distributional goals by introducing distributional weights into antitrust analysis; doing so can increase social welfare. At the same time, antitrust law’s contribution to reducing inequality is subject to substantial diminishing returns.