Symposium on Re-Assessing the Chicago School of Antitrust Law

University of Chicago Law Review

May 10-11, 2019

We are pleased to announce the 2019 University of Chicago Law Review symposium on “Re-assessing the Chicago School of Antitrust Law.” Perhaps in no area of the law has Law & Economics been more influential than antitrust law. But it was not just Law & Economics generally that reshaped the field; it was a particular set of ideas associated with the University of Chicago that conquered antitrust law. In the 1970s and 1980s, scholars associated with the Chicago School advanced a series of arguments for the presumption that corporate actions are efficient and welfare-increasing, and, as a result, that focus should be shifted away from intervening under the antitrust laws in every type of conduct except cartels. These ideas led courts and regulators to take a restrained approach to the application of antitrust law.

In recent years, however, a renaissance in antitrust thinking has been underway. During this renaissance, antitrust research has used game theory, new sources of data, and sophisticated empirical methods. Increasingly, findings from this research have challenged the validity of many of the presumptions that the Chicago School’s ideas were based on. Moreover, writers in academic and policy circles have argued that lax antitrust enforcement—justified by ideas developed as part of the Chicago School—has contributed to many current, and looming, economic problems.

The symposium will feature research re-assessing the validity of the Chicago School’s assumptions about competition and considering whether a more aggressive approach to antitrust enforcement is now warranted. The University of Chicago Law Review invites authors exploring these and related issues to submit proposals for papers. A proposal may be as short as a two-page précis or as long as a full draft. Selected proposals will be developed into approximately 7,500 word papers for presentation at the Law Review’s annual Symposium, which will be held at the University of Chicago Law School on Friday and Saturday, May 10–11, 2019. Once authors have incorporated feedback from the panels, we plan to publish the final versions in Volume 87 of the Law Review.

Proposals should be submitted to Elizabeth Nielson at no later than September 30, 2018. Submissions must be exclusive, and the organizers’ decisions will be communicated no later than October 31, 2018. Travel expenses are eligible for reimbursement.

Please direct any inquiries to Elizabeth Nielson, Symposium and Reviews Editor ( and to Professor Adam Chilton (