Antitrust and regulation in American economic history

Brooks Kaiser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEncyclopedia chapterResearchpeer-review


Over the course of American history and economic development, market activity and the systems underlying and governing this activity have coevolved to address the changing fundamentals of human interactions within the marketplace and beyond. The growth of the American economy and its regulation are deeply intertwined. This chapter discusses these coevolutionary forces in the context of the development of American antitrust laws and the expanding reach of government regulation throughout American economic history. Antitrust and regulation are addressed together because they complement each other in their ability to address ex-ante incentives, primarily through regulation, and ex-post corrections and adjustments, primarily through antitrust suits and related legislative action, that may in turn result in new regulation. The chapter focuses on government regulation of industry in two arenas: price and entry regulation with market power (antitrust issues), and regulation of other market failures, especially environmental, health, occupational safety, and product quality regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of American Economic History
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date2018
ISBN (Electronic)9780190882624
Publication statusPublished - 2018



  • Antitrust and regulation
  • Cartels
  • Clayton act
  • Monopoly regulation
  • Natural resource markets
  • Sherman antitrust act
  • Standard oil

Cite this

Kaiser, B. (2018). Antitrust and regulation in American economic history. In The Oxford Handbook of American Economic History (Vol. 2, pp. 325-347). Oxford University Press.