Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

7-2003

Abstract

In the decades before the World War II, a new economic philosophy favoring cooperation among competitors challenged the competitive model embodied in the antitrust laws. In the United States, the cooperative model had some successes in, for example, the Webb Pomerene Act of 1918, the associational activities of the 1920s, and the NRA codes of the 1930s. And, of course, antitrust law itself, after some false starts, came to recognize that some forms of cooperation are necessary for efficient production. Outside the United States, however, especially in the economic turbulence following World War I, policymakers adopted such an extreme form of the cooperative model that they not only tolerated but actively assisted the formation and operation of international cartels as means of organizing production. Wyatt Wells's fascinating study shows that America's efforts to project its antitrust policies internationally during and after World War II played a critical role in the destruction of this "cartel ideal," particularly in Western Europe. This ideological transformation had lasting effects for the development of the world economy.

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