Archive for August, 2009

Law, Economics and Antitrust – Towards a New Perspective

Patrick McNutt’s book is a brilliant exposé of the interaction between law, economics and antitrust. The author, an economist and distinguished regulator, handles both the legal and economic material deftly. It is provocative particularly when dealing with issues such as the efficiency of competition and the effectiveness of antitrust rules. His case-studies are particularly compelling.The book is written with huge flair and great learning. It combines theoretical and practical considerations. The comparative coverage is excellent. A “must-read” for all interested in law and economics. Antitrust specialists will discover many novel and valid insights.”
David O’Keeffe, University College London, UK and College of Europe, Belgium

“This book continually stimulates the reader to think about the issues in non-standard and illuminating ways, following new and significant directions. Yet the discussion always is authoritatively grounded in the author’s extensive knowledge of the pertinent law and the relevant economic analysis.”
– William J. Baumol, New York University, US and Princeton University, US

“Professor McNutt provides a refreshing and different perspective on the important fundamental issues underlying competition law and policy.”
– Barry E. Hawk, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, US

In this accessible yet rigorous textbook, Patrick McNutt presents a clear and refreshing approach to a wide range of topics in law, economics and antitrust. The issues covered include duty and obligation, contracting, liability, property rights, efficient entry, compensation, oligopoly pricing, issues in strategic antitrust and merger analysis.

Using a selection of case studies where appropriate, and examples based in game theory, the book examines these issues from both a law and economics and a microeconomics perspective. Emphasis is placed on a thorough assessment of the economic and legal arguments, blending the rigours of microeconomic analysis with common law standards. The analysis contained in the book will not only review, and indeed adapt neoclassical economic analysis but will also apply some of the methodology from the relatively new paradigm known as ‘law and economics’ to many of the issues. The book also addresses the increasing overlap between emerging approaches in public choice and in law and economics.

Practitioners in competition law and regulation of utilities will draw great value from this original and pertinent volume, as will scholars in the areas of regulation, competition law, competition policy and law and economics.

Economics of Public Choice, Second Edition

In the second edition of this popular text, Patrick McNutt introduces a moral choice set and a new methodology for the treatment of fairness. New empirical estimates of rent-seeking are introduced and the book addresses the issues of legal barriers to entry, economic power and the global political economy. Professor William Baumol of New York University endorsed the book “as a careful and knowledgeable exploration of the field…contributors to the arena will want to turn to this text for directions for original work of their own”.

Economics of Public Choice

The second edition of this book is due for publication later this year. In the interim, check out the book profile at my publisher’s web page: In the newly expanded second edition of this book, I expand on many of the earlier topics. In the introductory chapters the domain of public choice has been expanded to include a new concept of fairness, which called ‘mapping-fairness’ or ‘m-fairness’. It is presented rather provocatively as a possible basis for an ethical standard for public choice. In later chapters a Tobit model of rent-seeking has been added as a compliment to the theoretical overview of the rent-seeking paradigm.

In a chapter on barriers to entry I critically evaluate legal barriers to entry and the issue of compensation for incumbents in a deregulated market. The final chapters on democracy and voting, address the legitimacy of a political system, focuses on the disenfranchised and presents non-voting as a rational response.

In a final chapter examining the issue of income inequality, a new theory is posited as I attempt to dispel the notion that the case against inequality has been decisively won. Some concluding notes on the possible contribution of public choice to a global political economy are added in the final chapter of the book.

Understanding Economic Issues

This is my first book, published in 1986 with a colleague Michael Keane. I was a young lecturer in Galway at the time. There may be a few copies left. It is long overdue a reprint! So why not contact the publishers and have look at the book on their web page and use their ‘WebCat’ to check out the book. The book was an attempt to introduce economics as an aid in our understanding of every day issues. As a short and easily readable book it provided the concepts and the explanations to enliven discussion of everyday issues. It is suitable for the student of economics and for the layperson. It covers demand and supply, consumer behaviour, costs, prices and competition. The case studies in the book are newspaper articles from the time period.

Perspectives on Competition Policy Issues

When I moved to the University of Ulster to take up the Professorship in Political Economy, I edited this book of essays on competition policy issues with a European perspective. The history of US antitrust is outlined with reference to the landmark cases. Irish competition policy is reevaluated and global competition is introduced. Airline deregulation and deregulation of the taxi market are discussed from the perspective of competition analysis.

Competition Policy and 1991 Irish Competition Act

When I was at the University College Galway, I co-edited this book on a range of competition issues arising from the enactment of the 1991 Competition Act has become a classic. Two of the world’s leading experts in competition and antitrust, Val Korah and Barry Hawk, were invited to participate at a conference in Galway and this book is a publication of the conference proceedings. It is worth a read now as the Act and the Competition Authority celebrate the first ten years in existence. I later became the second Chairman of the Authority, 1996-2000.

Some of my publications as Chairman are available on the web site


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Unit 1

Relevance of Management Models

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Unit 2

Reflection of Cost

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Unit 3

Strategy and Games

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