On Free Markets, Their Benefits and Shortcomings, and How Competition Policy Operates in Such Markets

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People have strong feelings about the free market, and even more so about free-market capitalism. For the advocates, market freedom is what has generated the economic progress of modern times; for them, the world would have been a different place to live without market freedom. The opponents of the free market, on the other hand, hold market freedom responsible for all the injustice and inequality we see around us everywhere. However, in my view, the concept of market freedom remains poorly understood by most commentators. In this article, I set out what exactly market participants are free to do under market freedom, what the main benefits of market freedom are, under what conditions market freedom fails to bring about those benefits, what can and what cannot reasonably be expected from market freedom, and, finally, how competition policy is supposed to operate in such markets.

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Cite as

Adriaan ten Kate, Sr., On Free Markets, Their Benefits and Shortcomings, and How Competition Policy Operates in Such Markets, 1 Criterion J. on Innovation 381 (2016).