Antitrust at George Mason

Josh Wright —  25 June 2010

Danny Sokol has posted the most downloaded antitrust law professors.  I come in 4th behind Damien Geradin, David Evans, and Herb Hovenkamp.   It is flattering to be in company like that by any measure.  Cool.  But, as Danny points out, what is even cooler is that George Mason is one of only a handful of schools with more than one faculty member making the list, with my colleague, co-author, and fellow Bruin economist Bruce Kobayashi coming in at #15.

It is quite true that George Mason is a special place to learn, teach and write about antitrust.  This is at least in part because of the law and economics focus embedded into the core of our educational mission which ties so well with courses like antitrust.  But one need not rely on the rankings to figure out George Mason’s antitrust presence.  In fact, SSRN downloads underestimate our antitrust presence in a few very important ways.  First is that the SSRN measure misses our “signature” antitrust faculty member, former Chairman and FTC Kirkpatrick Award winner Tim Muris.   Second, there is long and deep history of antitrust at George Mason.  Consider the following list of current and former antitrust professors at George Mason,  including those who have taught as adjuncts, include: Alden Abbott (FTC), Henry Butler (now back at George Mason as the Executive Director of the Law and Economics Center), Mark Grady (now at UCLA), Commissioner (and former Chairman) Kovacic, the late Ernest Gellhorn, the late Jim Liebeler (who I worked for at UCLA), Bruce Johnsen, and Judge Douglas Ginsburg.   And I’m sure I’m missing a few!  Third, escaping rankings like these are faculty members like Tom Hazlett, who teaches a seminar on the law and economics of telecommunications and media regulation which involves a substantial amount of competition policy, and Todd Zywicki, who was former Director of the Office of Policy and Planning at the FTC and teaches about competition policy and regulation in his public choice seminar and writes about these issues in the credit card market.

There are a lot of very good places to learn about antitrust as a law student and a number of great environments to do antitrust research, writing and teaching as a professor: Georgetown, NYU, Iowa, Michigan, Florida, Yale, and Chicago all come immediately to mind.  There are others I’m sure — though it is sad for me to see that the West Coast has pretty much surrendered this increasingly important territory entirely with very few exceptions.  I’m biased, of course.  But I simply don’t think there is a better place in the country to do antitrust  — and I’m very proud and humbled to be a part of the “antitrust group” at George Mason.