Antitrust and Economic Efficiency by Charles K. Rowley

By Charles K. Rowley

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313). Pratten's conclusions, which are relatively unfavourable for antitrust policy, are not endorsed, however, by a close research associate, Silberston [66], in an interpretative essay based on the Pratten evidence. From the viewpoint of public policy, Silberston emphasised the need to evaluate the significance of scale economies relative to the size of the relevant market rather than in absolute terms. K. e. industries with a combination of high indicated scales in relation to the market and high initial capital and other costs.

From the viewpoint of public policy, Silberston emphasised the need to evaluate the significance of scale economies relative to the size of the relevant market rather than in absolute terms. K. e. industries with a combination of high indicated scales in relation to the market and high initial capital and other costs. Table III 51 is, I believe, weighted quite heavily in favour of these particular industries. If this is so, it is probably fair to conclude that there are comparatively few industries which have 'significant' economies of scale in this sense - in relation always, of course, to the size of the United Kingdom market.

Altogether, Shepherd concluded that there had been no widespread shift at all towards larger plants, and even where increases in plant size had occurred, this had not led to rises in concentration. The time period encompassed by Shepherd's analysis, it is 52 interesting to note, was that within which the conventional wisdom that returns to scale were on the increase was most rampant. Shepherd's conclusions scarcely endorse the conventional wisdom (see also Weiss [82]). The evidence on returns to scale is far from satisfactory at the present time, in large part owing to the intractability of the concept in empirical analysis.

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