Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 5 No. 3 (Summer 1991)


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Policy Watch: Antitrust Goes to College

Article Citation

Salop, Steven C., and Lawrence J. White. 1991. "Policy Watch: Antitrust Goes to College." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 5(3): 193-202.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.5.3.193


It may have come as a shock to many economists, especially those in academia, to learn that the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has been investigating alleged price fixing and information exchange of financial aid among 23 prestigious east coast colleges and universities. These schools include the "Ivy overlap group"—MIT, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale—and the "Pentagonal/Sisters group"—Amherst, Barnard, Bowdoin, Bryn Mawr, Colby, Mount Holyoke, Middlebury, Smith, Trinity, Tufts, Vassar, Wesleyan, and Williams. We have no specific knowledge concerning the possible validity of these allegations or expertise about their legality. Rather, in this article, we wish to present the potential applicability of current antitrust doctrines to colleges and their conduct and the possible defenses that they might raise to justify their actions.

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Salop, Steven C. (Georgetown U)
White, Lawrence J. (NYU)

JEL Classifications

L44: Antitrust Policy and Public Enterprises, Nonprofit Institutions, and Professional Organizations
I28: Education: Government Policy


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