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Market Structure, Private Power, & Consumer Welfare

Ted Janger & Sabeel Rahman
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Law facilitates and enforces private transactions, enforcing contracts, encouraging competition, requiring disclosure. How does law construct “market” and how do market dynamics influence law? How might law and public policy be reformed to address concerns like inequality and corporate power, while promoting values like economic dynamism, inclusion, and welfare? This seminar explores these themes by providing students with a deeper look at different systems of business law and economic regulation. Topics may include: antitrust, competition policy, and corporate concentration; consumer protection and consumer welfare; regulation of public utilities including recent debates over net neutrality, internet platforms, and privatization of local utilities. In addition to covering relevant legal authorities and debates, this course will also enable students to view law and public policy from a variety of perspectives including the role of administrative and regulatory institutions and processes; law and economics; critical perspectives on questions of power, justice, and inequality.