OCEAN SHIPPING ECONOMICS: FREE TRADE AND ANTITRUST IMPLICATIONS
DAVID A. Butz
Many economists and antitrust experts claim that ocean shipping conferences are essentially legalized cartels. They often advocate eliminating ocean shipping conferences' antitrust immunity. This paper argues that conferences also help to coordinate their members' joint investments and thereby allow the historically small firms in this industry to exploit vast network economies (akin to those in other transportation industries) that small firms could not capture on their own. The paper proposes reducing rather than eliminating immunity and calls for an end to many of the regulations currently stifling the industry. Copyright 1993 Western Economic Association International.
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