The ε-Stigler and the Other Components of Stigler: On George Stigler's 1962 Denunciation of the "Insolence" of Demonstrating Negroes, and Other Topics
Hamiltonian Economics on FT Alphachatterbox

Comment of the Day: John Howard Brown: Stigler's Denunciation of the "Insolence" of Demonstrating Negroes: "As an Industrial Organization economist/quasi-historian of economic thought in IO, I found your characterization of ε-Stigler interesting. My feeling is that you may be attributing too much to ε-Stigler. Aaron Director and Milton Friedman had as much or more to do with the libertarian cast of thought developed at Chicago...

...The most noteworthy aspect of this in IO was a transition in characterizing the essential components of competitive markets. Prior to the 1950s, the Chicago school insisted on atomism in markets as the key for procuring competitive performance. Director et al. moved in the direction of holding any market structure evolved without government interference as an efficient competitive outcome. E.g. ε-Stigler's famous survivor effect paper.

This development inspired a healthy reappraisal of the formulaic application of the Structure-Conduct-Performance paradigm. Which was also disparaged by the better SCP Industrial Organization economists at the time. However, the Chicago economics ignored the intellectual and physical infrastructure provide through government which facilitated the success of private enterprise.

As for the other Stigler vectors, most of this information is new to me. However, it is completely unsurprising to me. Stigler was born in 1911, when white supremacy was an unquestioned assumption of most Northern European origin Americans. Growing up in a WASP family in the 1950s, I observed these sorts of attitudes frequently. For better or worse, we are products of our environment, both when we are young and later...


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