Peer-Reviewed Articles

Work in Progress

Whose Paradigm Is It Anyway? The US Antitrust Policy Shift in the Times of Economic Crises and the Chicago School of Law and Economics (available upon request)

Abstract: Why has the US Antitrust law and policy regime become so powerless against monopolies? Existing studies emphasize the influence of new policy paradigms, business influences and conservative politics over antitrust agencies and federal courts, but ignore the crucial role of the US Congress and its opposition to relaxing antitrust rules. Relying on original archival data and an in-case comparison of legislative proposals, I show that under pressure from economic and intellectual crises in the early 1970s, the antitrust policy field was split between two paradigms, one supported by the Congress and one by the antitrust agencies. This impasse was overcome by some antitrust legislative reforms in the 1970s that increased the overall policy control of the antitrust agencies, which had the unintended consequence of weakening antitrust. This article theorizes that when policy reforms reconcile different policy paradigms, they also undermine the dominant paradigm in the long run, a process I label the “dual-paradigm fallacy”.

Keywords: Antitrust Policy, Policy Paradigms, the US Congress, Monopolies, the 1970s

Varieties of Market Rules: Local Determinants of Competition Laws in the US, the EU, Mexico and Turkey

Abstract: The US-based antitrust (competition) law rules have spread all over the world, but they are not the same everywhere. Previous research has highlighted the significant differences between the US and the EU jurisdictions in terms of restrictiveness towards companies in monopoly (dominant) positions, resulting from different political-economic theories of markets. However, competition law variations are not limited to this aspect, nor to these two advanced economies. This article attempts to offer the first general political-economic theory of international competition law differences using a historical-comparative study on Turkey and Mexico. These countries are ideal sites for studying the diffusion of the EU and US antitrust rules and the role of developing countries in shaping other competition policy regimes. Drawing on extensive enforcement data, official policy statements and interviews with over 80 competition law experts, I argue that competition laws vary in two fundamental ways: the protection of the market against the state and the small businesses against big businesses. These cross-country variations emerge due to the filtering of global competition law standards through the local business interests and practice norms.

Keywords: Competition (Antitrust) Laws, Global Diffusion of Policy, Business Interests, Turkey, Mexico

Published Work

Arslan, M. (2020). Differentiating and connecting indicators: The quality and performance of law in the World Bank’s Doing Business Project. International Journal of Law in Context,


Abstract: Scholars have long argued that transnational legal indicators (TLIs) suffer from significant validity problems. In response to such critiques, the World Bank (WB) reformed its Doing Business (DB) legal indicators in 2014. This paper evaluates two important results of this reform: the WB distinguished between the quality and performance (efficiency) of law indicators and also claimed that they are positively correlated. I argue that this distinction is based on two different utilitarian perspectives; therefore, these indicators try to quantify different aspects of laws. However, new empirical tests indicate that they are not correlated. The statistical tests on the DB Resolving Insolvency Indicators do not show any strong correlation, and the case of Turkey’s WB-led insolvency-law reform suggests that the developing countries can even incur efficiency losses from legal-quality improvements. Thus, this study demonstrates that the 2014 DB reform reproduced the validity problems inside the new distinctions and connections between its indicators, potentially creating new misconceptions for policy-makers.

Keywords: Legal indicators, the World Bank, legal reform, insolvency, Turkey

Carruthers, Bruce G., and Melike Arslan. “Sovereignty, Law, and Money: New Developments.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 15.1 (2019)


Abstract: Money has remained closely connected to political sovereignty even as polities changed from empires and kingdoms to dictatorships and democracies, and as money shifted from coin to paper and now to digital currency. Money constitutes a claim on value in exchange and a store and measure of value, so we consider the role law plays in these three articulations between money and value. We examine research on different instances of legal control over official currency, monetary innovations, standards of monetary measurement and valuation, counterfeiting, terror financing, and money laundering to show how the relationship between money and law has evolved in response to changes in international law, national sovereignty, and global markets.

Keywords: Legal tender, monetary standards, valuation, money laundering, counterfeiting, Bitcoin