This paper introduces means of quantifying the global proliferation in antitrust laws, particularly through measures to assess the presence of such laws across a large set of countries. The Antitrust Law Index maps the presence of “laws on the book” into a numerical measure of competition regimes by assigning binomial scores for the presence of particular laws in a jurisdiction, and then summing the individual components to yield a total score. The key result is that strong laws do not necessarily represent effective antitrust policy. There appears to be a nonlinear relationship between adaptation of antitrust laws and the size of national economies. The results suggest that the impetus for adopting antitrust laws appears to be related to the guidelines of “model” laws and highlights the gap between de jure legislation and de facto implementation.

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