It is an interesting and perhaps important coincidence that only a year previous to the famous decision in Nebbia v. New York there appeared two volumes which together constitute an equally notable landmark in the development of economic doctrine, Professor Edward Chamberlin's Theory of Monopolistic Competition and Mrs. Joan Robinson's Economics of Imperfect Competition. While there is no evidence that the latter works influenced the outcome of the Nebbia case, the writer is of the opinion that these studies not only afford a rationale of that decision but also make desirable a re-examination of the concept of "businesses affected with a public interest" in the light of the historical development of that doctrine and parallel developments in business organization and economic theory. More specifically, it is believed that the theory of monopolistic competition affords a rational basis, and one which the Supreme Court was willing to accept in the latest leading case, for a much broader but more realistic and useful public interest concept than has hitherto prevailed.
Robert W. Harbeson,
THE PUBLIC INTEREST CONCEPT IN LAW AND IN ECONOMICS,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol37/iss2/2