In an excerpt from his book Samuelson Friedman: The Battle Over the Free Market, Nicholas Wapshott explores the disagreements between Friedman and Hayek over whether governments should manage the economy. Editor’s note: The current debate in economics seems to lack a historical perspective. To try to address this deficiency, we decided to launch a Sunday column on ProMarket focusing on the historical dimension of economic ideas. You can read all...

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How Manufacturing’s Lobby Won and Lost its Political Influence

What happens when supporting capitalism hurts capitalists? Do business lobbies ever control the economy to the extent we think they do? The...

How Apple Locks Out the Competition with Its Digital Key

Apple’s efforts to dominate the contactless payments market and lock up the “digital key” space pose a profound threat to consumer privacy...

The Dawn of Antitrust and the Egalitarian Roots of the Sherman Act

While it isn’t particularly controversial that concentrated economic power was a legislative target of the Sherman Act, when read as a corollary...

The Varied Ideologies—and Practices—of Socialist Nations in the Developing World

In an excerpt from his new book Ripe for Revolution: Building Socialism in the Third World, Harvard Business School professor Jeremy Friedman...

Big Tech, the FTC, and Ordoliberals: ProMarket’s Top Stories of 2021

As 2021 draws to a close, we look back at ProMarket’s most-read and most-widely shared stories of the past year.

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READING LISTS

Americans spend significantly more on health care than any other country. Why? Answers to this question range from hospital monopolies to perverse incentives to opaque pricing to medical licensing to pharmaceutical firms abusing IP practices to “creeping consolidation.” Why is the US health care system so broken? And what can antirust do about it? Catch-up on our coverage of antitrust and the US health care system.

Antitrust Enforcement Is Not Enough to Address Anticompetitive Conduct in Pharmaceutical Markets. Market-Oriented Legal Reform is Needed.

Federal antitrust enforcement has been robust and effective in promoting prescription drug market competition and thereby enhancing consumer welfare. Antitrust enforcement in...

Competition Problems in Prescription Drug Market

Although not the sole cause of high prescription drug costs, abusive practices that distort competition contribute to the problem. Too many companies...

Why the FTC Should Consider Size in Drug Mergers

Large pharmaceutical firms retain their dominance through size-related advantages in three areas: contracting, marketing and selling, and financing. When reviewing pharmaceutical mergers,...

The Covid-19 Pandemic Should Not Delay Actions to Prevent Anticompetitive Consolidation in US Health Care Markets

Harvard Business School professor Leemore Dafny lays out potential reforms to assist agencies in halting anticompetitive acquisitions and practices, and to preserve...

George J. Stigler, one of the most influential economists of the 20th century, won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1982 “for his seminal studies of industrial structures, functioning of markets, and causes and effects of public regulation.” His research upended the idea that government regulation was effective at correcting private-market failures. Stigler introduced the idea of regulatory capture, in which regulators could be dominated by special interests. These regulators would work for the benefit of large, monied organizations rather than the public good. Catch up on ProMarket's coverage of his legacy.

The Metaphysics of Regulatory Capture

Stiglerian capture and corrosive cultural capture, its left-leaning parallel, are ostensibly symbionts, two attempts at identifying impediments to keeping markets competitive by...

Assessing George Stigler’s Economic Theory of Regulation

Despite its flaws and limitations, Stigler’s seminal article on the theory of economic regulation remains an important piece of scholarship worthy of...

The Many Faces of Stigler’s Theory of Economic Regulation: Interest Group Politics Still Thrives—But Industry Often Comes Second

Stigler treats industry groups as the heavyweights in regulatory contests. But surprisingly often groups of farmers and workers knock them for a...

George Stigler’s Errors and Their Virtues

George Stigler might have been wrong in his essay on economic regulation, but his influence is undeniable. The unity of purpose in...

Does Market Power Lead to Political Power?

A Stigler Center webinar explores what would be the foundations of a political and economic system that might be more resilient to pressure from powerful interests. Why has traditional antitrust policy been unable to prevent the rise of large politically-powerful firms? Should antitrust enforcers consider the political power of corporations and, if so, what are the benefits and perils of redesigning antitrust to promote political and economic liberty? These...

Market Power and Money in Politics

A Stigler Center webinar explores how businesses lobby and compete for political power and whether mergers and industry concentration affect lobbying.  Firms compete in markets, and markets are affected...

Is There a Problem with Competition?

A Stigler Center webinar explores instances where competition turns toxic, whether antitrust policy needs reform, and potential paths forward. Is there such a thing as too much competition? Can competition...

"Political Engagement by Corporations Derives from and is Focused on Seeking Monopolistic Power"

In this installment of ProMarket’s new interview series, Harvard Business School professor emeritus Joseph Bower shares some thoughts on rent-seeking, politics, and the role of corporations...

COLUMNS

The Complicated Legacy of the “Chicago Boys” in Chile

How did a group of Chicago-trained economists manage to turn Chile into the cradle of neoliberalism? As the country aims to move...

GameStop, the Cantillon Effect, and America’s Corrupt Financial Plumbing

The GameStop frenzy, far from a morality tale of the people showing up Wall Street elites, should show that something is seriously...

How Should We Finance Higher Education If Not Through Student Debt? A New Capitalisn’t Episode

In a new episode of Capitalisn’t, Luigi Zingales and Bethany McLean take a look at the student debt crisis: How did we...

Bethany McLean’s Weekend Reading List: Nursing Homes, the World’s Largest Pension Fund, and Our Make-Believe Economy

Corruption, lobbying, corporate malfeasance, and frauds: a weekly unconventional selection of must-read articles by investigative journalist Bethany McLean.