The Federal Trade Commission’s now-abandoned 2020 Vertical Merger Guidelines were not some ideal economic document that the FTC foolishly disregarded; rather, they failed spectacularly and were properly retracted, Hal Singer and Marshall Steinbaum write in their response to Herbert Hovenkamp and Carl Shapiro.  As economists who filed separate comments opposing the 2020 Vertical Merger Guidelines (VMGs), we were befuddled by the hostile reaction in last week’s Herbert Hovenkamp and...

COMMENTARY

How Will the FTC Evaluate Vertical Mergers?

The Federal Trade Commission’s recent withdrawal of its 2020 vertical merger guidelines...

RESEARCH

PODCAST

A New Capitalisn’t Episode

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LATEST

Looks Can Be Deceiving: Ronald Coase and the Chicago School

Ronald Coase is typically thought of as one of the Chicago School’s brightest lights. But Coase’s relationship with Chicago was always an...

A New Browser Extension Aims to Bring Transparency to Big Tech Funding

As Congress prepares to debate a series of new antitrust bills​, the​ Big Tech Funding browser extension encourages lawmakers to be mindful...

Two Years After the Business Roundtable Statement: Pointing in the Right Direction

The 2019 Business Roundtable statement was a welcome break from the position that the nation’s top corporate CEOs took in 1997, when...

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...

The DOJ’s “New Madison” Doctrine Disregards Both the Economics and the Law of Innovation

DOJ’s “New Madison” approach to antitrust and intellectual property law dictates that antitrust should stay out of disputes over patents, even when...

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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...

Beyond Friedman’s Doctrine: The True Purpose of the Business Corporation

The pandemic and the renewed focus on inequality and injustice arising in the wake of the death of George Floyd have accelerated...

COLUMNS

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. 

Bethany McLean’s Weekend Reading List: Wirecard, Women in the Workplace, and Social Safety Nets

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