In the following excerpt from his new book, The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World, Adrian Wooldridge traces "how universities became more important in controlling entry into the professional life". American business played a significant part in nurturing the meritocratic spirit. Giant businesses such as the railroads required specialized middle-managers to keep the trains running on time, and great universities such as the University of Pennsylvania and...

COMMENTARY

Why Privacy Experts Need a Place at the Antitrust Table

Antitrust enforcers have tended to stay narrowly “in their lane,” failing to...

RESEARCH

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A New Capitalisn’t Episode

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LATEST

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,...

In FTC vs. Facebook, the Government Lost the First Round. It Could Still Win the Fight.

Despite some compelling allegations, a federal judge dismissed the FTC's antitrust complaint against Facebook due to the agency’s failure to explain how...

“This Isn’t the Kind of Journalism That Serves Democracy Best”: How Place and Privilege Came to Define American News

In an interview with ProMarket, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor Nikki Usher discusses how news in the US came to be...

The Incoming Currency War

Four powerful forces—cryptocurrencies, the decoupling of geographical and monetary boundaries, ad-based digital platforms’ foray into the world of payments, and the value...

Should Google Still be Allowed to Crown the Kings in Digital Markets?

Google search is continuously evolving into a full service provider, directly selecting and presenting the information that we are looking for. At...

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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.

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...

More Than 20 Years of Consolidation Have Led to a Dysfunctional Health Care Market

The US health care system is based on markets, which do not function as well as they could, or should. Prices are...

Invigorating Competition in Health Care Markets: Is Rate Regulation Needed?

It now appears that market concentration may be the leading cause of America’s health care cost crisis. If the United States is...

Opening the Black Box: The Hidden Costs of Data-Driven Mergers in Health Care

Vertical data-driven mergers between health insurers and drug suppliers may facilitate health insurers’ efforts to discriminate against vulnerable populations, leaving them without...

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.

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...

George Stigler and the Challenge of Democracy

We are all victims of what George Stigler described as “the pervasive use of state support of special groups” and of governance...

Let’s Not Forget George Stigler’s Lessons about Regulatory Capture

George Stigler’s theory of economic regulation opened our eyes to the rent-seeking that undermines the public interest. Yet many in positions to...

George Stigler’s Paper on Regulation and the Rise of Political Economy

George Stigler’s “The Theory of Economic Regulation” is not just the founding paper of economics of regulation. It is also a founding...

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...

Credit Ratings: What Are They Good For?

The financial crisis of 2008–10 revealed that ratings are imperfect and potentially biased measures of credit risk. Analyzing a large number of mutual fund...

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.