Antitrust and Competition

Corporate Governance

The system of formal and informal rules by which a company is governed. Corporate governance shapes more than just a given's company value - it dictates who controls the capital in the economy and so how this capital is being put the use. Corporate governance therefore affects and is affected by the degree of cronyism and rent-seeking in society.

Media

Effective media scrutiny can help mitigate many of the problems that lead to regulatory capture, by helping the polity to become informed and mobilized. But what are the conditions that create effective media scrutiny? And why do we observe so little of it in reality? “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Regulatory Capture

When regulation protects narrow interests – usually the interests of the incumbent industry – at the expense of the public interest. Capture occurs in various ways: from straightforward bribes and threats, to more implicit quid pro quos such as the lucrative future employment (revolving door), to softer forms of cognitive/cultural capture. “... as a rule, regulation is acquired by the industry and is designed and operated primarily for its benefit.” George Stigler - The Theory of Economic Regulation (1971)

Special interest groups

Special interest groups: Groups with preferences that differ from the preferences of the median voter. There is nothing wrong with special interests forming groups per se; the trouble starts when they disproportionally sway policy in their favor. “...the great enemy of democracy is monopoly, in all its forms: gigantic corporations, trade associations and other agencies for price control, trade-union… Effectively organized functional groups possess tremendous power for exploiting the community at large and even sabotaging the system.” Henry Calvert Simons - A Positive Program for Laissez Faire (1934)

George Stigler on Henry Simons, “Crown Prince” of the Chicago School

To mark 75 years since the passing of Henry Simons, professor of Economics and Law at the University of Chicago, ProMarket is...

When Do Users Benefit From Platform Mergers?

A new paper shows that platform mergers can harness network effects at the cost of reducing the platform differentiation that users value. 

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...

Who Benefits From Competitive State-Level Legislatures?

A new paper finds that when interparty competition in state legislatures is high, well-connected and influential incumbent firms are best able to...

No More “Mystery Meat”: Why We Need Better Corporate Governance Data

Three decades of finance, economics, and legal studies in corporate governance have been built substantially on data sets with nearly unknown provenance....

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...

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...

Fixing a Broken Antitrust Regime

In her new book Antitrust, Senator Amy Klobuchar explains the origins of US antitrust law, diagnoses how the nation got derailed from...

The Profit Paradox: “What’s Good for Firms Is Not Necessarily Good for the Workers”

In an interview with ProMarket, Jan Eeckhout discusses his new book The Profit Paradox and explains how market power brings down wages,...

Latest news

George Stigler on Henry Simons, “Crown Prince” of the Chicago School

To mark 75 years since the passing of Henry Simons, professor of Economics and Law at the University of Chicago, ProMarket is...

Electoral College Reform: New Problems or Real Solutions?

Each electoral system creates specific incentives to (mis)allocate government resources. Would putting the National Popular Vote (NPV) in lieu of the Electoral...

When Do Users Benefit From Platform Mergers?

A new paper shows that platform mergers can harness network effects at the cost of reducing the platform differentiation that users value. 

Harold Demsetz and Israel Kirzner Understood That Competition Regulates Markets

Economists Harold Demsetz and Israel Kirzner challenged the prevailing orthodoxy in microeconomic analysis and public policy beginning with their respective work in...

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...

Who Benefits From Competitive State-Level Legislatures?

A new paper finds that when interparty competition in state legislatures is high, well-connected and influential incumbent firms are best able to...

No More “Mystery Meat”: Why We Need Better Corporate Governance Data

Three decades of finance, economics, and legal studies in corporate governance have been built substantially on data sets with nearly unknown provenance....