Uber’s “Academic Research” Program: How to Use Famous Economists to Spread Corporate Narratives

Uber’s employees co-authored academic papers with brand name scholars that were then used to back the company’s PR and lobbying strategy. Published in respected journals, those articles are based on proprietary data and non-replicable analysis. Moreover, they all don’t discuss the subsidies that make it possible for Uber to pursue market dominance despite its endless losses. 

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The Uber Bubble: Why Is a Company That Lost $20 Billion Claimed to Be Successful?

In the first of three interrelated articles, transportation consultant Hubert Horan discusses Uber’s “uncompetitive economics.” There is no real innovation in the company’s business model, he argues. Its market share is the product of predatory pricing and gigantic subsidies, not of higher productivity.

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High-Priced Acquisitions of Tech Startups Do Not Always Stimulate More Innovation

What seems to be a big reward to innovation ultimately reduces the incentive to innovate, argues a new Stigler Center working paper by Krishna Kamepalli, Raghuram Rajan, and Luigi Zingales. Their analysis of Google and Facebook’s acquisitions shows that “It is dangerous to apply twentieth-century economic intuitions to twenty-first-century economic problems.”  

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Why a New Digital Authority Is Necessary

A recent Washington Post op-ed claimed that creating a digital authority to regulate Big Tech would be a disaster because of high costs and the risk of being captured by regulated companies. Fiona Scott Morton and Luigi Zingales defend the agency proposed by the Stigler Center’s report on digital platforms.   

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How Amazon Rigs Its Shopping Algorithm

For companies that sell on Amazon’s platform, “winning the Buy Box”—the area on the right-hand side of the page that says “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now”—is everything. While Amazon says it’s a neutral arbiter, there is ample evidence that the company has rigged its algorithm to deliver outcomes that further its own interests at the expense of sellers and consumers.  

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