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)

The ACCC’s News Media Bargaining Code: Experimenting with “Decentralized Regulation” of Dominant Digital Platforms

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recently proposed a mandatory bargaining code to govern negotiations between digital platforms like Google and Facebook...

Australia’s News Media and Digital Platforms Bargaining Code is Great Politics But Questionable Economics

If the Australian government wants to subsidize high-quality journalism then it should, well, subsidize high-quality journalism. The new proposed ACCC code would...

Bethany McLean’s Weekend Reading List: Wirecard, Covid-Overwhelmed Hospitals, and Plastic

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

Does a CEO Have a Duty to Lobby?

Luigi Zingales: We need not only more disclosure, but also more work in alerting people in general (and students in particular) about the distortive...

Bethany McLean’s Weekend Reading List: Shopify, Distressed Investors, and the Sacklers’ Opioid Fortune

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

Contextualizing the Dispute Between Australia, Facebook, and Google

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's draft news media bargaining code for digital platforms has elicited aggressive responses from both Google and...

Competition in Digital Markets: What Have We Learned So Far?

A new Stigler Center working paper systematically analyzed and summarized 21 reports issued by 17 antitrust authorities and expert panels on the...

Should Whistleblower Reward Laws be Capped?

The SEC is expected to approve a proposed rule change that could limit the amount of awards paid to whistleblowers, despite evidence...

“The Antitrust Doctrine We’ve Seen Over the Last 40 Years Simply Does Not Match the Lived Experience of People”

In an interview with ProMarket, investigative journalist David Dayen discusses the toll that monopoly power takes on the lives of ordinary Americans...

The Economic Costs of Discriminating Against Top Talent: Insights From Nazi Germany

A new study looks at the discrimination of Jewish managers in Germany in the 1930s and shows how the rise of a...

Latest news

The ACCC’s News Media Bargaining Code: Experimenting with “Decentralized Regulation” of Dominant Digital Platforms

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recently proposed a mandatory bargaining code to govern negotiations between digital platforms like Google and Facebook...

Market Forces Already Address ESG Issues and the Issues Raised by Stakeholder Capitalism

Eugene Fama: When do market forces push firms toward stakeholder goals, rather than just shareholder goals? When do market forces push firms...

Capitalisn’t Is Back: Can Economists and Journalists Work Together to Improve Capitalism?

Is capitalism the engine of prosperity, or is it the engine of destruction? On this podcast, we talk about the ways capitalism...

Missing in Today’s Shareholder Value Maximization Credo: The Shareholders

Luca Enriques: Today’s corporate world is very different from the one Milton Friedman wrote in. In a world where the question of...

Australia’s News Media and Digital Platforms Bargaining Code is Great Politics But Questionable Economics

If the Australian government wants to subsidize high-quality journalism then it should, well, subsidize high-quality journalism. The new proposed ACCC code would...

Which Problems Should Companies Try to Solve?

Sanjai Bhagat, R. Glenn Hubbard: It is true that capitalism needs to be inclusive in its benefits, but 50 years on, Friedman’s...

Bethany McLean’s Weekend Reading List: Wirecard, Covid-Overwhelmed Hospitals, and Plastic

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