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)

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Organized Mimicry: Employers Against the Free Market

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Stigler’s Interest-Group Theory of Regulation: A Skeptical Note

As a rule, regulation is not acquired by “the industry,” and it is not designed and operated primarily for its benefit. The...

The Durable Impact of Stigler’s Theory of Economic Regulation

George Stigler’s “The Theory of Economic Regulation” was an early application of public choice reasoning to a practical problem—the work of regulatory...

Economic Regulation After George Stigler

George Stigler’s “The Theory of Economic Regulation” has left a lasting impact on the academic and real-world practice of regulatory policy. Fifty...

Rethinking Competition: From Market Failures to Ecosystem Failures

Despite the overwhelming importance of digital platforms, and the chatter around their recent rise, our understanding of digital ecosystems is still limited....

A Famed Economist’s Public Company U-Turn

Michael Jensen, a leading late 20th century economist, pivoted from praising public companies in the 1970s to assailing public company governance in...

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