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 SEC's Proposal on Proxy Advisor Regulation Shields CEOs From Accountability to Investors

SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson dissented from his SEC colleagues' proposal on how to reform proxy advisors regulation. New rules, he argues, would introduce a...

A Complicated Villain: Is Elizabeth Warren Right About Private Equity?

In a new episode of their podcast Capitalisn't, Kate Waldock and Luigi Zingales discuss one of the most hated industries of America: private equity. Democratic...

Bethany McLean's Weekend Reading List: the SEC, Tesla, and California's Housing Crisis

Corruption, lobbying, corporate malfeasance, and frauds: a weekly unconventional selection of must-read articles by investigative journalist Bethany McLean.    One of my ongoing obsessions is the...

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...

A Tale of Hubris and Excess: How Uber Fooled Portland Regulators

In an excerpt from his new book "Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber," New York Times reporter Mike Isaac reveals the details of Uber's...

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”...

A Financier Against the Russian Oligarchs: Why Bill Browder Is Putin's Public Enemy No. 1

Bill Browder, Heritage Fund founder and the person behind the Magnitsky Act, will speak at the Stigler Center on November 8. Browder and professor Luigi Zingales...

Bethany McLean's Weekend Reading List: Pension Problems, Funky Accounting, and Elon Musk

Corruption, lobbying, corporate malfeasance, and frauds: a weekly unconventional selection of must-read articles by investigative journalist Bethany McLean    My three picks this week deal with...

The Other Side of Trump's Shadow Diplomacy: After Ukraine, Quid Pro Quo in Italy Too?

The White House asked the Italian government for support in its "investigation on the investigators" to prove the existence of a Democratic plot against...

SolarCity's Troubles Fuel the Religious War Around Tesla's Future and Elon Musk

Musk has been saying for years that his solar business will be similar in size to Tesla’s car business, but this is not likely to...

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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. 

“50 Years Later, It’s Time to Reassess”: Raghuram Rajan on Milton Friedman and Maximizing Shareholder Value

The biggest problem with shareholder value maximization is that it completely turns a tin ear to politics. The alternative is to maximize...

It Is Time to Move on From Friedman’s View of the Corporation

The anti-CSR position defended by Friedman would be acceptable only under conditions that have never been met by any real-world economy. Furthermore,...

Corporations Are Already Plenty Powerful. Stakeholder Capitalism Could Make Them More So

Encouraging corporations to further step into the role of governments and civil society groups by becoming more "socially focused" risks greater depreciation...

The Real Effects of Environmental Activist Investing

A new study examines the efficacy of climate-focused investor engagements initiated by the New York City Pension System. Its findings support the...

For Whom Corporate Leaders Bargained: What the Past Can Teach Us About the Questionable Promise of Implementing Stakeholder Capitalism Today

The debate about stakeholder capitalism should seek to learn from our experience with constituency statutes, which authorized corporate leaders to take into...

The Enduring Wisdom of Milton Friedman

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