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)

How Interest Groups Utilize Reverse Revolving Doors to Influence Legislative Voting

A new study finds that legislators who worked for interest groups before taking office influence the voting behavior of their colleagues when...

Unreliable Accounts: How Regulators Fabricate Conceptual Narratives to Diffuse Criticism

In 2010, as the world was reeling from the global financial crisis, the body that determines generally accepted accounting principles for listed...

The Future of Money: The Case for Central Bank Digital Currencies

"Money as we know it stands at the threshold of yet another major transformation in its long and storied history," writes Eswar...

Missing the Forest for the Trees: A Reply to Hovenkamp and Shapiro

The Federal Trade Commission’s now-abandoned 2020 Vertical Merger Guidelines were not some ideal economic document that the FTC foolishly disregarded; rather, they...

How Will the FTC Evaluate Vertical Mergers?

The Federal Trade Commission’s recent withdrawal of its 2020 vertical merger guidelines is flatly incorrect as a matter of microeconomic theory and...

Announcing the Participants in the Fall 2021 Stigler Center Journalists in Residence Program

This month, the Stigler Center will welcome eight world-class journalists from the United Kingdom, Brazil, China, Romania, Ukraine, Slovenia, and the United...

The Roots of America’s Competition Revolution

Proponents of the current transformation in America’s competition policy managed to shape legislative reform proposals, push public antitrust agencies to boost enforcement, and successfully...

A New Browser Extension Aims to Bring Transparency to Big Tech Funding

As Congress prepares to debate a series of new antitrust bills​, the​ Big Tech Funding browser extension encourages lawmakers to be mindful...

What Are They Hiding? What Firms Don’t Want Us to Know About Their Economic Development Incentives

State and local governments offer firms all kinds of incentives in hopes of spurring local economic development. New research finds that a...

Two Years After the Business Roundtable Statement: Pointing in the Right Direction

The 2019 Business Roundtable statement was a welcome break from the position that the nation’s top corporate CEOs took in 1997, when...

Latest news

How to Make the Market for Real Estate Agents More Competitive

Delinking buyer and seller commissions will make markets for real estate agent services more competitive, allowing buyers and sellers to negotiate commissions...

Dislocation, Dislocation, Dislocation: Covid, the Retail Crisis, and REITs

In an excerpt from his new book Retail Recovery, retail expert and author Mark Pilkington explores the impact of the sector's decline...

Addressing Climate Change Must Begin with Verifiable Carbon Accounting

Robert Kaplan and Karthik Ramanna propose a new approach for verifiable accounting on indirect corporate emissions that would apply to all corporations,...

The FTC Was Correct to Withdraw the Vertical Merger Guidelines

The 2020 Vertical Merger Guidelines, now withdrawn by the FTC, did not represent sound merger policy, argues Steven Salop; rather, they were...

The Chicago Planning Program and the Interdisciplinary Tradition of the Chicago School

The Chicago Planning Program, an interdisciplinary program that operated at the University of Chicago between 1947 and 1956, is an often-neglected part...

Why a “Whole-of-Government” Approach is the Solution to Antitrust’s Current Labor Problem

For the majority of America’s regulatory history, the problem of employer monopsony was understood as a competition policy issue that required direct...

Antitrust Law’s Unwritten Rules of Unfair Competition

Does the Sherman Act actually “protect competition, not competitors”? An examination of the case law reveals a more nuanced picture, in which...