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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The House’s Big Tech Hearing: Break Ups Large and Small?

Last week’s epic House hearing on online platforms raised many issues, chief among which was the question who gets to operate at...

How Hedge Fund Performance Fees Fail Investors

In the hedge fund industry, there is a material disconnect between funds’ lifetime performance and lifetime incentive fees for managers. A new...

Bethany McLean’s Weekend Reading List: Google, Shale, and Fraudulent Honey

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

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This week’s Congressional hearing produced evidence of anticompetitive conduct that state attorneys general and private enforcers can use to pursue the dominant...

More and More Employers Are Spying on Workers Online. Federal Regulators Are Okay With It

Employers today have numerous tools at their disposal to monitor workers’ behavior and communications. Outdated federal regulations and an administration that prioritizes...

Webinar: Mehrsa Baradaran, Eli Cook, and Luigi Zingales on the Complicated Relationship Between Antimonopoly and Race

Watch a discussion between UC Irvine’s Mehrsa Baradaran, Haifa University’s Eli Cook, and Chicago Booth’s Luigi Zingales on the composition, strengths, and weaknesses of...

Do People Think Finance Benefits Society?

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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,...

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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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