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)

Uncompromisingly Rajan

Most people in power choose nominees without any outside option, because such people are willing to do anything to be reappointed. Raghuram Rajan is...

ProMarket Interview: Alan Blinder on Over-Regulating Financial Markets

In order to get optimal regulation in the financial world, says Alan Blinder, the former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve, one should seek...

Raghuram Rajan Unexpectedly Leaves RBI

In an unexpected move that will likely reverberate throughout India’s political system and financial sector, Rajan announced he will not seek a second term...

“If Uber Was a Government Program, There Would be Parades Thrown”: David Plouffe on Uber, Regulation, and Disruption

Uber’s chief advisor in a conversation with Chicago Booth professor Guy Rolnik: “We’re called a disruptive company—I think it’s more accurate to call us...

The Attacks on RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan: Lessons from Stanley Fischer as a Central Banker

India and Israel show that fighting crony capitalism in countries where a small group of people has huge political and financial influence is sometimes...

RBI Governor Rajan’s Fight Against Crony Capitalism

The Governor of India’s Central Bank, Raghuram Rajan, is attacked for fighting the inefficiency of the banking system.  In any country in the world, a...

A Moment To Reform Accounting Rulemaking?

The European Parliament is due to formally adopt a cross-party report that is strongly critical of accounting standard-setting institutions, in particular the International Accounting...

Intergenerational Mobility, Guilds and Income in the Very Long Run

New paper compares tax records for family dynasties in Florence in 1427 and 2011, and finds that the top earners of the present day...

ProMarket Interview: “The Lobbyists and the Regulators Were Really, Socially and Culturally, the Same People”

University of Connecticut’s law professor James Kwak explains the mechanisms that drive cultural capture, and why he think it is less prevalent today. In his...

ProMarket Interviews Bo Rothstein, Part II: On Strong Markets and Quality Government

In the second part of ProMarket's interview with Bo Rothstein, the Swedish political scientist discusses corruption, social trust and unions. After decades in which the...

Latest news

The Fall of American Manufacturing and the Rise of Health Care

In an excerpt from his new book The Next Shift, University of Chicago historian Gabriel Winant explores how deindustrialization and the decline...

Antitrust and the FTC: Franchise Restraints on Worker Mobility

As currently formulated, antitrust’s rule of reason approach is not the best tool to deal with vertical noncompete agreements that limit worker...

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...