Regulatory Capture

Assessing George Stigler’s Economic Theory of Regulation

Despite its flaws and limitations, Stigler’s seminal article on the theory of economic regulation remains an important piece of scholarship worthy of...

The Many Faces of Stigler’s Theory of Economic Regulation: Interest Group Politics Still Thrives—But Industry Often Comes Second

Stigler treats industry groups as the heavyweights in regulatory contests. But surprisingly often groups of farmers and workers knock them for a...

The Incoming Currency War

Four powerful forces—cryptocurrencies, the decoupling of geographical and monetary boundaries, ad-based digital platforms’ foray into the world of payments, and the value...

George Stigler’s Errors and Their Virtues

George Stigler might have been wrong in his essay on economic regulation, but his influence is undeniable. The unity of purpose in...

Fake Comments Cause Real Harm: How the Public Comment Process Was Corrupted

Turning a blind eye to the corruption of the public comment process—or worse, lumping together genuine mass comments with fraudulent comments—corrupts the...

George Stigler and the Challenge of Democracy

We are all victims of what George Stigler described as “the pervasive use of state support of special groups” and of governance...

Let’s Not Forget George Stigler’s Lessons about Regulatory Capture

George Stigler’s theory of economic regulation opened our eyes to the rent-seeking that undermines the public interest. Yet many in positions to...

Barriers to Entry as Another Source of Top Income Inequality

A new book, The Power of Creative Destruction, explores how lobbying contributes to the increase in the top 1 percent’s share of...

Lobbying for Globalization: How the Winners Dominate the Politics of Trade Agreements

Lobbying on free trade agreements has been dominated by a few very large firms, which experience large gains as a result of...

George Stigler’s Paper on Regulation and the Rise of Political Economy

George Stigler’s “The Theory of Economic Regulation” is not just the founding paper of economics of regulation. It is also a founding...

Latest news

How the Rise of Labor Market Power Helps Explain the Fall of US Manufacturing Employment

A new working paper explores the increase in labor market power in the US and what’s driving it. It shows manufacturing workers...

How Manufacturing’s Lobby Won and Lost its Political Influence

What happens when supporting capitalism hurts capitalists? Do business lobbies ever control the economy to the extent we think they do? The...

How Apple Locks Out the Competition with Its Digital Key

Apple’s efforts to dominate the contactless payments market and lock up the “digital key” space pose a profound threat to consumer privacy...

The Dawn of Antitrust and the Egalitarian Roots of the Sherman Act

While it isn’t particularly controversial that concentrated economic power was a legislative target of the Sherman Act, when read as a corollary...

The Varied Ideologies—and Practices—of Socialist Nations in the Developing World

In an excerpt from his new book Ripe for Revolution: Building Socialism in the Third World, Harvard Business School professor Jeremy Friedman...

How Much Can We Trust Index Funds on Climate Change?

According to a theory that is gaining support among academics and practitioners, we should expect index fund managers to undertake the role...

The Ties that Bind Workers to Firms: No-Poach Agreements, Noncompetes, and Other Ways Firms Create and Exercise Labor Market Power

Collusive no-poach agreements are per se illegal, but noncompete clauses are not. Recent research casts doubt on the rationale for this legal...