Commentary

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...

Esther Duflo: How to Find the Right Questions

In this piece, originally published in 2011 by the American Economic Association's Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, Esther Duflo, co-recipient of...

With the US and China, Two Types of Capitalism Are Competing With Each Other

Capitalism’s global victory has been achieved through two different types of capitalist systems: the liberal meritocratic capitalism that has developed incrementally in the West,...

Standard Oil and Antitrust: the Effects of Aaron Director's Socratic Method

Aaron Director, who died 15 years ago, made important contributions to the analysis of business practices. None were ever published under his name. Professor...

Aaron Director’s Legacy: The Beginning of Doubt is the Beginning of Wisdom

Aaron Director died 15 years ago. He published almost nothing, but his ideas influenced a generation of economists and intellectuals. Professor Stephen Stigler remembers...

What Bernie Sanders’s Plan to Save American Journalism Gets Right – and What It Misses

Independent and effective news reporting is at the heart of the democratic process. The dangers to media plurality and local journalism that Sanders identifies...

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Rethinking Competition: From Market Failures to Ecosystem Failures

Despite the overwhelming importance of digital platforms, and the chatter around their recent rise, our understanding of digital ecosystems is still limited....

A Famed Economist’s Public Company U-Turn

Michael Jensen, a leading late 20th century economist, pivoted from praising public companies in the 1970s to assailing public company governance in...

Chinese Antitrust 2.0: Why Is China Going After Its Big Tech?

In an interview with ProMarket, Angela Huyue Zhang, author of a new book Chinese Antitrust Exceptionalism, discusses the motivations behind the recent...

Preventing Drug Shortages and Saving Lives: The Role of Quality and Reliability Standards

Prescription drug shortages have become more common in recent years, interrupting usual medical care and increasing patient risk and system costs, but...

Facebook Break-up Can Be Feasible, Efficient, and Ultimately Beneficial to Consumers

Is the relief sought by the FTC in its case against Facebook the right way to go? In principle, yes. However, the...

A Simple Way to Measure Tipping in Digital Markets

Digital markets are prone to “tipping.” Policymakers are starting to look at tipping as a market failure worthy of consideration. But as...

The Most Famous Article on the Theory of the Firm is Widely Misunderstood

Michael Jensen and William Meckling’s famous 1976 Journal of Financial Economics article has been cited nearly 100,000 times and is often regarded...