Economic History Series

Harold Demsetz and Israel Kirzner Understood That Competition Regulates Markets

Economists Harold Demsetz and Israel Kirzner challenged the prevailing orthodoxy in microeconomic analysis and public policy beginning with their respective work in...

How Protests Against the Jim Crow Credit Market Changed the Civil Rights Movement

Before the civil rights movement captured the nation’s attention, activists and community groups were protesting against exploitative credit and exclusionary lending practices...

How a Wave of Corporate Takeovers Ushered In the Gospel of Shareholder Value

In an excerpt from his new book, Ages of American Capitalism, economic historian Jonathan Levy explains how "financiers blew up the postwar...

Iowa’s “Butter-Margarine War”: T. W. Schultz’s Fight for Academic Freedom

During the Second World War, economists at Iowa State College published a pamphlet titled “Putting Dairying on a War Footing,” which would...

James M. Buchanan Trusted Market Mechanisms Because He Trusted Individuals

James Buchanan, one of the most influential economists of the twentieth century, believed that individuals were able to voluntarily devise private and...

What Stakeholder Capitalism Can Learn From Jensen and Meckling

Jensen and Meckling’s 1976 article is an academic classic, but heavily criticized by stakeholder capitalists for arguing that corporate structures should be...

An Unusual History: A Conversation Between Two Economists About the Economics Department at the University of Chicago

In conversation with Sebastian Edwards, Arnold C. Harberger reflects on his time at the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago.

Why We Need To Re-think Friedman’s Ideas About Monopolies

Friedman’s New York Times Magazine article on the social purpose of business was a specific intervention in the debate over shareholder activism...

Are Intellectual Property Rights Neoliberal? Yes and No

Today’s global IP regime is often described by critical scholars bluntly as “neoliberal.” But in fact, the topic of intellectual property rights...

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...

Latest news

George Stigler on Henry Simons, “Crown Prince” of the Chicago School

To mark 75 years since the passing of Henry Simons, professor of Economics and Law at the University of Chicago, ProMarket is...

Electoral College Reform: New Problems or Real Solutions?

Each electoral system creates specific incentives to (mis)allocate government resources. Would putting the National Popular Vote (NPV) in lieu of the Electoral...

When Do Users Benefit From Platform Mergers?

A new paper shows that platform mergers can harness network effects at the cost of reducing the platform differentiation that users value. 

Harold Demsetz and Israel Kirzner Understood That Competition Regulates Markets

Economists Harold Demsetz and Israel Kirzner challenged the prevailing orthodoxy in microeconomic analysis and public policy beginning with their respective work in...

The Covid-19 Pandemic Should Not Delay Actions to Prevent Anticompetitive Consolidation in US Health Care Markets

Harvard Business School professor Leemore Dafny lays out potential reforms to assist agencies in halting anticompetitive acquisitions and practices, and to preserve...

Who Benefits From Competitive State-Level Legislatures?

A new paper finds that when interparty competition in state legislatures is high, well-connected and influential incumbent firms are best able to...

No More “Mystery Meat”: Why We Need Better Corporate Governance Data

Three decades of finance, economics, and legal studies in corporate governance have been built substantially on data sets with nearly unknown provenance....