The Most Persistent of All Zombie Ideas: That Taxing the Wealthy Is Destructive to the Economy

Economics can’t tell you what values to have. It can, however, shed light on what to expect from policy that reflects any particular set of values, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman argues in his new book. Values, not rational ideas, polarized US politics: opponents of a larger role for government think that such a role is not just immoral but even destructive. And if the evidence doesn’t agree, they attack both the evidence and those producing it.

Read more

The Trump Administration Attacks the Stigler Report on Digital Platforms

President Trump’s 2020 Economic Report finally confronts the issue of antitrust enforcement both in the traditional economy and in the digital one. While it criticizes the demand for more antitrust enforcement on the ground of insufficient evidence, it dismisses the conclusions of the Stigler Report on a purely a priori argument, ignoring all the evidence contained in the report. 

Read more

The Amazon of Health Care: How CVS Is Evolving From a Drug Store Chain into a Tech Platform

CVS is built on a dominant chain of drug stores, but it is now trying to turn itself into a “uniquely powerful platform” for delivering health care. It uses one part of the supply chain to squeeze competitors in another part of the industry.    

Read more

The World Bank’s “Papergate”: Censorship Is Not the Best Way to Stop Development Aid From Fueling Corruption

A new study of World Bank data finds that aid disbursement to highly aid-dependent countries coincides with sharp increases in bank deposits in offshore financial centers. According to The Economist, the World Bank refused to release the study. Afterward, its chief economist resigned. Here is the full content of the allegedly-censored paper. 

Read more

How Google and Facebook Made Digital Advertising Markets Increasingly Opaque to Protect Their Dominance

According to the British Competition and Markets Authority, barriers to entry are so high that not even Amazon is a real threat to Google and Facebook’s dominance. These practices allow digital platforms to raise prices, while advertisers pass the extra costs to their clients. 

Read more

With the Court Approval of the T-Mobile/Sprint Merger, the Dominant Doctrine in Antitrust Has Jumped the Shark

New York Judge Victor Marrero allowed two major mobile companies to merge in an already concentrated telecom industry, ensuring that prices will rise and service quality will decrease. His decision destroys Robert Bork’s frame that antitrust law is based on economic evidence, revealing Bork-style antitrust as basically just a ruse.

Read more

Can Google Mobilize Its Users to Lobby Elected Officials?

Google has an 87 percent market share in the search business and the potential to mobilize more voters than the Democratic primaries, according to the latest Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index Survey. By profiling its users, Google could identify those who are more keen to respond to its “call to action.”

Read more

Americans Report Record Level of Trust in Banks and Big Corporations, But not in the US Government

2019 Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index increases from 27.6 percent to 33.3 percent, showing the highest level of financial trust from the American public since the Index started in 2008. The percentage of Americans dissatisfied with the current economy dropped from 27.3 percent in 2018 to 24.8 percent in 2019.

Read more

Like Microsoft, but With More Glitter: The Cheerleading Monopoly Problem

Cheerleading is a huge part of American culture. It’s also an expensive sport, especially after a company called Varsity Brands bought the National Cheerleader Association in 2004 and built the perfect monopoly, thanks to acquisitions, vertical integration, and lobbying to prevent regulation.   

Read more

How Allowing a Little Bit of Dissent Helps the Chinese Government Control Social Media

A new study on three major social networks in China finds that tolerating small, relatively free platforms helps the Chinese government maintain sufficiently high market-level censorship in an overall low-pressure environment. However, larger platforms censor more content than small competitors.

Read more
1 2 3 4 5 11