Rent seeking

Perverse Market Incentives Encourage High Prescription Drug Prices

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are the under-discussed market participants who manage prescription drug insurance for the vast majority of Americans. PBMs claim to be a lone...

UN Study Warns: Growing Economic Concentration Leads to “Rentier Capitalism”

A new study by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development argues: The “endemic rent-seeking that stems from market concentration, heightened corporate power,...

Of Computers and Cronyism: What’s the Cause of Italy’s Productivity Problem?

The latest Stigler Center working paper from Bruno Pellegrino and Luigi Zingales argues that Italy’s sclerotic TFP growth over the past two decades has...

Intellectual Property Laws: Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

The excesses of IP law are now a serious obstacle to innovation and economic growth. In the rogues’ gallery of regulatory rent-seeking, copyright and patent...

"The Blockchain Is Going to Revolutionize Central Banking and Monetary Policy"

Will governments start using central banks to issue sovereign currency on blockchains? And if so, will that be the end of the fractional reserve...

Blockchains and Corporate Finance: “In a Blockchain Market, Shareholder Activists Might Play Much Less of a Role”

Will blockchain technology lead to less shareholder activism and higher executive compensation? Watch David Yermack’s full Stigler Center lecture on the potential implications of blockchain...

"I Expect That Within the Next 10 Years, Probably Half of the Banks Will be Gone”

Watch David Yermack's full Stigler Center lecture on the potential implications of blockchain technology for the future of finance. First part of a three-part series.  In...

Is There a Connection Between Market Concentration and the Rise in Inequality?

A Stigler Center panel debates: Is rising inequality connected to monopolies, rent-seeking, and concentration? The rise in wealth and income inequality has been at the forefront of...

Worried About Concentration? Then Worry About Rent-Seeking

Rent-seeking is a, if not the, mother of excess market power. The apparent increase in U.S. industrial concentration has raised growing concerns about weakening competition...

Does Regulation Build Trust or Entrench Cliques? Lessons From Merchant Guilds and the Taxi Industry

Close-knit networks, like guilds and taxi associations, are helpful in enhancing trust and reliability. Yet they can also become exclusive and rent-seeking. Last May,...

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The Aristocracy of Talent: Business Intelligence

In the following excerpt from his new book, The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World, Adrian Wooldridge traces "how universities...

Why Privacy Experts Need a Place at the Antitrust Table

Antitrust enforcers have tended to stay narrowly “in their lane,” failing to engage with how data is collected and used by digital...

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...

“Old Chicago” and Freiburg: Why Ordoliberalism Was No “German Oddity”

Both the Chicago and Freiburg schools faced systemic fragility as the crucial property of societal orders. It was this fragility that served...

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...

Why the FTC Should Consider Size in Drug Mergers

Large pharmaceutical firms retain their dominance through size-related advantages in three areas: contracting, marketing and selling, and financing. When reviewing pharmaceutical mergers,...

In FTC vs. Facebook, the Government Lost the First Round. It Could Still Win the Fight.

Despite some compelling allegations, a federal judge dismissed the FTC's antitrust complaint against Facebook due to the agency’s failure to explain how...