Rent seeking

Nobel Laureates: Eliminating Rent Seeking and Tougher Antitrust Enforcement Are Critical to Reducing Inequality

Angus Deaton: "A lot of the inequality in the U.S. comes from rent seeking. It comes from firms and industry seeking special protection or...

The Trump Tax

Will Donald Trump follow through on his populist campaign promises? The stock market can tell us a lot about the President-elect's economic policies.  President-elect Donald Trump broke...

One Happy Byproduct of 2016: An Overdue Tax Policy Debate

Rich people are much richer than they used to be in large part because they pay much less tax than they used to. This—not...

(God Knows) Wall Street Isn’t Perfect, But It Has Helped Make the World A Lot Better Off

If the criticisms against Wall Street had been accurate, the U.S. corporate sector today would be ailing. Instead, corporate profits are at historical highs...

Does Wall Street Do “God’s Work”? Or Even Anything Useful?

Bank executives frequently proclaim that Wall Street is vital to the nation’s economy and performs socially valuable services by raising capital, providing liquidity to...

Rents and the High Cost of High Finance: Q&A with Gerald Epstein

New study estimates that the total costs of America’s flawed financial system–rents, misallocation costs, and the costs of the 2008 crisis–will add up to...

Death by Regulation: How Regulations that Once Protected the Taxi Industry Now Threaten its Existence

New study by researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University highlights the need to rethink taxi regulations. “The natural progress of things,” Jefferson...

Political Rents and Profits in Regulated Industries

A new working paper by James Bessen from Boston University finds that much of the rise in corporate profits since 2000 was caused by political...

Market Power and Inequality: How Big Should Antitrust’s Role Be in Reducing Inequality?

Is the rise of wealth inequality in the United States related to a decline in competition? A new paper answers in the affirmative. Is the...

Is More Antitrust the Answer to Rising Wealth Inequality?

University of Michigan professor Daniel Crane: “The story that somehow antitrust law is dead, that it’s been killed, is wrong. It hasn’t. It’s very...

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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...