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Indecent Proposals in Economics: The Moral Problem With Randomized Trial Experiments

The advent of field Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) has made it more acceptable for applied economists to collect data in developing countries....

Capital and Ideology: a Webinar With Thomas Piketty, Robert Topel, and Edward Luce

As part of the Stigler Center’s Political Economy of Covid-19 Series of online programming, which explores the economic and political implications of...

Much of Antitrust Law Today Is Based on Unsupported or Demonstrably False Economic Theories. Will Economists Take Heed?

Many of the economic assumptions of contemporary antitrust law are unsupported or false, as the executive branch and judiciary have remade the...

The Childcare Barriers to Putting America Back to Work

Substantial fractions of the US labor force have children at home and will likely face obstacles in returning to work if childcare...

The Paycheck Protection Program, Meant to Prevent Mass Layoffs, Missed Its Target

A new study shows that CARES Act funds to support small companies and prevent mass layoffs did not flow to areas more...

How Inequality Hurts the Economy and Complicates Policy Responses to the Pandemic

In the years leading up to the pandemic, rising inequality created a saving glut of the rich which pushed down interest rates...

Economic Crisis and Poverty Might Kill More People Than the Coronavirus

Saving lives is the priority. Doing so depends on a delicate balance between health, economic, and social variables. But, above all, it depends on a population that trusts that these measures seek the common good, not the interest of a few.

How to Save 40 percent of the Payroll Protection Program’s Costs

Thanks to the loan program part of the CARES Act, small businesses can receive up to 2.5 times their monthly payroll, regardless of how much...

The Coronavirus Crisis Has Exposed Private Equity’s Unsustainable Business Model

Private equity portfolio companies are heavily indebted, and they aren’t generating enough cash to service debts. The steady increase in asset values...

Inequality Has Increased Far Less Than You Think (If You Consider Social Security Benefits)

In the United States, Social Security accounts for nearly 60 percent of the total wealth of the bottom 90 percent. Once Social Security is...

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President-Elect Joe Biden and the Real Lessons of DuPont

Simply talking corporate America into being more responsible is not enough. It may get corporations to talk the talk, but not to...

How Companies Spin Off Environmental Liabilities to Avoid Legal Obligations

Environmental externalities are vexing for corporate decision makers, but some companies have figured out a way to deal with them: a spinoff....

How Pfizer’s Vaccine Announcement Demonstrates the Political Power of Firms

By timing the disclosure of the results of its vaccine trial, Pfizer could have influenced the 2020 presidential election. This is worrisome...

The Useful Distraction of Section 230

How the red-herring of a politicized Section 230 and “conservative censorship” distracts from a bipartisan national privacy act.

Institution Man: How Corporations Came to Dominate the US Economy

In the first chapter of his book Transaction Man, Nicholas Lemann explores how Adolf Berle, author of The Modern Corporation and Private...

Kicking Around Section 230: Don’t Confuse Politics and Policymaking

Congressional hearings may make for good TV and viral social media posts, but reforming Section 230 would be more difficult than it...

Big Tech Platforms and Schumpeter’s Creative Destruction

Schumpeter’s indirect entry theory fits the average tendencies of competition in digital industries. When the model is added to standard assumptions and...