Should We Let Facebook Decide the Next President of the United States?

Facebook admitted that only a binding regulation on political ads could prevent private corporations from influencing the outcome of US presidential elections. Without such regulation, digital platforms can favor a candidate by altering (or maintaining) their policies on digital advertising. Trump’s campaign was much more effective than Clinton’s in using micro-targeting to shape voters’ preferences in 2016, a new study shows. Facebook decided to confirm the same policies for the 2020 election.  

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Who Benefits When State Governments Award Incentives to Politically-Connected Companies?

A new study finds that a company is nearly four times more likely to receive an economic incentive in a state where the company makes political contributions to state-level candidates. The results also show that awarding economic incentives to politically-connected firms is not the most effective use of taxpayer funds. 

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Western Multinationals Can Improve Workers’ Safety, If They Want to: The Case of Bangladesh

In 2013, one of the largest factories in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,134 workers. Many multinationals committed to improving safety standards. A new study shows that Western corporations can improve labor standards in developing countries, without harming their competitiveness. The result is even more compelling because the study is co-funded by multinationals.  

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The Reality of Inequality and Its Perception: Chile’s Paradox Explained

While conventional indicators show a significant decline in inequality, the perception among Chile’s citizens is that inequality has greatly increased. The development model Chile followed since the 1980s was successful in generating growth and reducing poverty. But it did not function properly in a middle-income country.  

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High-Priced Acquisitions of Tech Startups Do Not Always Stimulate More Innovation

What seems to be a big reward to innovation ultimately reduces the incentive to innovate, argues a new Stigler Center working paper by Krishna Kamepalli, Raghuram Rajan, and Luigi Zingales. Their analysis of Google and Facebook’s acquisitions shows that “It is dangerous to apply twentieth-century economic intuitions to twenty-first-century economic problems.”  

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