Academic Capture

The Best Political Economy Books of 2019

A history of American antimonopoly, the case against Big Tech, and how Europe got better than the US at free markets: here are (in no...

OxyContin's Academic Marketing: The Studies That Fueled the Opioid Crisis

Purdue Pharmaceuticals used to cite three major studies to argue that in prescribing OxyContin, addiction-risk was not significant. The most influential of those studies...

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...

Uber’s “Academic Research” Program: How to Use Famous Economists to Spread Corporate Narratives

Uber's employees co-authored academic papers with brand name scholars that were then used to back the company's PR and lobbying strategy. Published in respected...

The Uber Bubble: Why Is a Company That Lost $20 Billion Claimed to Be Successful?

In the first of three interrelated articles, transportation consultant Hubert Horan discusses Uber's "uncompetitive economics." There is no real innovation in the company's business...

Political Economy, Blind Spots, and a Challenge to Academics

Anat Admati calls on economists and academics to engage with governance and political economy issues, scrutinize models before applying them to the real world,...

The Harvard Admission Lawsuit Decision Does Not Answer the Main Question: What Are Top Universities For?

A judge ruled this month that Harvard does not discriminate against Asian-American applicants, according to its own criteria. But what kind of students do...

Economics’ Lack of Interest in Gender Proves: the “Dismal Science” Really Is Dismal


Economists are still in the dark about the role of gender. For economics to be credible, we have to recognize that our knowledge is...

Uber and the Sherlock Holmes Principle: How Control of Data Can Lead to Biased Academic Research

How can we ensure that academic journals do not become an unintended instrument in the PR efforts of powerful firms? Luigi Zingales offers some...

Aaron Director and the Empirical Foundation for the Chicago Attitude on Antitrust

Empirical evidence, not just disembodied theory, was an important building block of Director’s view that competition could defeat concentration, writes Daniel Kuehn. Editor's note: Aaron...

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What Comes Next for Economic Policies to Combat Covid-19? A Conversation Between Six Booth Faculty

As the Covid-19 crisis evolves from a temporary shock into what seems like a long-term catastrophe, six finance scholars from Chicago Booth—Douglas...

A New Stigler Center Case Study Explores the Link Between Italy’s Morandi Bridge Disaster and Crony Capitalism

Two years ago, the Morandi bridge collapse claimed 43 lives. Based on financial statements, Italian government documents, and interviews with independent experts...

Few Bad Apples? New Study Finds That 40 Percent of Officers in a Large Police Force Are Discriminatory

A new paper seeks to examine whether police misbehavior is concentrated or diffuse by identifying whether highway patrol officers in Florida are...

Bethany McLean’s Weekend Reading List: Wirecard, Shale Oil, and the Fall of Chuck E. Cheese

Corruption, lobbying, corporate malfeasance, and frauds: a weekly unconventional selection of must-read articles by investigative journalist Bethany McLean. 

Should Small Businesses Consider Bankruptcy? A New Capitalisn’t Reading List

The coronavirus has taken a heavy toll on most businesses, but it has been especially hard on small businesses. Should those businesses...

The Pandemic Has Revealed America’s Impatience. But America Will Need Patience in the 2020 Election

The proliferation of mail-in voting is likely to make knowing who won the election take much longer than Americans are used to....

Regulators Turn Their Attention Towards Apple’s Exploitation of App Developers. Now What?

Congress could level the playing field for independent app developers by looking to regulatory templates in music.