A new paper shows that platform mergers can harness network effects at the cost of reducing the platform differentiation that users value.  The societal importance of digital platforms is universally recognized, but the economic forces affecting the size of these platforms are still poorly understood. The typical explanation for why digital platforms are so large is that they harness network effects, which occur when the benefit to using a...

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George Stigler and the Challenge of Democracy

We are all victims of what George Stigler described as “the pervasive use of state support of special groups” and of governance...

Invigorating Competition in Health Care Markets: Is Rate Regulation Needed?

It now appears that market concentration may be the leading cause of America’s health care cost crisis. If the United States is...

How a Wave of Corporate Takeovers Ushered In the Gospel of Shareholder Value

In an excerpt from his new book, Ages of American Capitalism, economic historian Jonathan Levy explains how "financiers blew up the postwar...

The Digital Society: “We Live in a World Obsessed With Cost Cutting”

In an interview about his new book, The Inglorious Years, economist Daniel Cohen explores the emergence of the digital society and its...

Fixing a Broken Antitrust Regime

In her new book Antitrust, Senator Amy Klobuchar explains the origins of US antitrust law, diagnoses how the nation got derailed from...

what we're reading

READING LISTS

Late last year, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (along with dozens of states attorneys general) filed landmark antitrust cases against Google and Facebook for anticompetitive tactics. Will these lawsuits succeed? What are the potential consequences? Catch up on ProMarket's coverage of the ongoing antirust cases against Big Tech.

Identifying the Market In the Facebook Antitrust Case

Facebook can be a monopolist over a cluster of noncompeting products that do not fit the standard economic definition of a “market.”...

Facebook Break-up Can Be Feasible, Efficient, and Ultimately Beneficial to Consumers

Is the relief sought by the FTC in its case against Facebook the right way to go? In principle, yes. However, the...

Reviewing Facebook’s Mergers Could Have Negative Ripple Effects

How the pre-merger notification regime came about and why we should be careful about discouraging useful mergers.

The Antitrust Cases Against Facebook And Google: In Search of a Smoking Gun

In the Microsoft antitrust case, Bill Gates’ emails were perhaps the government’s most compelling evidence. Now, as regulators pursue antitrust cases against Facebook...

In November 2020, Joe Biden was elected to be the 46th President of the United States. What will his presidency look like? What issues will his administration tackle? Catch up on ProMarket's coverage of the Biden presidency.

Of Antitrust and Patents: the Quiet Return of the Status Quo at the DOJ’s Antitrust Division

Without Senate-confirmed political leadership, the Department of Justice quietly reverts to an Obama-era policy that favors Big Tech.

Morale At the DOJ’s Antitrust Division Has Plummeted. Here’s How to Fix It

The Biden administration should work to reverse the declining morale since a re-energized Antitrust Division will translate into more effective, innovative enforcement...

What Would Lina Khan’s FTC Nomination Mean For the Future of Antitrust Enforcement?

If confirmed, Khan’s nomination potentially heralds a profound shift in the way that antitrust law is enforced and discussed in the US.

What the Biden DOJ Can Learn From the Clinton and Obama Years on How to Tackle America’s Monopoly Problem 

The Clinton DOJ attacked international cartels. The Obama DOJ prioritized merger enforcement. The Biden DOJ needs to focus on America’s monopoly problem.

Does Market Power Lead to Political Power?

A Stigler Center webinar explores what would be the foundations of a political and economic system that might be more resilient to pressure from powerful interests. Why has traditional antitrust policy been unable to prevent the rise of large politically-powerful firms? Should antitrust enforcers consider the political power of corporations and, if so, what are the benefits and perils of redesigning antitrust to promote political and economic liberty? These...

Market Power and Money in Politics

A Stigler Center webinar explores how businesses lobby and compete for political power and whether mergers and industry concentration affect lobbying.  Firms compete in markets, and markets are affected...

Is There a Problem with Competition?

A Stigler Center webinar explores instances where competition turns toxic, whether antitrust policy needs reform, and potential paths forward. Is there such a thing as too much competition? Can competition...

The Covid-19 Bailout That Big Business Is Lobbying for Could Make America Unrecognizable

Supporting industries is necessary to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic. But using the coronavirus as an excuse, Boeing and other companies are...

COLUMNS

GameStop, the Cantillon Effect, and America’s Corrupt Financial Plumbing

The GameStop frenzy, far from a morality tale of the people showing up Wall Street elites, should show that something is seriously...

How Should We Finance Higher Education If Not Through Student Debt? A New Capitalisn’t Episode

In a new episode of Capitalisn’t, Luigi Zingales and Bethany McLean take a look at the student debt crisis: How did we...

Bethany McLean’s Weekend Reading List: Nursing Homes, the World’s Largest Pension Fund, and Our Make-Believe Economy

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

Bethany McLean’s Weekend Reading List: Wirecard, Women in the Workplace, and Social Safety Nets

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