How Allowing a Little Bit of Dissent Helps the Chinese Government Control Social Media

A new study on three major social networks in China finds that tolerating small, relatively free platforms helps the Chinese government maintain sufficiently high market-level censorship in an overall low-pressure environment. However, larger platforms censor more content than small competitors.

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Why an Antimonopoly Movement Is the Kind of Populism That Chile Needs

President Piñera’s approval rating has reached a record low, not just for the Chilean democracy, but for all of South America. The rise of new populist forces seems inevitable, but a Bolsonaro-style leader or a Venezuela-type catastrophe are not the only possible outcomes. It is time to use competition to reduce the power of the elite that rules Chile not as a country, but as a “country club.”

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Biden, Buttigieg, Sanders, Warren: The Real Impact of Democratic Candidates’ Tax Plans

According to UC Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, all of the Democratic candidates’ plans increase tax rates on the rich but to very different degrees: Joe Biden is the most moderate; Sanders’s and Warren’s plans sharply increase progressivity. Overall, the Buttigieg plan raises 3.9 percent of national income extra in taxes, more than Warren (3.2 percent), Sanders (2.6 percent), and Biden (1.5 percent).

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Do Top Economics Journals Hold Female-Authored Papers to Higher Standards?

Articles written by male economists are cited less than articles published by women in the same journals, a new study on gender and quality in economics finds. The authors also find that men’s citations rise when they co-author with women, and that women’s citations fall while they co-author with men, conditional on acceptance.  

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Data-Driven Ideology: The Problem With Economists’ Takeover of Policymaking

According to New York Times journalist Binyamin Appelbaum’s recent book The Economists’ Hour, economics is not the unbiased science that it pretends to be, but a useful tool that politicians have used in class warfare for the last forty years on behalf of the elite. However, his entertaining narrative raises some questions. The Stigler Center will host an event with Appelbaum on January 28. 

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How Do Members of Congress React to the Potential of Lucrative Private Sector Employment?

Many fear that the potential for well-paid post-elective jobs can make legislators give rewards to their future employers. A new study finds that career prospects in the private sector do induce legislators to leave office and that US senators become more moderate before they voluntarily leave office through the revolving door. They also become more productive and more aligned with the priorities of special interest groups.   

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“We Were Naïve,” Says FCC Chair Who Oversaw the Creation of Section 230

In an interview with ProMarket, former FCC chair Reed Hundt spoke about antitrust, Big Tech platforms, the future of the 1996 provision that provided legal protection to social media companies from liability for harmful content, and Facebook. “Mark Zuckerberg, god bless him, who is a smart but really lucky guy, should not be surprised that people want to break up his company.”  

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Emmanuel Saez: Saying Inequality Has Not Increased in the US “the Equivalent of Being a Climate Change Denier”

In an interview with ProMarket ahead of his upcoming Stigler Center visit this week, UC Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez discussed the impact of the 2017 Trump tax cuts, the disproportionate political power of the super-rich, and whether he agrees with Bernie Sanders that billionaires shouldn’t exist.  

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