One of the most respected economists of his generation, Harvard professor Alberto Alesina suddenly died at 63. His friend and colleague Guido Tabellini recalls how Alesina changed the way scholars study the interactions between politics and economics. I met Alberto Alesina for the first time at Bocconi University, when he was writing his undergraduate thesis on inflation and asset price indexation. I still recall his happy smile the...

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Bethany McLean’s Weekend Reading List: Free Money, Hospitals, and Private Equity Firms

Corruption, lobbying, corporate malfeasance, and frauds: a weekly unconventional selection of must-read...

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A New Capitalisn’t Episode

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READING LIST

Starting in 2004, a small number of intercontinental carriers recaptured control of industry oversight in Washington and Brussels, reversed thirty years of successful pro-consumer and pro-competitive aviation policies, and converted the world’s most important markets from robust competition to a permanent oligopoly/cartel of Too Big To Fail airlines. That consolidation movement undermined many of the mechanisms that had allowed the industry to restructure after past crises, and it is difficult to see how those mechanisms could rapidly be restored in order to help cope with today’s Coronavirus much larger crisis.

How Airline Alliances Convinced Regulators That Collusion Reduces Prices

The Department of Transportation granted antitrust immunity to Atlantic alliances that reduced competition on the basis of a single paper written by...

How Alliances Carriers Established a Permanent Cartel

American carriers faced the post 9/11 demand shock, while the European intercontinental flag carriers were facing increased competition in the Middle East...

The Airline Industry’s Post-2004 Consolidation Reversed 30 Years of Successful Pro-Consumer Policies

A small number of intercontinental carriers recaptured control of industry oversight in Washington and Brussels to convert the world’s most important markets...

Why Consolidation Undermined the Airline Industry’s Ability to Recover from the Coronavirus Crisis

A major factor contributing to the industry’s struggles during the current crisis was the loss of resiliency due to the consolidation...

Why Social Distancing Measures Seem Less Effective in the US

Guidelines assume that the less people move around, the less likely they are to be in contact. However, phone location data show...

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 Covid-19 with leading academics and experts, we hosted a discussion between Piketty and Chicago Booth professor Robert H. Topel. The discussion was moderated by the Financial Times’ US national editor and columnist Edward Luce. Watch it here. Six years after Capital in the Twenty-First Century made...

The Price of Democracy: a Webinar with Julia Cagé, Andrea Prat, and Guy Rolnik

At this trying time, there is a particularly high demand for reliable and trustworthy information. To address this demand by Booth students, alumni, faculty, the University, and the greater community, the Stigler Center has developed the Political Economy of...

Webinar: Covid-19 and the US Health Care System

Political Economy of Covid-19 Series: Watch a Stigler Center conversation between author, journalist, and former health insurance executive Wendell Potter and Chicago Booth professor Neale Mahoney on the impact of the crisis and its implications for the future...

Investing in Quality Early Childcare Is Good for Vulnerable Kids—and Good Economics, Too


Early childcare can be a major contributor to eliminating inequality of opportunity and even lay the foundations for a more productive workforce in the...

COLUMNS

Amazon-Owned Movie Theaters: the Next Step in Entertainment Industry Consolidation

Amazon is in talks to buy AMC Theaters, whose business model was jeopardized by the coronavirus pandemic. Other streaming companies, such as...

Bethany McLean’s Weekend Reading List: Contact Tracing, Debt, and the Oil Crash

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

Here’s How Covid-19 Is Boosting Monopolization and Market Power

Monopolization and consolidation can happen for what seem to be good, or least necessary, reasons. How we respond as a society depends...

Bethany McLean’s Weekend Reading List: Fracking, Private Equity, and Hospitals

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

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Launching the New, Improved ProMarket

We are very excited to present to you our new design for ProMarket. In addition to our usual mix of articles based...

After the Lockdown: Italian Consumers Are Cautious About Returning to Normal

The effects of reopening commercial and recreational activities depend not only on legislative provisions but also on the propensity of consumers to...

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...

How Benjamin Netanyahu Used the Covid-19 Crisis to Save His Political Career

As countries around the world are waging war on the coronavirus, Israel’s prime minister has managed to leverage the crisis to gain more power...

A New Capitalisn’t Episode: Should States Be Allowed to File for Bankruptcy? A Reading List

States are facing massive shortfalls due to the coronavirus outbreak. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested letting states file for bankruptcy....

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...

Political Economy of Covid-19: Surveillance and the Future of Privacy

Join the Stigler Center on Monday, May 11, for a conversation with The Markup’s editor-in-chief Julia Angwin and University of Chicago Law professor...

ALSO READ

Piketty on the Covid-19 Crisis: “It Is High Time to Use This Opportunity to Counter the Dominant Ideology and Significantly Reduce Inequality”

In an interview with ProMarket, Thomas Piketty speaks about his new book, the role of ideology as a driver of inequality, and...

Who Is to Blame for the 2008 Financial Crisis?

The IGM Center at the University of Chicago has asked its American and European economist panel to rate the main causes of the financial...

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...

The World After Covid-19: Inequality Within Rich Countries Will Increase, Globalization Will Reverse, Politics Will Remain Turbulent

The negative effects of the crisis on growth will be very strong. But it will not affect everyone in the same way. If the...

Congress Can Move Now to Stop Amazon’s Cloning Factory. Here’s How

If there was any doubt that online marketplaces should be considered a separate market before the coronavirus wiped out brick-and-mortar retail,...

Captured Western Governments Are Failing the Coronavirus Test

In deciding on possible countermeasures, residents of Western democracies often hear only two opposite perspectives: Is the priority to minimize the loss of human...

The Cantillon Effect: Why Wall Street Gets a Bailout and You Don’t

According to the 18th-century French banker and philosopher Richard Cantillon, who benefits when the state prints money is based on its institutional setup. In...