Three new board members bring political science firepower to advance Stigler’s mission to understand how states and markets interact.
ProMarket, the blog of the Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, has announced the expansion of its editorial board. In advance of the 40th anniversary of the Stigler Center—named for George Stigler, whose groundbreaking research on the economic role of the state helped win him the Nobel prize in 1982—this change adds new analytical resources from political science to probe the issues covered by ProMarket today.
The work of the board’s two new academics, John Matsusaka of the USC Marshall School of Business and Francesco Trebbi of the Vancouver School of Economics at UBC, examines the various spaces in which economics and politics overlap. The expansion is rounded off by the addition of a new senior editor, Samantha Eyler-Driscoll, a specialist in political economy.
The change should help ProMarket refine the political economy lens that characterizes the Stigler Center’s research agenda. ProMarket’s stated goal is to shed light on how special interests organize themselves to block markets from running efficiently. While business has very powerful lobbies, competitive markets do not. The role of publications like ProMarket, then, in the view of its editors, is to provide information on how special interests subvert competition and to create the political demand for a competitive capitalism.
The new board members bring broad academic knowledge and experience to further this interdisciplinary aim. Matsusaka (PhD, University of Chicago, 1991) is an expert on direct democracy and has published widely in economics, finance, political science, and law. Francesco Trebbi (PhD, Harvard University, 2006) has studied the design of political institutions as well as electoral campaigns and campaign finance, housing and banking regulation, and lobbying. Samantha Eyler-Driscoll (MSc, London School of Economics, 2009) has edited for academic publications in the United Kingdom and Colombia since 2010 and written for publications like Foreign Affairs, the New Internationalist, Economy, and others.
The change comes just in advance of the Center’s 40th anniversary and the “Stigler in the 21st Century” conference to be held at Chicago Booth’s Harper Center on November 8–9, 2017. George Stigler was the first of Booth’s eight Nobel prizewinners and a pioneer in the economic analysis of regulation, particularly the concept of regulatory “capture” by special interests. During the November commemorative event academics and intellectuals, including former colleagues and coauthors of Stigler himself, will reflect on Stigler’s legacy and examine current research on how private markets can impact human welfare and legal institutions shape market performance.
Matsusaka, Trebbi, and Eyler-Driscoll join a board comprised up to this point of two academic economists and two economics journalists: Luigi Zingales and Amit Seru, finance professors at Chicago Booth and Stanford Graduate School of Business, respectively, and Guy Rolnik, ProMarket’s former editor-at-large who is now a clinical professor at Chicago Booth, and Asher Schechter, formerly of Haaretz and author of Rothschild: The Story of a Protest Movement.
Disclaimer: The ProMarket blog is dedicated to discussing how competition tends to be subverted by special interests. The posts represent the opinions of their writers, not those of the University of Chicago, the Booth School of Business, or its faculty. For more information, please visit ProMarket Blog Policy.