What Used Books Can Tell Us about Competition in Online Markets

It is not every day that economists can identify a market where consumers are significantly better off after large price increases. Nonetheless, a new working paper by Ellison and Ellison proposes and substantiates a model of the online market for used books that—thanks to improved buyer-seller matches made possible by new search technologies—finds exactly that.  

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Data Workers of the World, Unite!

With solutions to the threats of digital monopolies currently looking unlikely to come from the state, law and economics scholars Eric Posner and Glen Weyl, authors of the forthcoming book Radical Markets, propose looking to the power of organized labor. A data workers’ (that is, social media users’) labor union, they argue, could help check the offenses of the digital platforms.  

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Former Italian PM and European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti: Why Antitrust Enforcement Is “More Vigorous” in Europe Than in the US

Why is Europe so much more vigorous than the US when it comes to antitrust enforcement? In an interview with ProMarket, Monti, who served as the EU’s Competition Commissioner between 1999 and 2004, offers a possible explanation: American antitrust’s sensitivity to election outcomes and industry lobbying.  

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DOJ Antitrust Chief Makan Delrahim: “American Antitrust Agencies Likely Have Made More Enforcement Mistakes Than Any of Their Foreign Counterparts”

In a keynote address at the Stigler Center’s Antitrust and Competition: Digital Platforms and Concentration conference, the US Department of Justice’s Assistant Attorney General said antitrust enforcers “should be open and receptive to empirical evidence that companies in digital markets may be engaging in predatory pricing or other exclusionary conduct to drive out competition and cause long-run harm to consumers” and said his own thinking on data has changed. 

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The Unprecedented Power of Digital Platforms to Control Opinions and Votes

In Chapter 6 of our Digital Platforms and Concentration conference ebook, a research psychologist who, with a colleague, discovered the search engine manipulation effect (SEME) in 2013—one of the largest behavioral effects ever identified—argues that Google’s search engine may have determined the outcomes of a quarter of the world’s elections in recent years.  

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