Editors’ Briefing: This Week in Political Economy (June 30–July 7)

Scott Pruitt resigns from the EPA; a new report finds that digital platforms are not fully complying with the EU’s new privacy rules; Google, meanwhile, has a new privacy scandal; a month after its acquisition of Time Warner was approved, AT&T is already raising prices for its streaming TV customers; and former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s new career draws criticism.  

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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 an associate, 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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New Study Shows Just How Bad the US Labor Market’s Competition Problem Really Is

In recent decades, antitrust policy has all but ignored the issue of monopsony power. Yet a new paper shows that across the US economy, labor markets are highly concentrated and that this concentration is also correlated to lower wages, suggesting that employers are indeed exercising monopsony power and driving down pay.  

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