How Markets in Europe Opened Up as Guild Monopolies Declined in the Sixteenth Century

Markets don’t function well if they are ridden with frictions like lack of information or lack of trust. A new working paper finds that cities in the sixteenth century where monopolies of densely networked merchant guilds declined had significantly higher levels of printing, as they were early adopters of printing technology. Additionally, these cities were found on the Atlantic coast, where traders had the greatest incentives to form new connections with unfamiliar traders.  

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Uber, the Mayor’s Private Email, and the Underground Lobbying Complex

The recent revelations regarding the interactions between Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Uber executive and Obama adviser David Plouffe suggest that the real action in the U.S. lobbying game takes place under the surface. The billions of dollars invested in lobbying every year, and the thousands of registered lobbyists, are only the tip of the influence-peddling iceberg.  

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“In a System with Dominance, There is Built-In Resistance to Change”: ProMarket Interviews Bernard Yeung, Part 2

In the second part of his interview with ProMarket, Bernard Yeung—one of the economists who laid the foundations of scientific research on economic power concentration—discusses free trade, the connection between wealth and power, and why governments may actually prefer markets controlled by dominant players rather than by many competitors.  

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