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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Ohio v. American Express: Clarence Thomas Sets Sail on a Sea of Doubt, and, Mirabile Dictu, It’s Still a Bad Idea

SCOTUS Forum. In the first of a roundtable of op-eds on the Supreme Court’s Amex decision of June 25, Chris Sagers harks back to William Howard Taft’s warning that entertaining defenses of patently anticompetitive behavior would be to “set sail on a sea of doubt.” The Amex decision, writes Sagers, shows Taft was right.  

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Glen Weyl: “The Very Structure of Capitalism Is Inherently Monopolistic”

In an interview with ProMarket, Glen Weyl, co-author of the wildly ambitious (and wildly controversial) new book Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society, talks about antitrust, data as labor, and why he thinks the free market system is not actually free. “The entire business community has been speaking with one voice in the common interest of capital as a class,” he says.  

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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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