Can Credit Tightening Spur Social Unrest? Evidence from 1930s China

In 1933 the United States launched its Silver Purchase program, which raised silver prices worldwide, drained China’s silver stock, and caused credit to Chinese firms to contract sharply. In a new paper, economists at Tilburg and Bocconi universities use the incident as a natural experiment to examine whether economic shocks can trigger labor unrest and boost support for fringe political parties.  

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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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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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Do Firms Use Capital and Labor Efficiently? Evidence and Implications of Resource Misallocation

Economists have for a decade or so theorized that moving productive inputs like labor and capital into the firms that make the best use of them is a prime engine of economic growth. But measuring how well this allocation is taking place across economies is a daunting empirical task. Nonetheless, a new Stigler Center working paper by Lenzu and Manaresi tries to do precisely that.  

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To Help Workers Adjust to Technological Change, First Pinpoint Where It Is Happening

Changes in technology clearly affect people in different sectors and occupations differently, but providing adequate policy support to workers trying to adjust to these changes requires a better understanding of the level at which productivity growth is happening in the economy. Here, the researchers find that, in the United States, the vast majority of that growth has happened at the occupational and sector-occupational level.  

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