Jonathan Kanter, Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, recently gave a speech condemning the use of the consumer welfare standard in antitrust cases. While current application of the standard is often imperfect, his proposed replacement is conclusory and unhelpful. The head of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, Jonathan Kanter, made a recent speech adopting the Neo-Brandiesian position that in antitrust cases the consumer welfare...

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Will “Portfolio Primacy” Throw a Monkey Wrench in Elon Musk’s Plans to Acquire Twitter?

The SEC's definition of fiduciary duty allows institutional shareholders to vote against Elon Musk's Twitter takeover bid thanks to portfolio primacy.

How Europe Can Enforce the Digital Markets Act Effectively 

As the European Commission gets ready to embark on the complicated task of implementing the recently agreed-upon Digital Market Act, which would...

How Enlightened is Enlightened Shareholder Value?

There has been growing support for replacing the traditional corporate purpose with so-called “enlightened shareholder value,” which would guide firms to consider...

The Passive Mechanisms of Common Ownership

A new paper explores the conundrum that common ownership poses for antitrust enforcers and competition and corporate scholars and sheds light on...

Chart of the Week: Income Inequality Threatens Capitalism

A new survey of economists by the Initiative on Global Markets indicates that 67 percent agree or strongly agree that the rise...

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READING LISTS

Americans spend significantly more on health care than any other country. Why? Answers to this question range from hospital monopolies to perverse incentives to opaque pricing to medical licensing to pharmaceutical firms abusing IP practices to “creeping consolidation.” Why is the US health care system so broken? And what can antirust do about it? Catch-up on our coverage of antitrust and the US health care system.

Antitrust Enforcement Is Not Enough to Address Anticompetitive Conduct in Pharmaceutical Markets. Market-Oriented Legal Reform is Needed.

Federal antitrust enforcement has been robust and effective in promoting prescription drug market competition and thereby enhancing consumer welfare. Antitrust enforcement in...

Competition Problems in Prescription Drug Market

Although not the sole cause of high prescription drug costs, abusive practices that distort competition contribute to the problem. Too many companies...

Why the FTC Should Consider Size in Drug Mergers

Large pharmaceutical firms retain their dominance through size-related advantages in three areas: contracting, marketing and selling, and financing. When reviewing pharmaceutical mergers,...

The Covid-19 Pandemic Should Not Delay Actions to Prevent Anticompetitive Consolidation in US Health Care Markets

Harvard Business School professor Leemore Dafny lays out potential reforms to assist agencies in halting anticompetitive acquisitions and practices, and to preserve...

George J. Stigler, one of the most influential economists of the 20th century, won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1982 “for his seminal studies of industrial structures, functioning of markets, and causes and effects of public regulation.” His research upended the idea that government regulation was effective at correcting private-market failures. Stigler introduced the idea of regulatory capture, in which regulators could be dominated by special interests. These regulators would work for the benefit of large, monied organizations rather than the public good. Catch up on ProMarket's coverage of his legacy.

The Metaphysics of Regulatory Capture

Stiglerian capture and corrosive cultural capture, its left-leaning parallel, are ostensibly symbionts, two attempts at identifying impediments to keeping markets competitive by...

Assessing George Stigler’s Economic Theory of Regulation

Despite its flaws and limitations, Stigler’s seminal article on the theory of economic regulation remains an important piece of scholarship worthy of...

The Many Faces of Stigler’s Theory of Economic Regulation: Interest Group Politics Still Thrives—But Industry Often Comes Second

Stigler treats industry groups as the heavyweights in regulatory contests. But surprisingly often groups of farmers and workers knock them for a...

George Stigler’s Errors and Their Virtues

George Stigler might have been wrong in his essay on economic regulation, but his influence is undeniable. The unity of purpose in...

Does Market Power Lead to Political Power?

A Stigler Center webinar explores what would be the foundations of a political and economic system that might be more resilient to pressure from powerful interests. Why has traditional antitrust policy been unable to prevent the rise of large politically-powerful firms? Should antitrust enforcers consider the political power of corporations and, if so, what are the benefits and perils of redesigning antitrust to promote political and economic liberty? These...

Market Power and Money in Politics

A Stigler Center webinar explores how businesses lobby and compete for political power and whether mergers and industry concentration affect lobbying.  Firms compete in markets, and markets are affected...

Is There a Problem with Competition?

A Stigler Center webinar explores instances where competition turns toxic, whether antitrust policy needs reform, and potential paths forward. Is there such a thing as too much competition? Can competition...

The Present and Future of Journalism: How the News Media Lost Its Purpose

At a time of information overabundance, journalism has lost its purpose. Newspapers, traditionally the keepers of journalistic flame, are going away. What...

COLUMNS

The Complicated Legacy of the “Chicago Boys” in Chile

How did a group of Chicago-trained economists manage to turn Chile into the cradle of neoliberalism? As the country aims to move...

GameStop, the Cantillon Effect, and America’s Corrupt Financial Plumbing

The GameStop frenzy, far from a morality tale of the people showing up Wall Street elites, should show that something is seriously...

How Should We Finance Higher Education If Not Through Student Debt? A New Capitalisn’t Episode

In a new episode of Capitalisn’t, Luigi Zingales and Bethany McLean take a look at the student debt crisis: How did we...

Bethany McLean’s Weekend Reading List: Nursing Homes, the World’s Largest Pension Fund, and Our Make-Believe Economy

Corruption, lobbying, corporate malfeasance, and frauds: a weekly unconventional selection of must-read articles by investigative journalist Bethany McLean.