In 2017, the Stigler Center embarked on an ambitious project to reinvigorate the discussion of concentration and monopoly in the United States, starting with the conference Is There a Concentration Problem in America? Five years later, our 2022 Conference Antitrust: What’s Next? discussed whether the field of competition policy reached an inflection point—both in academia and in policy—that may lead to once-in-a-generation changes. The general answer was yes. However, there was little agreement on how exactly a modern US antitrust policy should look like. Are we looking for incremental reforms or for a broader rethinking of the whole system?
The 2023 Conference Beyond The Consumer Welfare Standard? will focus on this case for change. Join us for two days of engaging discussions on what is the strength of the economic evidence connecting weak antitrust enforcement with negative societal impacts, the challenges in rethinking merger review, whether the “Consumer Welfare Standard” is only a catchphrase, whether there is a better standard to replace it and, finally, whether Courts are expected to be part of the movement to increase enforcement or defenders of the status quo, among other topics.
2022 Antitrust and Competition Conference – Antitrust: What’s Next?
On April 21-22 2022, the Stigler Center hosted its annual antitrust conference, Antitrust: What’s Next? featuring a series of discussions on frontier topics such as the future of the consumer welfare standard, antitrust enforcement in labor markets and digital markets, the connection between market power and freedom of speech, and how to ensure that academics working on antitrust remain independent from special interest influence.
Launched in 2017, the Stigler Center’s annual antitrust conference brings together economists, legal scholars, thinkers, and business people to discuss and debate issues related to the present and future of antitrust enforcement. Over the years, it has proven to be remarkably influential and cited in multiple press reports and policy papers. It also yielded the Stigler Center’s 2019 Report on Digital Platforms.
Antitrust policy had reached what appeared to be an inflection point—both in academia and in policymaking—that may lead to once-in-a-generation changes in its scope and intensity. The goal of our 2022 Conference “Antitrust: What’s Next?” was to take stock of the ongoing debates, understand the strengths and weaknesses of the different antitrust-reform camps, and discuss and inform the future of competition policy in the United States and abroad. In order to help facilitate these discussions, we prepared the following resource page on the Stigler Center’s antitrust conference over the years, and our coverage of it in ProMarket as well as the Stigler Center’s podcast, Capitalisn’t.
2017: Is There a Concentration Problem in America?
In 2017, the Stigler Center embarked on an ambitious project to reinvigorate the discussion of concentration and monopoly in the United States, culminating in the conference “Is There a Concentration Problem in America?” You can learn more about this historic conference in the e-book we published following it, which documented the various discussions that took place:
Read Luigi Zingales’s opening remarks to the 2017 conference:
Our interview series that preceded the conference:
Our coverage of the different panels:
2018: Digital Platforms and Concentration
In 2018, the Stigler Center again brought together scholars and experts to consider digital platforms specifically. Watch it here:
Read the e-book we published ahead of the 2018 conference, whose contributors include current FTC Chair Lina Khan:
Read our coverage of the 2018 conference:
Listen to the 2018 Capitalisn’t series on the antitrust reform debate, including Kate’s and Luigi’s interview with current FTC Chair Lina Khan:
2019: A Path Forward and the Stigler Report
From the 2018 conference on Digital Platforms and Concentration a consensus emerged that the issues raised by these platforms must be addressed, and—to provide independent expertise on potential policy responses—the Center formed a Committee for the Study of Digital Platforms. The result was the Stigler Center Report on Digital Platforms, as well as the 2019 conference on Digital Platforms, Markets, and Democracy: A Path Forward, in which the Stigler Report’s main findings and recommendations were presented.
Watch the 2019 conference here:
Read the Stigler Center ’s full 336-page Report on Digital Platforms here:
Read our coverage of the 2019 conference and the Stigler report here:
2020-2021: Monopolies and Politics
The Covid-19 pandemic forced us to move online, so between 2020 and 2021 we hosted a Virtual Conference Webinar Series on the interconnection between market and political power called Monopolies and Politics. Watch all the webinars here: