From critiques of the Consumer Welfare Standard to discussions about inflation, here are the ten most popular ProMarket articles from 2022.

10. Einer Elhauge: Should The Competitive Process Test Replace The Consumer Welfare Standard?

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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.

9. Isabella M. Weber: How China Became a Global Economic Powerhouse Through an Idiosyncratic Approach to Market Capitalism

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Chinese reformers after the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 agreed that it was necessary for China to move towards marketization, but struggled over how to go about doing that. In an excerpt from her book, How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate, Isabella M. Weber explains how China managed to achieve rapid growth without fully adopting the shock therapy-style reforms that typified market liberalization in Eastern and Central European countries.

8. Adam Levitin: How Apple Locks Out the Competition with Its Digital Key

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Apple’s efforts to dominate the contactless payments market and lock up the “digital key” space pose a profound threat to consumer privacy and the future of the auto industry.

7. Elettra Bietti: How the Free Software and the IP Wars of the 1990s and 2000s Presaged Today’s Toxic, Concentrated Internet

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How did the internet evolve from a relatively decentralized, hybrid, and democratizing space toward a concentrated, privatized environment controlled by a handful of actors? Re-imagining the digital economy requires looking back before moving forward.

6. Raghuram Rajan: Douglas Diamond, the 2022 Nobel Laureate in Economics

University of Chicago

Raghuram Rajan writes about the insights of Nobel winner Douglas Diamond’s research, as well as his relationship with Doug as a colleague.

5. Nicholas Wapshott: When Milton Friedman Sided With Keynes Over Hayek on Inflation

In an excerpt from his book Samuelson Friedman: The Battle Over the Free Market, Nicholas Wapshott explores the disagreements between Friedman and Hayek over whether governments should manage the economy.

4. Hal Singer: Neoliberal Economists Are Giving Biden Bad Advice on Inflation

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To spare the economy from the pain of further interest rate hikes, the president should aggressively pursue anticompetitive conduct by companies in concentrated industries and ignore the guidance of neoliberals.

3. Cory Doctorow: Seize the Means of Computation

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To regain internet autonomy from Big Tech companies, lower switching costs with legislation that allows new services to subvert network effects and encourage adversarial interoperability.

2. Leah Samuel and Fiona Scott Morton: What Economists Mean When They Say “Consumer Welfare Standard”

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Though coined by academic economists, the term “consumer welfare standard” has been captured and changed by the courts and economic school of thought known as the Chicago School to mean a defendant-friendly antitrust standard that dismisses the benefit of quality and innovation. This standard, justifiably criticized by New Brandeisians and the media, bears little connection to the “consumer welfare” concept that academic economists across the policy spectrum have employed for decades.  

1. Tanya Thomas: How Should Developing Countries Deal With Inflation? A Q&A With Raghuram Rajan

Former central banker Raghuram Rajan speaks to ProMarket about how sources and remedies for inflation in developing countries such as India and Brazil differ from those for the United States. He also suggests governmental reforms for business growth, unemployment, and international sanctions.