Ray Fisman

Ray Fisman holds the Slater Family Chair in Behavioral Economics at Boston University. Previously, he was the Lambert family professor of Social Enterprise and co-director of the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia University’s business school. Professor Fisman’s research –focused on various aspects of political economy and behavioral economics – has been published in leading economics journals including the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, and Quarterly Journal of Economics; this work has been widely covered in the popular press, in such outlets as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, the Economist, and the Washington Post. His most recent book, Corruption: What Everyone Needs to Know (with political scientist Miriam Golden), was published by Oxford University Press in 2017.

Investing in Influence: Investors, Portfolio Firms, and Political Giving

A new paper examines the relationship between the rising concentration in institutional investors' ownership of publicly traded U.S. firms and portfolio companies'...

“Comments for Sale”: Charitable Donations Can Lead Non-profits to Support Corporate Regulatory Agendas

A new paper shows how financial ties between companies and non-profits can subvert rulemaking process and lead to regulations that favor the...

When Taxpayers Subsidize Corporate Lobbying: How Firms Use Charitable Giving to Influence Politics

A new Stigler Center working paper examines a more roundabout way that companies can influence legislators: by donating money to charities in lawmakers’ districts....

Latest news

Revising the Merger Guidelines To Return Antitrust to a Sound Economic and Legal Foundation

The draft Merger Guidelines largely replace the consumer welfare standard of the Chicago School with the lessening of competition principle found in the 1914 Clayton Act. This shift would enable the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Antitrust Division to utilize the full extent of modern economics to respond to rising concentration and its harmful effects, writes John Kwoka.

How Anthony Downs’s Analysis Explains Rational Voters’ Preferences for Populism

In new research, Cyril Hédoin and Alexandre Chirat use the rational-choice theory of economist Anthony Downs to explain how populism rationally arises to challenge established institutions of liberal democracy.

The Impact of Large Institutional Investors on Innovation Is Not as Positive as One Might Expect

In a new paper, Bing Guo, Dennis C. Hutschenreiter, David Pérez-Castrillo, and Anna Toldrà-Simats study how large institutional investors impact firm innovation. The authors find that large institutional investors encourage internal research and development but discourage firm acquisitions that would add patents and knowledge to their firms’ portfolios, hampering overall innovation.

The FTC Needs To Focus Arguments on Technological Transitions After High-Profile Losses

Joshua Gray and Cristian Santesteban argue that the Federal Trade Commission's focus in Meta-Within and Microsoft-Activision on narrow markets like VR fitness apps and consoles missed the boat on the real competition issue: the threat to future competition in nascent markets like VR platforms and cloud gaming.

We Need Better Research on the Relationship Between Market Power and Productivity in the Hospital Industry

Antitrust debates have largely ignored questions about the relationship between market power and productivity, and scholars have provided little guidance on the issue due to data limitations. However, data is plentiful on the hospital industry for both market power and operating costs and productivity, and researchers need to take advantage, writes David Ennis.

Debating the Draft Merger Guidelines: Transcript

On September 7, the Stigler Center hosted a webinar to discuss the draft merger guidelines. What follows is a slightly edited transcript of the event.

Holding Up the News

Meta has silenced news organizations’ social media accounts in response to Canada’s Online News Act, a law not yet in effect. Josh Braun describes the reasoning behind such legislation, its potential flaws, and how Meta, particularly Facebook, has turned the Canadian wildfire crisis into a regulatory pressure campaign.