Antitrust and Competition

Antitrust and Labor

Does antitrust have a labor market problem? The last few years have seen growing interest among academic scholars in the causes and effects of concentration in US labor markets. Concurrently (and not unrelated), there has been an explosion of interest among policymakers and the general public in the impact that firms with market power may have on wages and working conditions. What do the data say regarding employer concentration and its effect on workers? Is antitrust in its current form equipped to address issues related to labor market power? In an attempt to answer these questions and more, we have decided to launch a series of articles on antitrust and the labor market.

Corporate Governance

The system of formal and informal rules by which a company is governed. Corporate governance shapes more than just a given's company value - it dictates who controls the capital in the economy and so how this capital is being put the use. Corporate governance therefore affects and is affected by the degree of cronyism and rent-seeking in society.

Media

Effective media scrutiny can help mitigate many of the problems that lead to regulatory capture, by helping the polity to become informed and mobilized. But what are the conditions that create effective media scrutiny? And why do we observe so little of it in reality? “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Regulatory Capture

When regulation protects narrow interests – usually the interests of the incumbent industry – at the expense of the public interest. Capture occurs in various ways: from straightforward bribes and threats, to more implicit quid pro quos such as the lucrative future employment (revolving door), to softer forms of cognitive/cultural capture. “... as a rule, regulation is acquired by the industry and is designed and operated primarily for its benefit.” George Stigler - The Theory of Economic Regulation (1971)

Special interest groups

Special interest groups: Groups with preferences that differ from the preferences of the median voter. There is nothing wrong with special interests forming groups per se; the trouble starts when they disproportionally sway policy in their favor. “...the great enemy of democracy is monopoly, in all its forms: gigantic corporations, trade associations and other agencies for price control, trade-union… Effectively organized functional groups possess tremendous power for exploiting the community at large and even sabotaging the system.” Henry Calvert Simons - A Positive Program for Laissez Faire (1934)

How Does Party-State Capitalism In China Interact With Global Capitalism?

Excerpted from The China Questions 2: Critical Insights Into Us-China Relations, edited by Maria Adele Carrai, Jennifer Rudolph, and Michael Szonyi, published...

When Rhetoric Confronts Economic Reality: Unsupported Efficiency Claims and Unenforceable Promises Cannot Save the Book Publishers Deal

In trying to get their merger approved, Penguin and Simon & Schuster claimed massive, but unverified cost savings. They also have promised...

The Tech Barons’ Ideological Platter

Far from their self-promoted image as the world’s most innovative companies, the major tech platforms stifle plenty of innovation and invest in...

What Texas Never Learned From the California Energy Crisis

The parallels between today's Texas energy market and California's energy market in the early 2000s are striking. Texas should learn from California's...

Cultural Capture of Antitrust Is More Likely in America than Europe

Jan Broulík’s new article explores whether so-called cultural capture may develop in antitrust policies on either side of the Atlantic and what...

The Corruption of Consumer Welfare

The consumer welfare standard is used in modern antitrust enforcement to evaluate a merger between two firms. However, its original definition was...

The Thorny Problem of Social Media Platform Political Harms and Freedom of Speech

University of Chicago Booth/Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State 2002 Antitrust and Competition Conference “Antitrust: What’s Next?” Panel Discussion “Big Tech & Freedom of Speech” moderated by Binyamin Appelbaum of the New York Times with panelists Gilad Edelman of WIRED, Francis Fukuyama of Stanford University, Eric Goldman of Santa Clara University and Ellen Goodman of Rutgers University. April 21, 2022 (photo by Anne Ryan for University of Chicago)

New Study Warns Antitrust Inaction May Lead To Acceptable Collusion for Public Policy Considerations

The modernization of EU antitrust laws muddied the water with regard to the ways that antitrust authorities and courts should handle situations...

Dark Money Dominates Spending by Special Interest Groups and Sways Elections

New research on undisclosed and unlimited political contributions, or dark money, exposes the increasing role that such funds play in U.S. elections.

The “Conspiracy” of Consumer Welfare Theory

Matt Stoller argues there was a conspiracy. It was more of an association with a singular purpose.

Latest news

New Research Shows The Breakup of IG Farben Increased Innovation

IG Farben used to be the world’s largest chemical company and a major innovator—until it was broken up in one of the...

Why Streaming Doesn’t Pay

An excerpt from a new book, Chokepoint Capitalism: How Big Tech and Big Content Captured Creative Labor Markets and How We'll Win...

Democratize Work

An excerpt from a new book, Democratize Work: The Case for Reorganizing the Economy, advocates democratizing firms and decommodifying work.

Antitrust Enforcement, Inflation and Corporate Greed: What do we know?

At a recent Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) event, panelists, including the Stigler Center's own Luigi Zingales, reflected on the roles...

Data is Abundant But is it Accessible to Researchers?

Despite the wide availability of data, ensuring independent access to data sources has never been more crucial. How can researchers engage in...

Private Labels in Online Marketplaces

On their store shelves, Walmart has its own products under the "Great Value” brand, and Tesco has its own “Everyday Value” products....

Bolsonaro’s reelection may become a setback for ESG in Brazil

Social pressures, market forces and elected leaders influence corporate decisions on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Journalist Stephanie Tondo examines the...