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)

Is China Succeeding in the War Against Corruption? Q&A with Bernard Yeung

In the past four years, China has been waging the biggest anticorruption campaign in its modern history. Is it working?  In the past four years, the...

Can the Euro Be Saved? A Stigler Center Panel Pits Skepticism Versus Optimism

Joseph Stiglitz: "it may be necessary to abandon the euro to save the European project." Markus Brunnermeier: “the situation is improving. The structural reforms really worked,...

The Euro Crisis and The Clash of Ideologies: Q&A with Markus Brunnermeier

Brunnermeier, co-author of the recent book The Euro and the Battle of Ideas, participated in our November 30 event on the future of the euro...

Greater Political Integration is Necessary for a Sustainable Euro

Read an excerpt from Luigi Zingales' 2014 book Europe or Not. On November 30, the Stigler Center hosted a panel discussion on the future of...

When Did Americans Stop Being Antimonopoly? Q&A with Richard R. John

Columbia professor Richard R. John explains the history of U.S. monopolies and why antimonopoly should not be conflated with antitrust. For more than two centuries,...

Stiglitz, Brunnermeier, and Zingales: Is the Euro Project Doomed?

Join us for a panel between Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Markus Brunnermeier, both authors of recent books on the future of the Euro....

Who Is Responsible for a Declining Labor Share of Output? Michael Porter

Most researchers assume that the share of total output lost by labor went to the owners of capital. However, a new working paper shows that...

How Will Antitrust Policy Look Under President Trump? Q&A with The Capitol Forum’s Teddy Downey

Will President Trump go after Silicon Valley, or block the AT&T-Time Warner merger? Teddy Downey, CEO and executive editor of The Capitol Forum, explains how...

140 Years of Antitrust: How the Basic Paradigms of Competition, Regulation, and Antitrust Have Changed Since WWII

The final installment of our four-part series on the history of antitrust language in American political discourse.   In the fourth and final installment of...

Why Have Soda Companies Funded Nearly 100 Health Organizations in the Last Five Years? Q&A With Michael Siegel

According to a new study, the world’s largest soda companies have sponsored 96 national health organizations during the last five years.  Last June, Philadelphia became...

Latest news

Healthcare Companies Spent More on Lobbying Than Any Other Industry Last Year

Threatened by regulated price caps from congress, the pharmaceutical industry spent nearly $390 million on lobbying in 2021 according to new data...

Antitrust and Rule by Judges

The early-1980s Posner-Stigler memorandum to incoming president Reagan’s transition team is interesting for a host of reasons, but most of all in...

Should the European Union Require Tech Firms to Adopt a Common Charger?

According to a new European Commission directive expected to be approved in the next few months, tech firms will have to use...

Chart of the Week: Economists Don’t Think Congress Should Make Price Gouging Illegal

Most economists disagree with a new bill in the US that would set limits on "unconscionably excessive prices," according to a recent...

Neoliberal Economists Are Giving Biden Bad Advice on Inflation

To spare the economy from the pain of further interest rate hikes, the President should aggressively pursue anticompetitive conduct by companies in...

How Would the Big Tech Self-Preferencing Bill Affect Users? 

The Senate looks to be nearing a vote on the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which would prohibit gatekeeping digital platforms...

New eBook Revisits George Stigler’s Theory of Regulatory Capture 50 Years Later

To mark the 50-year anniversary of George Stigler’s seminal piece, “The Theory of Economic Regulation” we are publishing a new eBook examining...