Commentary

Bethany McLean's Weekend Reading List: Pension Problems, Funky Accounting, and Elon Musk

Corruption, lobbying, corporate malfeasance, and frauds: a weekly unconventional selection of must-read articles by investigative journalist Bethany McLean  My three picks this week deal with...

Esther Duflo: How to Find the Right Questions

In this piece, originally published in 2011 by the American Economic Association's Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, Esther Duflo, co-recipient of...

With the US and China, Two Types of Capitalism Are Competing With Each Other

Capitalism’s global victory has been achieved through two different types of capitalist systems: the liberal meritocratic capitalism that has developed incrementally in the West,...

Standard Oil and Antitrust: the Effects of Aaron Director's Socratic Method

Aaron Director, who died 15 years ago, made important contributions to the analysis of business practices. None were ever published under his name. Professor...

Aaron Director’s Legacy: The Beginning of Doubt is the Beginning of Wisdom

Aaron Director died 15 years ago. He published almost nothing, but his ideas influenced a generation of economists and intellectuals. Professor Stephen Stigler remembers...

What Bernie Sanders’s Plan to Save American Journalism Gets Right – and What It Misses

Independent and effective news reporting is at the heart of the democratic process. The dangers to media plurality and local journalism that Sanders identifies...

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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...

Firms Gerrymander Ownership of Polluting Plants to Reap Public and Regulatory Benefits

New research has discovered that many companies who appear to sell, or ‘divest,’ their toxic plants, actually retain relationships with their buyers....