Economic History Series

Corporate Sovereigns and the Emergence of State Sovereignty: A Closer Look at the East India Company

A new data collection has made it possible to reveal the self-sovereignty of the English East India Trading Company that produced a...

A Posner-Stigler Smoking Gun?

A memo from George Stigler and Richard Posner to the Reagan administration was recently unearthed. To understand the meaning behind the memo,...

Why Jean Fourastié’s Theory of Economic Development is Still Relevant Today

In 1949, the innovative French economist and policymaker Jean Fourastié introduced a theory of growth and technological development that economists could still...

The Rise, Survival, and Potential Fall of the Reagan-Era Antitrust Consensus

With major antitrust reform in the air, Brian Cheffins explores how and why a now highly controversial antitrust consensus that emerged under...

How China Became a Global Economic Powerhouse Through an Idiosyncratic Approach to Market Capitalism

Chinese reformers after the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 agreed that it was necessary for China to move towards marketization, but...

The Communist Origins of China’s Embrace of Markets

In an excerpt from his book Market Maoists: The Communist Origins of China’s Capitalist Ascent, Jason M. Kelly explores the commercial relationships...

How the Free Software and the IP Wars of the 1990s and 2000s Presaged Today’s Toxic, Concentrated Internet

How did the internet evolve from a relatively decentralized, hybrid, and democratizing space toward a concentrated, privatized environment controlled by a handful...

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...

How Manufacturing’s Lobby Won and Lost its Political Influence

What happens when supporting capitalism hurts capitalists? Do business lobbies ever control the economy to the extent we think they do? The...

The Dawn of Antitrust and the Egalitarian Roots of the Sherman Act

While it isn’t particularly controversial that concentrated economic power was a legislative target of the Sherman Act, when read as a corollary...

Latest news

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....