Economic History Series

The Complicated Legacy of the “Chicago Boys” in Chile

How did a group of Chicago-trained economists manage to turn Chile into the cradle of neoliberalism? As the country aims to move...

Mechanics and Financiers: How Political Economy and Political Ideology Helped Make Detroit the Global Leader of the Automotive Industry

The history of automotive mass production begins with a puzzle: Why did Detroit, of all places, pioneer the industry that would shape...

“Old Chicago” and Freiburg: Why Ordoliberalism Was No “German Oddity”

Both the Chicago and Freiburg schools faced systemic fragility as the crucial property of societal orders. It was this fragility that served...

A New Antitrust Under Biden? Lessons From the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt

The early history of the Sherman Antitrust Act offers relevant insights to contemporary debates on how to best enforce antitrust laws. In...

How and Why Baseball’s Legal Monopoly Came to Be

Baseball’s antitrust exemption, currently the subject of fierce political backlash, has long been a historical curiosity. Why has a professional sports league...

American History Provides a Valuable Lesson on How Monopolists Use Exclusive Deals to Fortify Their Market Power

Since the Civil War, dominant firms have widely and repeatedly used exclusive agreements to exert, expand, and fortify their market power. History...

Freiburg and Chicago: How the Two Worlds of Neoliberalism Drifted Apart Over Market Power and Monopolies

Early neoliberals tended to view market power and monopolies as phenomena that somehow had to be reined in by an institutional framework...

Henry Simons’s Positive Program for Laissez-Faire

The 1930s were a difficult time for classical liberals. In response to the Great Depression, the federal government undertook a massive expansion...

Harold Demsetz and Israel Kirzner Understood That Competition Regulates Markets

Economists Harold Demsetz and Israel Kirzner challenged the prevailing orthodoxy in microeconomic analysis and public policy beginning with their respective work in...

How Protests Against the Jim Crow Credit Market Changed the Civil Rights Movement

Before the civil rights movement captured the nation’s attention, activists and community groups were protesting against exploitative credit and exclusionary lending practices...

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Fear of Punishment Distorts Bank Financial Reporting

When bank employees are afraid of punishment from regulators, they are likely to conceal information about their faulty decisions. This in turn...

Should The Competitive Process Test Replace The Consumer Welfare Standard?

Jonathan Kanter, Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, recently gave a speech condemning the use of the consumer...

Delaware: The State Where Companies Can Vote

Adapted from What’s the Matter with Delaware: How the First State Has Favored the Rich, Powerful, and Criminal—and How It Costs Us...

The NCAA Goes After College Athletes’ NIL Money—Here are the Antitrust Implications for Workers and Consumers

Having lost in the Supreme Court on student-athlete academic benefits, the NCAA has signaled a continuing attempt to suppress competition in the...

Have Business Roundtable Companies Lived Up to Their Stakeholder Commitments?  

In 2019, more than 100 CEOs of US public companies signed a Business Roundtable statement in which they pledged to deliver value...

Do Protests Matter At All for Shifting Government Policy Around Economic Redistribution?

New research on the effectiveness of protests on government distributions provides insights into the political incentives of a country’s leadership and the...

Mergers and Smoking Guns

A recently uncovered memo from George Stigler and Richard Posner reveals how they thought about antitrust and merger policy in advising the...