Economic History

The Chicago Boys and the Chilean Neoliberal Project

In a new book, The Chile Project: The Story of the Chicago Boys and the Downfall of Neoliberalism, Sebastian Edwards details the history of neoliberalism in Chile over the past seventy years. The Chicago Boys—a group of Chilean economists trained at the University of Chicago through the U.S. State Department’s “Chile Project”—played a central role in neoliberalism’s ascent during General Augusto Pinochet’s rule. What follows is an excerpt from the book on University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman’s 1975 visit to Chile to meet with Pinochet and business leaders.

The Business of Colonialism

In his new book, Empire Incorporated, Philip Stern argues that corporations drove the global expansion of the British Empire rather than provide...

The Convergence of Antitrust Thought in the Late 1930s and Its Subsequent Collapse

In their research, published in History of Economic Ideas, Thierry Kirat and Frédéric Marty stress the importance of the late 1930s in the making of antitrust. The moment was exceptional for its consensus within the economic discipline and the implementation of voluntarist public enforcement, particularly under Thurman Arnold according to the prescriptions of the Second Chicago School, institutionalists, and the preferences of the Neo-Brandeis movement.

How the AT&T Case Can Inform Big Tech Breakups

Breaking up companies that antitrust regulators consider too dominant can be costly and might negatively impact innovation and consumer welfare. As economists...

Industrial Policy From Engels to Eisenhower

Industrial policy was once so out of fashion that it was jokingly called “the policy that shall not be named.” Now it’s...

To Build an Equitable Economy, We Must Understand Capitalism’s Racist Heritage

American capitalism was built on racial exploitation, from the enslavement of Black people to institutionalized discrimination and its structural impact on our...

Resisting Regulatory Capture in the 1857 Financial Crisis

The historical origins of financial crises teaches us about changing attitudes toward government intervention into private markets.

How Austerity Emerged after World War I to Preserve Capitalism

In this excerpt of a new book, The Capital Order, Clara Mattei traces the origins of austerity to the period just after...

Neoliberalism Beyond the Heartlands

Much of the historical analysis of neoliberalism, both its ideological roots and its outcomes, has focused on U.S. and Europe, with figures...

Adam Smith on Self-Betterment and Policy Impacts

In this celebration of Adam Smith’s contributions to the field of political economy, Peter J. Boettke and Alain Marciano take a passage...

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AI For the Antitrust Regulator

Cary Coglianese lays out the potential, and the considerations, for antitrust regulators to use machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms.

Creation over Time in Copyright and Patent

On May 18, the United States Supreme Court decided two intellectual property cases with two seemingly different results. A closer look, however, reveals a complimentary concern with the monopolistic power of first movers and how the legal system should enable innovation from second movers over time, writes Randy Picker.

ESG Standards’ Good, Bad and Ugly

The Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State hosted a virtual event discussing the standards, metrics and disclosures of investments focused on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals. The following is a transcript of the event.

Reregulate.

Lee Hepner and William J. McGee respond to Clifford Winston’s ProMarket piece asserting that further deregulation of the airline industry would resolve problems in the industry. Instead, the authors claim a return to regulation would produce better results for travelers.

A World With Far Fewer Mergers

Brooke Fox and Walter Frick analyze research and ideas presented at the Stigler Center Antitrust and Competition Conference that question the value of mergers.

The Banking Risks of Central Bank Digital Currencies

The implementation of central bank digital currencies as the primary medium of exchange would exacerbate the flaws of our current fiat system which encourage banks to overextend credit and create liabilities that they cannot redeem. This will worsen the already recurring cycles of financial crises, writes Vibhu Vikramaditya.

The Whig History of the Merger Guidelines

A pervasive "Whig" view of United States antitrust history among scholars and practitioners celebrates the Merger Guidelines' implementation of increasingly sophisticated economic methods since their...