Economic History

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...

The Varied Ideologies—and Practices—of Socialist Nations in the Developing World

In an excerpt from his new book Ripe for Revolution: Building Socialism in the Third World, Harvard Business School professor Jeremy Friedman...

Why the Mid-20th Century Was Not the Golden Age of Antirust

The New Brandeisian version of American history presumes that there was a mid-20th century golden age of antitrust that was displaced by...

The Fall of American Manufacturing and the Rise of Health Care

In an excerpt from his new book The Next Shift, University of Chicago historian Gabriel Winant explores how deindustrialization and the decline...

The Chicago Planning Program and the Interdisciplinary Tradition of the Chicago School

The Chicago Planning Program, an interdisciplinary program that operated at the University of Chicago between 1947 and 1956, is an often-neglected part...

Lessons from the Past? How Ordoliberal Competition Theory Can Address Market Power in the Digital Age

Some of the lessons uncovered by ordoliberal thinkers during the interwar period in Germany could help us tackle the current challenges posed...

The Unintended Economist: How Thorstein Veblen Pivoted From Philosophy to Economics

In an excerpt from his book Veblen: The Making of an Economist Who Unmade Economics, Charles Camic explores the connection between Thorstein...

Latest news

How US Antitrust Enforcement Against Xerox Promoted Innovation by Japanese Competitors

Xerox invented modern copier technology and was so successful that its brand name became a verb. In 1972, U.S. antitrust authorities charged Xerox with monopolization and eventually ordered the licensing of all its copier-related patents. As new research by Robin Mamrak shows, this antitrust intervention promoted subsequent innovation in the copier industry, but only among Japanese competitors. Nevertheless, their innovations benefited U.S. consumers.

Revising the Merger Guidelines To Return Antitrust to a Sound Economic and Legal Foundation

The draft Merger Guidelines largely replace the consumer welfare standard of the Chicago School with the lessening of competition principle found in the 1914 Clayton Act. This shift would enable the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Antitrust Division to utilize the full extent of modern economics to respond to rising concentration and its harmful effects, writes John Kwoka.

How Anthony Downs’s Analysis Explains Rational Voters’ Preferences for Populism

In new research, Cyril Hédoin and Alexandre Chirat use the rational-choice theory of economist Anthony Downs to explain how populism rationally arises to challenge established institutions of liberal democracy.

The Impact of Large Institutional Investors on Innovation Is Not as Positive as One Might Expect

In a new paper, Bing Guo, Dennis C. Hutschenreiter, David Pérez-Castrillo, and Anna Toldrà-Simats study how large institutional investors impact firm innovation. The authors find that large institutional investors encourage internal research and development but discourage firm acquisitions that would add patents and knowledge to their firms’ portfolios, hampering overall innovation.

The FTC Needs To Focus Arguments on Technological Transitions After High-Profile Losses

Joshua Gray and Cristian Santesteban argue that the Federal Trade Commission's focus in Meta-Within and Microsoft-Activision on narrow markets like VR fitness apps and consoles missed the boat on the real competition issue: the threat to future competition in nascent markets like VR platforms and cloud gaming.

We Need Better Research on the Relationship Between Market Power and Productivity in the Hospital Industry

Antitrust debates have largely ignored questions about the relationship between market power and productivity, and scholars have provided little guidance on the issue due to data limitations. However, data is plentiful on the hospital industry for both market power and operating costs and productivity, and researchers need to take advantage, writes David Ennis.

Debating the Draft Merger Guidelines: Transcript

On September 7, the Stigler Center hosted a webinar to discuss the draft merger guidelines. What follows is a slightly edited transcript of the event.