Market Capture

Money in Politics

While the conventional debate usually revolves around the amount of campaign donations each candidate receives (how much), we spotlight also issues such as the concentration of donations (who donates), or more stealth forms of money in politics such as lobbying.

Regulatory Capture

When regulation protects narrow interests – usually the interests of the incumbent industry – at the expense of the public interest. Capture occurs in various ways: from straightforward bribes and threats, to more implicit quid pro quos such as the lucrative future employment (revolving door), to softer forms of cognitive/cultural capture. “... as a rule, regulation is acquired by the industry and is designed and operated primarily for its benefit.” George Stigler - The Theory of Economic Regulation (1971)

Fighting Regulatory Capture in the 21st Century

It should come as no surprise that the movement against regulatory capture is gaining momentum at this particular moment in our nation’s history. It is...

The 'Argumentum a Crise': So Powerful, So Prone to Misuse

Since the financial crisis and the related euro debt crisis, the use of the argumentum a crise has been ubiquitous. A more selective use...

The Real Lesson From Brexit

A widespread mistrust of experts can lead to political decisions, like Brexit, that might have negative consequences for the very people who vote for them. How...

The Attacks on RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan: Lessons from Stanley Fischer as a Central Banker

India and Israel show that fighting crony capitalism in countries where a small group of people has huge political and financial influence is sometimes...

ProMarket Interview: “The Lobbyists and the Regulators Were Really, Socially and Culturally, the Same People”

University of Connecticut’s law professor James Kwak explains the mechanisms that drive cultural capture, and why he think it is less prevalent today. In his...

ProMarket Interviews Bo Rothstein, Part II: On Strong Markets and Quality Government

In the second part of ProMarket's interview with Bo Rothstein, the Swedish political scientist discusses corruption, social trust and unions. After decades in which the...

Do Courts Have a Pro-Business Bias?

Existing evidence are not enough to determine whether courts are pro-market or pro-(incumbent)business. President Obama’s plan to nominate Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court...

ProMarket Interview: Bo Rothstein on the Role of Government in Market Economies

Bo Rothstein, one of the most influential political scientists in the world today, explains how countries can become less corrupt, and why the Nordic...

“It’s Difficult to Produce Good Policy in Thin Political Markets”

Harvard Business School’s Karthik Ramanna, author of Political Standards, outlines the potential harms of thin political markets and offers ways to mitigate capture. “It’s difficult...

“There Is Regulatory Capture, But It Is By No Means Complete”

Kenneth J. Arrow, one of the most influential economists of the 20th century, reflects on the benefits of a single payer health care system,...

Latest news

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.


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...

Algorithmic Collusion in the Housing Market

While the development of artificial intelligence has led to efficient business strategies, such as dynamic pricing, this new technology is vulnerable to collusion and consumer harm when companies share the same software through a central platform. Gabriele Bortolotti highlights the importance of antitrust enforcement in this domain for the second article in our series, using as a case study the RealPage class action lawsuit in the Seattle housing market.