Money in Politics

The Incredible Shrinking of Non-Cartel Antitrust

Eleanor Fox evaluates "The Political Economy of the Decline of Antitrust Enforcement in the United States" by Professors Lancieri, Posner, and Zingales, praising its revelations on the depth of corporate capture while challenging its narrative of judicial and regulatory dissembling on promises to uphold antitrust.

Global Giants Team Up to Control Trade Policy

Hao Zhang examines how global value chain partnerships among large, monopolistic firms in the US enable new forms of political coordination and coalition-building to influence trade policy in their favor, despite popular backlash against globalization.

Increased Campaign Spending Grows the Economic Pie Instead of Splitting It Up

The United States has relaxed campaign finance laws over the past few decades. As a result, there exist concerns about politicians favoring special business interests over the welfare of other constituents, such as workers. In a new paper, Pat Akey, Tania Babina, Greg Buchak, and Ana-Maria Tenekedjieva examine how the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission affected earnings for firms and workers, as well as political turnover and polarization at the state level.

Uninhibited Campaign Donations Risks Creating Oligarchy

In new research, Valentino Larcinese and Alberto Parmigiani find that the 1986 Reagan tax cuts led to greater campaign spending from wealthy individuals, who benefited the most from this policy. The authors argue that a very permissive system of political finance, combined with the erosion of tax progressivity, created the conditions for the mutual reinforcement of economic and political disparities. The result was an inequality spiral hardly compatible with democratic ideals.

The Problem with Political Antitrust

In new research, Nolan McCarty and Sepehr Shahshahani find that, contrary to the concerns of Neo-Brandeisians, Market et power does not correlate with political power via outsized lobbying.

The Benefits of Working for a Victorious Political Campaign

With slightly more than one year until the United States presidential election, electoral campaigns are about to ramp up. These quadrennial elections, like so many others in democracies worldwide, will mobilize thousands of campaign workers who play an integral role in shaping candidates’ electoral performance. Yet, little is known about these workers and how the experience of working in a campaign shapes their professional lives. This column describes the findings from a new study on the career trajectories of campaign labor in Brazil, showing that connections forged on a campaign provide qualified workers with better employment and earnings opportunities. This article was originally published in VoxEU.

Family Ties as Corporate Power

Pablo Balán explains that family ties provide firms with an edge in collective action that enables them to be politically active through campaign donations, to engage in financial rent-seeking by obtaining subsidized state credit, and to bypass regulation seeking to curtail the influence of business by substituting individual contributions for corporate contributions. Scholars and advocates can benefit from a deeper understanding of organizational constraints to programmatic reform.

Foreign Influence Benefits Foreign Firms and Governments but the Benefits to Americans Are Less Decided

In new research, Marco Grotteria, Max Miller, and S Lakshmi Naaraayanan create and analyze a dataset of more than 12,000 FARA filings to investigate the drivers and outcomes of foreign lobbying of U.S. legislators. Their findings can help inform new laws and regulations that improve government transparency and prevent the more nefarious effects of foreign lobbying.

Carl Schmitt and the Origins of Friedrich Hayek’s Thought on Rent-Seeking

Friedrich Hayek viewed the subject of rent-seeking not from the usual welfare economics perspective, but from a constitutional economics perspective. In a new paper,...

Defense Contracts Are Going to the Best Connected, Not Necessarily the Best

In new research, Şenay Ağca and Deniz Igan use the shock of the September 11 attacks and declaration of war on Afghanistan to show...

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