Economists have proposed two main theories to explain the recent spike in prices. Progressives have attributed the rise in inflation to corporate greed and have suggested price controls in response. Other economists have turned back to the New Consensus in Macroeconomics that arose in the 1970s in response to steep inflation blamed on the large Keynesian fiscal expansion of the preceding decades. Matías Vernengo writes that neither camp has correctly diagnosed the problems with current inflation. Proponents of Greedflation overlook the price stability of the last few decades even as market concentration increased. On the other hand, advocates of the New Consensus similarly forget their history and the commodity shocks and price-wage spiral that were the real culprit for inflation in the 1970s.
Social trust in democratic institutions affects the ability of those institutions to carry out policy. In new research, Rustam Jamilov shows how decreasing trust in the U.S. institutions has reduced the ability of the Federal Reserve to influence the economy in states that exhibit lower levels of trust.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meta has silenced news organizations’ social media accounts in response to Canada’s Online News Act, a law not yet in effect. Josh Braun describes the reasoning behind such legislation, its potential flaws, and how Meta, particularly Facebook, has turned the Canadian wildfire crisis into a regulatory pressure campaign.
ProMarket is dedicated to discussing how competition tends to be subverted by special interests.
The posts represent the opinions of their writers, not necessarily those of the University of Chicago, the Booth School of Business, or its faculty.
For more information, please visit ProMarket Policy.