How can investors use capital markets to encourage emissions reductions? In new research, Matthew E. Kahn, John G. Matsusaka, and Chong Shu examine whether public pension funds are more effective in mitigating pollution when they divest from fossil fuel companies or actively engage their management.

COMMENTARY

Trinko Creep

Verizon Communications Inc. v. Trinko departed from the legal principles regulating refusals to deal under Section 2 of the Sherman Act. The 2004 Supreme Court opinion also embedded an ideological preference for non-intervention that has spread to other areas of antitrust law, eroding its ability to deter anticompetitive conduct. On its own terms, however, there are opportunities to distinguish and constrain Trinko, writes Andrew I. Gavil.

RESEARCH

How Trump’s Quota Policy Transformed Immigration Judging

In new research, Elise Blasingame, Christina Boyd, Roberto Carlos, and Joseph Ornstein explore how the Trump administration used a quota policy for immigration judges working under the Department of Justice's purview to influence how they adjudicated cases. The authors find the policy successfully nudged more judges to rule against immigrant plaintiffs.
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A New Capitalisn’t Episode

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Big Business’ Influence in the Decline of Antitrust Enforcement

Why has antitrust enforcement declined in the United States since the 1970s? Is it due to the preferences of voters, business influence, or an alternative explanation altogether? In this symposium, Jonathan Baker, Eleanor Fox, and Herbert Hovenkamp discuss the findings of Filippo Lancieri, Eric Posner, and Luigi Zingales’ new paper, “The Political Economy of the Decline of Antitrust Enforcement in the United States.” In this article, Posner responds to the discussants' critiques and comments.

Young People Are Shunning the Accounting Profession. The 150-Hour Rule Is Responsible

The supply of accountants in the United States is in serious decline due to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ decision in 1988 to raise entry requirements. Ray Ball argues that the rule change did not improve the quality or productivity of newly licensed accountants, but instead reflected the incentives of the Institute’s members to reduce entry to increase their own salaries.

Fans Last? How the Fans First Act Hands Live Nation-Ticketmaster More Market Power

The Senate has introduced two bills to address ticketing transparency and competition in the live events industry. While the bills followed on the heels of Live Nation-Ticketmaster’s mishandling of the Taylor Swift Eras Tour, the problems go back much further. Diana Moss argues that the most recent bill, the Fans First Act, while well-intentioned, risks undermining competition by hamstringing the resale market, which will only strengthen Ticketmaster’s monopoly.

Why Business Should Be More Prosocial, and Ten Guidelines for How

Business and economic thought instituted at least since the Reagan revolution in the United States have promoted firms’ narrowly self-interested, profit-maximizing conduct even at the expense of consumers and workers. This paradigm leads to social distrust and insufficient cooperation. Steven C. Salop explains this distortion and proposes 10 guidelines by which firms can self-moderate their behavior to produce prosocial outcomes.

Setting the Record Straight on Historical Industrial Policy

While governments have forged ahead with various industrial policies in areas such as clean energy and semiconductors, we still have much to learn about the historical efficacy of such interventions. Réka Juhász and Claudia Steinwender evaluate the growing literature on nineteenth century industrial policy and possible paths for future research.

READING LISTS

Americans spend significantly more on health care than any other country. Why? Answers to this question range from hospital monopolies to perverse incentives to opaque pricing to medical licensing to pharmaceutical firms abusing IP practices to “creeping consolidation.” Why is the US health care system so broken? And what can antirust do about it? Catch-up on our coverage of antitrust and the US health care system.

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.

Lowering the Barriers to Entry for Economics Research in Healthcare

A new collection of scholarly work on the economics of the US healthcare sector is released today. The following is an adaptation of the...

Rethinking How To Achieve Universal Health Care Coverage in the US

Solutions to expanding heath care coverage in the U.S. are often incremental and focus on mitigating market failures. In new research, Katherine Baicker, Amitabh...

Antitrust Enforcement Is Not Enough to Address Anticompetitive Conduct in Pharmaceutical Markets. Market-Oriented Legal Reform is Needed.

Federal antitrust enforcement has been robust and effective in promoting prescription drug market competition and thereby enhancing consumer welfare. Antitrust enforcement in itself, however,...

George J. Stigler, one of the most influential economists of the 20th century, won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1982 “for his seminal studies of industrial structures, functioning of markets, and causes and effects of public regulation.” His research upended the idea that government regulation was effective at correcting private-market failures. Stigler introduced the idea of regulatory capture, in which regulators could be dominated by special interests. These regulators would work for the benefit of large, monied organizations rather than the public good. Catch up on ProMarket's coverage of his legacy.

Has Antitrust Been Captured by Big Business Interests? It’s Not So Simple

Why has antitrust enforcement declined in the United States since the 1970s? Is it due to the preferences of voters, business influence, or an alternative explanation altogether? In this symposium, Jonathan Baker, Eleanor Fox, and Herbert Hovenkamp discuss the findings of Filippo Lancieri, Eric Posner, and Luigi Zingales’ new paper, “The Political Economy of the Decline of Antitrust Enforcement in the United States.” In this article, Baker critiques the big business capture theory the authors develop and suggests an alternative “settlement” theory to explain the shift toward weaker antitrust enforcement that began in the 1970s.

Confidentiality Agreements Can Act Like Noncompetes

Noncompete agreements, which impose contractual limits on an employee’s ability to work after leaving a job, are regulated or banned in all states. But employers can potentially get around legal limitations on noncompetes by asking workers to sign confidentiality agreements that have similar functional effects. In a new article, Camilla A. Hrdy and Christopher B. Seaman provide empirical evidence that a significant number of employment agreements contain broad confidentiality provisions that place noncompete-like restrictions on workers.

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.

How Companies Should Combat Rage Farming Attempts

Alan D. Jagolinzer and Sander van der Linden highlight a dangerous trend of influencers who deliberately target corporations with disinformation, called “rage farming.” The authors use United Airlines to illustrate the damage this can cause to a business and argue that corporations should counter rage farming with proactive messaging rather than staying silent.

The Surprising Culprit Behind Declining US Antitrust Enforcement

In contrast to a recent paper that argues the decline in antitrust enforcement over recent decades is due largely to the political influence of big business, Herbert Hovenkamp argues that small businesses and trade associations have historically had more influence over antitrust policy, often lobbying for less competition and higher prices.

The Political Economy of the Decline of Antitrust Enforcement in the US

Why has antitrust enforcement declined in the United States since the 1970s? Is it due to the preferences of voters or business influence? In this symposium, Jonathan Baker, Eleanor Fox, and Herbert Hovenkamp will discuss the findings of Eric Posner, Luigi Zingales and Filippo Lancieri’s new paper, “The Political Economy of the Decline of Antitrust Enforcement in the United States.” Lancieri summarizes the findings of the paper here.

Influencers Work in Opacity and Need Professional Organization

Excerpted from THE INFLUENCER INDUSTRY: The Quest for Authenticity on Social Media © 2023 by Emily Hund. Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.

COLUMNS

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