Editors’ Briefing: On Our Radar This Week (Feb. 24–March 3)

This week in political economy.       Italy’s elections are on Sunday, and with the polls being inconclusive and the reemergence of former PM Silvio Berlusconi...

Of Computers and Cronyism: What’s the Cause of Italy’s Productivity Problem?

The latest Stigler Center working paper from Bruno Pellegrino and Luigi Zingales argues that Italy’s sclerotic TFP growth over the past two decades has...

The Berlusconi Voter, Taken Seriously: a Little Exercise in Historical Comprehension

The Berlusconi phenomenon in Italy both anticipated and exhibits features that epitomize the plight of Western politics.     This is the third installment of ProMarket’s new article...

Italy’s Referendum: You Call it Populism, I Call it Democracy

The “no” vote in Italy’s referendum was not unexpected, economically meaningful, or against globalization. In these regards, it was not like Brexit or Trump....


Why Have Uninsured Depositors Become De Facto Insured?

Due to a change in how the FDIC resolves failed banks, uninsured deposits have become de facto insured. Not only is this dangerous for risk in the banking system, it is not what Congress intends the FDIC to do, writes Michael Ohlrogge.

Merger Law Reaches Acquirer Incentives and Private Equity Strategies

Steven C. Salop argues that Section 7 of the Clayton Act prohibits mergers in which the acquiring firm’s unilateral incentives and business strategy are likely to lessen market competition.

Tim Wu Responds to Letter by Former Agency Chief Economists

Former special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy Tim Wu responds to the November 27 letter signed by former chief economists at the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department Antitrust Division calling for a separation of the legal and economic analysis in the draft Merger Guidelines.

Can the Public Moderate Social Media?

ProMarket student editor Surya Gowda reviews the arguments made by Paul Gowder in his new book, The Networked Leviathan: For Democratic Platforms.

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.