In the News 2019
The Economists’ Hour | Book pointing to the damage inflicted by economists
December 15, 2019 | Financial Express
The Economists’ Hour is quite a fascinating book by Binyamin Appelbaum that traces the major influences of well-known economists on policy making. Economists have traditionally not been regarded highly for policy making and often lawyers were given precedence. They were valued for their ability to think but not quite for being able to do practical things. It was probably the Depression and its aftermath which gave them practical importance and since the Second World War, they have had their ‘hour’.
Are Canadian investors embracing the end of shareholder primacy?
December 5, 2019 | The Globe and Mail
In late August, Business Roundtable, a group of the largest and most influential U.S. corporate CEOs, threw gasoline on a debate that has been smouldering for some time. Is the primary objective of a company to maximize value for its shareholders, or should it consider a broader set of stakeholders? The Roundtable, led by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, announced it was redefining the purpose of a corporation.
Global economic distortions: Fixing a flawed system
December 5, 2019 | Bloomberg
Stanford Finance Professor Anat Admati and University of Chicago Booth School Finance Professor Luigi Zingales discuss distortions in the global economy. They speak on "Bloomberg Surveillance."
Surveillance: The unilateral trade road with Alden (Podcast)
December 5, 2019 | Bloomberg
Roger Diwan, IHS Markit Vice President of Financial Services, says it is not clear how much ability other OPEC countries will have to follow Saudi Arabia’s oil supply cuts. Luigi Zingales, University of Chicago Booth School Finance Professor, discusses the fundamental difference between climate change and climate risk for banking. Anat Admati, Stanford Finance Professor, says problems plaguing democracy and capitalism are rooted between corporations and governments. And Ted Alden, CFR Senior Fellow, says we have gone "far down" a unilateral trade road with this administration.
Europe Is Only United in Making Fun of Trump: Zingales
December 5, 2019 | Yahoo Finance UK
University of Chicago Booth School Finance Professor Luigi Zingales discusses the lack of unity among European nations, except in opposition to various world events. He speaks on "Bloomberg Surveillance.
From Standard Oil to Google and Amazon
November 29, 2019 | CounterPunch
One of the very first investigative journalists, Ida Tarbell went after the “throttling hand” of Standard Oil and John D. Rockefeller. By 1880, the company owned 90 percent of US oil, its transport and its sale. Writing a series of articles over a two-year period, Tarbell’s expose led to a Supreme Court ruling in 1911 ordering the dissolution of Standard Oil — so massive, it was broken up into 34 corporations.
Encouraging “purposeful” business
November 28, 2019 | The Economist
REINVENTING CAPITALISM is all the rage. The British Academy, a scholarly body, issued a provocative report in 2018 arguing for the replacement of profit-focused shareholder capitalism with a system in which corporations embrace social purpose. A follow-up manifesto published on November 27th tries to explain how to do this. But fixing capitalism is easier said than done.
Antitrust law and digital markets: Who has the burden of proof?
November 27, 2019 | Disruptive Competition Project
Given the increasingly visible role of digital services in the U.S. economy, there have been various proposals to change the way that digital services are scrutinized under antitrust, competition, and privacy laws. While evolution of regulatory standards and practices is important, it is imperative that the updates are not hastily created and overburdensome.
No, Google's search results aren't biased
November 24, 2019 | The National Interest
The Wall Street Journal recently reported a shocking revelation: Senior Google employees exert “editorial control over what (its search engine) shows users.” Another journalist and member of the managing board of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago echoed: “Google is everything we feared.”
In the age of technology giants, does capitalism need protection from big business? Luigi Zingales thinks so.
November 21, 2019 | UChicago Magazine
One of the busiest corners of the globe at the opening of the year 1872 was a strip of Northwestern Pennsylvania, not over fifty miles long,” journalist Ida Tarbell wrote in 1902. In the span of just 12 years, those once quiet Pennsylvania hills were overrun with hardy young entrepreneurs seeking to make their fortunes from a new product: petroleum. But the days of bustling competition did not last.
American Conservative, American Prospect hold bipartisan antitrust event
November 19, 2019 | Book Web
On Thursday, November 14, The American Conservative and The American Prospect magazines held an event titled “The Bipartisanship America Needs: Left-Right Convergence on Confronting Monopoly Power.” Despite the speakers’ differing political views, panelists all agreed on one thing: Republicans, Democrats, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission have not adequately enforced antitrust regulation.
How did unfettered business become a bipartisan issue? Professor Luigi Zingales explains why Democrats and Republicans are both pro-business parties, at the expense of everyone else.
November 14, 2019 | Business Insider Singapore
In this episode of Pitchfork Economics, Nick Hanauer and David Goldstein sat down with Luigi Zingales, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago. Zingales said that the US used to have a “competitive ideological market,” and that he thinks it kept people more honest.
Powerful coalition pushes back on anti-tech fervor
November 7, 2019 | The New York Times
The movement to reinterpret or change antimonopoly laws is running headlong into a legal community and interest groups just as invested in defending the status quo.
UTM should introduce a credit union
November 3, 2019 | The Medium
With cuts to OSAP and student debt rising to unprecedented levels, the University of Toronto and student groups—including the UTMSU—should move to establish a credit union to provide an alternative and innovative way to alleviate the monetary needs and wants of students.
America was born fighting monopolies
November 2, 2019 | The American Conservative
Big Tech is on the spotlight. Hardly a week goes by without fresh news on some problems in Big Tech: from growing market power to concern over their excessive data gathering, to end with concerns on how Big Tech companies negatively impact democracy.
Institutional design and privacy: Giving everyone control leaves everything exposed
November 1, 2019 | Disruptive Competition Project
Digital platform regulation is often at the center of hotly contested political debates in areas such as antitrust and privacy. The Stigler Report’s “Market Structure and Antitrust” chapter (discussed further here and summarized here) advocates for the creation of a regulatory authority capable of promulgating ex ante regulations and adjudicating issues of antitrust and competitiveness in digital markets. While this may seem like a way to focus on and remedy the perceived competition and antitrust issues, it leaves the door open for a host of new issues.
Creating a new federal agency to regulate Big Tech would be a disaster
October 30, 2019 | The Washington Post
Have you ever accidentally shared a picture or a message with the wrong audience on Facebook? Have you wondered why social media sites show ads for something you recently purchased on an unrelated website? Are you concerned that your son or daughter might be getting addicted to an app or a game on their phone?
The U.S. Only Pretends to Have Free Markets
October 29, 2019 | The Atlantic
When I arrived in the United States from France in 1999, I felt like I was entering the land of free markets. Nearly everything—from laptops to internet service to plane tickets—was cheaper here than in Europe. Twenty years later, this is no longer the case.
Crisis in Chile: a repeat of 2013 Brazil? Or a warning for Brazil's future?
October 23, 2019 | The Brazilian Report
Chile is facing one of its worst social crises since the end of General Augusto Pinochet's brutal dictatorship in 1990. A rise in public transport fares ignited a series of street protests and unrest--paralyzing the country, killing 15, and forcing President Sebastian Pinera to declare a state of emergency.
Abhijeet Banerjee's article from TOI archives: 'If greed drives us, how're Trump & Gandhi different?'
October 14, 2019 | The Times of India
We are all greedy. For money, for things, for this man's house and that man's wife; for fame, publications and prestige, human warmth and divine grace. It is human to want and human to lust after that nirvana of indifference. Greed, in one way or the other, makes us.
INSIGHT-Congo Republic president's adviser awarded oil licenses at heart of Eni probe
October 10, 2019 | Reuters Africa
A Congolese presidential advisor played a key role in awarding oil licenses now at the heart of a corruption probe by Italian authorities that has engulfed energy giant Eni SpA and the family of its chief executive.
Silicon Valley and the state gird for war
October 7, 2019 | The Economist
The bill, proposed in America’s Senate, reads like a coding manual for software developers. “Infinite scroll”, which makes social-media apps display more content as users swipe up, would be prohibited, as would automatic playlists for videos. Social networks would need to show how much time users spend on them and set a default limit of 30 minutes a day.
Commentary: Who’s afraid of the Green New Deal?
October 6, 2019 | The Daily Herald
With the recent activities by Greta Thunberg and the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, climate change has come back into the news. Under these circumstances, it becomes more importan to understand the Green New Deal passed by Democrats in the House.
Two French economists from Berkeley advise Warren and Sanders on wealth tax
October 6, 2019 | Washington Examiner
Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have the same two outside advisers to thank for shaping their wealth tax proposals: University of California, Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.
What would Facebook regulation look like? Start with the FCC
October 4, 2019 | Wired
The federal government seems increasingly likely to take action on platform giants such as Facebook and Google. Antitrust intervention has emerged as the likely focal point of such efforts. Just listen to Mark Zuckerberg.
Shareholder value vs shareholder welfare
October 3, 2019 | Business Times
In whose interest should companies be run? For a long time, the prevailing view held that firms should put their shareholders first by maximising profits and thus shareholder value.
US House panel taps defunct startup for Facebook files
October 3, 2019 | Associated Press
A U.S. congressional committee has requested a trove of internal Facebook documents that the company's critics say will demonstrate how the social media giant unfairly leveraged its market dominance to crush or absorb competitors.
Surveillance: Slowdown isn’t over yet, Zingales says
October 2, 2019 | Bloomberg Surveillance
Luigi Zingales, University of Chicago Booth School Finance Professor, says the global slowdown is going to continue until Germany delivers a major fiscal package, which is unlikely to happen any time soon.
Do Uber and Lift drive up highway deaths?
September 26, 2019 | Lawyers.com
The conventional wisdom of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft is that they reduce deaths on our roads. People now hire a rideshare car after drinking alcohol. Before you could summon a car at the touch of a button, you faced long waits for a taxi. People often took the risk of driving after drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
Should Big Tech companies be broken up?
September 26, 2019 | France24
It's one of the biggest dilemmas of the digital age: regulating the corporate giants of the technology world. In the US, investigations into the power these firms have are multiplying, with the Justice Department, Congress and state attorneys general among those on the case. Academics are also looking at solutions - with a group co-ordinated by the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago's business school publishing a detailed set of recommendations earlier this year.
Understanding how an IPO gets priced
September 25, 2019 | Marketplace
Home fitness company Peloton is expected to go public tomorrow, following counterparts like Uber and Beyond Meat. Why does a company choose to go public? A company goes public for one of two reasons, said Kate Waldock, a professor of finance at Georgetown University and host of the podcast Capitalisn’t. The first reason is simple: more money.
The week in tech: An emerging twist on antitrust
September 20, 2019 | The New York Times
Facebook to name first oversight panel members by year-end
September 17, 2019 | Associated Press
Facebook said Tuesday that it expects to name the first members of a new quasi-independent oversight board by year-end. The oversight panel is intended to rule on thorny content issues, such as when Facebook or Instagram posts constitute hate speech. It will be empowered to make binding rulings on whether posts or ads violate the company’s standards. Any other findings it makes will be considered “guidance” by Facebook.
Congress is getting ready to grill top DOJ and FTC officials about being too lenient on Big Tech
September 17, 2019 | CNBC
The spotlight on Capitol Hill shifts on Tuesday from big tech companies to the regulators that oversee them. The federal government’s top two antitrust officials — Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons and Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim — will face a tough crowd when they testify before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.
A high-stakes election for Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s press
September 17, 2019 | Columbia Journalism Review
In April, the right-wing bloc led by Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, won a high-stakes election, but lacked a majority in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. Following talks, Netanyahu was unable to form a coalition government.
A seven-member committee in Chicago university has suggested an idea of giving every American $50 through tax cuts so that they can donate the money to their favorite news outlets. Experts are divided though.
Chicago School professor fights ‘Chicago School’ beliefs that abet big tech
September 15, 2019 | The New York Times
Convocation speeches are usually filled with inspiring life lessons or sage advice, but this year’s graduating class at the University of Chicago heard something else: a battle cry against tech monopolies from one of the school’s leading economists.
Chris Johns: Tech monopolies are getting away with financial murder
September 15, 2019 | The Irish Times
Thomas Piketty has transformed our understanding of inequality via an extraordinary research programme that is, among many things, a monumental trawl through centuries of data across several countries.
Momentum grows for a digital watchdog to regulate tech giants
September 11, 2019 | Bloomberg
With Big Tech accused of everything from decimating industries to abusing privacy, calls are growing for the creation of a federal regulator.
State AGs launch Google antitrust investigation
September 9, 2019 | Fox Business
Attorneys general for 48 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia announced an antitrust investigation into Google Monday, as the search giant has come under scrutiny for possible anti-competitive practices.
Does capitalism need saving from itself?
September 5, 2019 | Financial Times
Marty Lipton does not have the look of an American revolutionary. At the age of 88, he is seldom seen without a carefully pressed suit and dapper tie. His resume reeks of Wall Street power. In 1965 he co-founded Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, one of the most prestigious and lucrative American corporate law groups, and he is famous for having invented, in 1982, the “poison pill” — a legal mechanism used by company boards to prevent takeovers.
Academics craft a plan to infuse billions into journalism: Give every American $50 to donate to news orgs
September 5, 2019 | Poynter
Here is a novel idea for saving serious journalism: Give every adult American $50, via an income tax checkoff, to donate to a favorite news outlet. This is not the work of the proverbial crackpot blogger in her pajamas but rather a white paper from a group of seven well-credentialed academics, led by Guy Rolnik of the Stigler Center of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Economics is dismal, but is it science?
September 4, 2019 | The Wall Street Journal
Given the scuttlebutt about a possible recession, over the next few weeks we are likely to hear from a good many economists. With their trained verbosity and the unshakable confidence that seems to be part of their training, they will tell us not to worry, or to worry, or that it is too early to know whether to worry. None of this is likely to give much comfort.
Ultra-low interest rates have diminished productivity
September 2, 2019 | Seeking Alpha
In a previous article, I described how corporate profitability is inversely related to the level of interest rates. In other words, low interest rates lead to high corporate profits, and high interest rates lead to low corporate profits.
When economists ruled the world
August 31, 2019 | The Economist
Few economists worked at the Federal Reserve in the early 1950s. Those who were on the staff of America’s central bank were relegated to the basement, at a safe remove from the corridors where real decisions were made. Economists had their uses, allowed William McChesney Martin, then the Fed’s chairman. But they also had “a far greater sense of confidence in their analyses than I have found to be warranted”. They were best kept down with the surplus furniture and the rats.
Is the government ready to regulate the tech industry?
August 30, 2019 | Marketplace
Between the many hearings on Capitol Hill and antitrust investigations happening both in the U.S. and abroad, it would seem as though regulations are coming for the tech industry — and in some ways, are already here. But is the government ready to play referee in Silicon Valley? For the panelists at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech town hall, the answer seems to be: not very.
Female CEOs more likely to face activists, dismissal; defenses needed
August 28, 2019 | JDSupra
Activist shareholders are significantly likelier to target companies led by female chief executive officers than their male counterparts, and female CEOs face a greater likelihood of dismissal, according to recent studies.
Keeping thumbs off the scale: Nondiscrimination on digital platforms
August 28, 2019 | Public Knowledge Blog
In a recent podcast episode, economist Luigi Zingales related a joke familiar in tech circles: “Why did it take police years to find the body?” “It was buried on page two of Google’s search results!” The witticism rings all too true to internet users.
Sen. Warren, make free press a priority
August 23, 2019 | The Seattle Times
Stronger antitrust enforcement to limit big mergers is a signature of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, which visits Seattle on Sunday.
Big business is beginning to accept broader social responsibilities
August 22, 2019 | The Economist
At a recent dinner in London, a chief executive promised that his airline would soon offer electric flights. A credit provider enthused about increasing financial inclusion in the developing world; a luxury-car executive promised to replace the leather in her vehicles’ opulent interiors with pineapple matting and mushroom-based faux leather. They seemed to think such things made the companies they run sound more attractive. They probably felt that they were doing good.
Facebook, Google & Amazon: Is it time to create a digital FCC to regulate big tech companies?
August 22, 2019 | Fox Business
Nearly half of U.S. adults -- 48 percent in a new Gallup poll -- say the government should increase its regulation of big technology companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google.
Don’t trust CEOs who say they don’t care about shareholder value anymore
August 21, 2019 | The Washington Post
If workers’ unions were to get together and unilaterally decide what the employment contract meant and how it should be interpreted, the Business Roundtable would scream “socialism.” Why shouldn’t we do the same when business leaders get together and redefine the purpose of the corporations that hired them and for which they work?
How should Big Tech be reined in? Here are 4 prominent ideas
August 21, 2019 | The New York Times
The Justice Department is investigating them, as is the Federal Trade Commission. Congress and state attorneys general have their sights on the companies, too.
The rise of advertising activism in the Trump era
August 20, 2019 | Axios
An increase in boycotts, threats and blacklists under the Trump administration is putting pressure on corporate America to be more selective with their marketing dollars.
What'd You Miss?
August 20, 2019 | Bloomberg
WeWork analyst warns IPO filing is a "masterpiece of obfuscation", Volcker Rule trading overhaul and McKinsey's Asian debt warning shot on "What'd You Miss?" Today's Guests: Rett Wallace, CEO of Triton Research and Luigi Zingales, finance professor at University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Negative income tax to eradicate poverty
August 2, 2019 | Business Mirror
Why companies should not attack back at hackers—data sheet
July 18, 2019 | Fortune
Live events, when they succeed, deliver epiphanies. Here are some I enjoyed on the last day of Brainstorm Tech in Aspen, Colo., on Wednesday.
Why it’s not so easy to regulate or split up Big Tech companies—data sheet
July 17, 2019 | Fortune
The emotional highlight of the second day of Brainstorm Tech was the town hall meeting on how tech should be regulated, moderated by Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal.
Amazon comes under fire as lawmakers grill tech on competition
July 16, 2019 | Bloomberg
Amazon.com Inc. was challenged by a top House lawmaker over whether the online retail giant is harming competition as the biggest tech companies faced their harshest antitrust scrutiny in years on Capitol Hill.
Tech giants brace for Washington showdown in echo of Bill Gates
July 16, 2019 | Bloomberg
U.S. technology giants are headed for their biggest antitrust showdown with Congress in 20 years as lawmakers and regulators demand to know whether companies like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. use their dominance to squelch innovation.
The trouble with regulating Big Tech
July 16, 2019 | Fortune
The number of Americans who regard the threat to online privacy as a "crisis" is growing—61% share this view, according to recent polls by SurveyMonkey, which is a 10% jump from a year ago.
Economist Luigi Zingales: To limit Big Tech’s power, regulations should be tailored
July 16, 2019 | Fortune
For an economist, Luigi Zingales has an unconventional approach when it comes to regulating technology giants and their ever-increasing power. It boils down to this: Breaking up the tech giants isn’t the answer, but regulatory fixes are still needed to preserve competition and democracy.
Study: Ride-hailing services leading to more traffic accidents & fatalities?
July 10, 2019 | Study Finds
It would seem that fewer motorists are getting behind the wheel while under the influence these days thanks to ride-hailing apps, namely Uber and Lyft, thus making the roads safer for the rest of us. But surprising evidence collected by researchers at the University of Chicago found that these services may actually be contributing to more traffic deaths, not less.
Study associates arrival of ridehailing with 3% increase in traffic deaths
July 8, 2019 | Green Car Congress
The arrival of ridehailing is associated with an increase of approximately 3 percent in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents, according to research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Rice University.
Why misinformed assumptions about digital markets matter
July 8, 2019 | Disruptive Competition Project
This post is part of a series covering different studies on antitrust enforcement of digital platforms released by various academics, think tanks, and regulatory agencies. First in the series is a review of the Report on Digital Platforms by the George J. Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Italy widens probe into alleged obstruction in Nigeria graft case
July 4, 2019 | Yahoo Finance
Italian prosecutors are widening an investigation into suspected obstruction of justice by officials of oil group Eni, sources said, threatening to open a new legal front for the company as it defends itself in a major corruption trial.
Budget 2019: Meet finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman's team
July 4, 2019 | The Economic Times
As finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman gets ready to present the first budget of the Modi government 2.0 after a thumping win in elections, expectations run high that it will fire up the slowing economy by unveiling bold reforms. ET takes a look at her team led by finance secretary Subhash Garg.
Yes Elizabeth Warren can win
July 3, 2019 | Daily Independent
Elizabeth Warren can do it. Yes, she can. I'll concede that betting on winners and losers in the Democratic presidential free-for-all is like betting on Chicago weather in June. Only fools and hardcore gamblers would dare.
Too many companies drain value from the economy
July 3, 2019 | Bloomberg Opinion
Defenders of free markets have always portrayed them as rife with healthy competition. Striving to outdo each other in providing high-quality products to consumers at ever-lower prices, according to this narrative, companies only profit from the hard work they do and the risks they take.
Walmart and giant US retailers turn up heat on Amazon and Google by calling for blockbuster antitrust investigation
July 2, 2019 | Business Insider
Some of the biggest retailers in America have thrown their weight behind antitrust investigations into Amazon and Google. The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), which counts Walmart, Target, and Best Buy among its members, wrote a 10-page letter to the Federal Trade Commission, saying it would be happy to assist with regulatory probes.
Income inequality at a global level is shrinking. But, within each country it tends to increase. To deal with it, in developing countries such as North Macedonia, the first priority is economic growth, and not reducing inequality. Hopefully, you can get into the EU and that will make it easier for North Macedonia's economy to catch up with the rest of Europe, Luigi Zingales, finance professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, told MIA.
Elizabeth Warren has a plan for everything - nobody is laughing at Pocahontas anymore [translation]
June 22, 2019 | De Standaard
"Yes we can." "Make America great again." What slogan will define the next presidency? Maybe "I have a plan for that." A few months ago nobody cared about her chances as a Democratic presidential candidate, but today Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren flanks Bernie Sanders on the left.
Column: Yes, Elizabeth Warren can win
June 20, 2019 | Chicago Tribune
Elizabeth Warren can do it. Yes, she can. I’ll concede that betting on winners and losers in the Democratic presidential free-for-all is like betting on Chicago weather in June. Only fools and hardcore gamblers would dare.
532nd Convocation; Alums Respond to Diermeier on GSU
June 18, 2019 | The Chicago Maroon
Luigi Zingales, a finance professor at the Booth School of Business, delivered Saturday's convocation address, citing Chicago economists Milton Friedman and George Stigler in a talk that praised market capitalism.
Elizabeth Warren is completely serious
June 17, 2019 | The New York Times Magazine
The first time I met Elizabeth Warren, she had just come home from a walk with her husband and her dog at Fresh Pond, the reservoir near her house in Cambridge, Mass. It was a sunny day in February, a couple of weeks after Warren announced her candidacy for president, and she was wearing a navy North Face jacket and black sneakers with, as usual, rimless glasses and small gold earrings. Her hair had drifted a bit out of place.
The Mini-BOT: The one weird trick for leaving the euro that shows why countries can’t leave the euro
June 17, 2019 | New York Magazine
Some politicians in Italy are enthusiastic about an idea called the “mini-BOT.” That’s short for “mini–bill of treasury,” and the idea is for the Italian central bank to issue small-denomination government bonds. Members of the public could then use the bond certificates to conduct transactions and pay taxes.
The Republican attack on “socialism”
June 5, 2019 | Urban Milwaukee
This phenomenon, called “regulatory capture,” was analyzed by the Nobel laureate economist George Stigler. Although generally considered a conservative, Stigler, like Smith, had no illusion about businesses.
Internally generated poverty (1)
June 4, 2019 | PunchNG
I am sure we have heard the news. Forbes thoroughly slaughtered Nigeria as an investment destination, naming our dear country as where to go if you really want to lose money. After the damage from two major studies in 2018 that left us with the label of the poverty capital of the planet, with desperate need for investment capital to help turn things around, this is a sucker punch. Forbes dubs Nigeria Africa’s money-losing machine.
Public Knowledge applauds bipartisan House Judiciary effort to identify and address problems in the tech sector.
June 3, 2019 | Public Knowledge
Today, the House Judiciary Committee announced that it is launching a bipartisan investigation into whether large technology companies are behaving in anticompetitive ways, and whether existing competition law can adequately address the challenges posed by these digital giants.
Trump is giving Arthur Laffer the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Economists aren’t smiling.
June 1, 2019 | The Washington Post
Economists tend to roll their eyes when the Laffer curve is mentioned. A panel of elite academic economists across the political spectrum found in 2012 that none of its respondents agreed that the United States was on the wrong side of the curve. Even George Stigler, a leader of the Chicago School of Economics who disliked taxes at least as much as Laffer, described the Laffer curve as “more or less a tautology.”
Building "democratic capital:" Can democracy inoculate itself from backsliding, if it has deep enough roots?
May 30, 2019 | Psychology Today
In 2016, Luigi Guiso, Paola Sapienza and Luigi Zingales published a paper in the Journal of the European Economic Association in which they provided a considerable body of evidence indicating that towns and cities of northern Italy that were governed as free city-states during the twelfth through fourteenth centuries have more non-profit organizations per capita, more presence of organ donation institutions, and less cheating by students on math tests, today.
Prof. Fiona Scott Morton leads call for greater competition among digital platforms
May 21, 2019 | Yale School of Management Blog
A committee of scholars chaired by Fiona Scott Morton, the Theodore Nierenberg Professor of Economics, issued a report last week outlining consumer harms caused by the market power of digital platforms like Google and Facebook, and proposing updated antitrust enforcement and regulation to address them. The report was part of a larger examination of digital platforms organized by the George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and issued in conjunction with a conference at the University of Chicago on May 15 and 16.
Professor Tim Wu makes the case against antitrust policy
May 20, 2019 | Cato Institute
In her influential “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” lawyer Lina Khan argued that “the current market is not always a good indication of competitive harm” and that antitrust authorities should “ask what the future market will look like.” This sentiment was recently echoed by economist Jason Furman in a digital competition review for the UK government. One of the best cases against such an approach was inadvertently delivered by long-time antitrust champion Professor Tim Wu at a Stigler Center conference on antitrust last week.
Google, Facebook 'like Big Tobacco' academics say
May 17, 2019 | The Australian Business Review
Google, Facebook 'like Big Tobacco' academics say. Academics say the tech giants have made their apps deliberately addictive.
Forget about impeachment, Democrats. Focus on policy instead.
May 9, 2019 | Bloomberg Opinion
There is a way forward for Democrats, and it comes from Italy. Just after Trump was elected, the Italian economist Luigi Zingales wrote a prescient column warning about the dangers of building an opposition around personal attacks. In the 1990s, Zingales had watched a mercurial, scandal-plagued billionaire rise to power on the Italian right. Silvio Berlusconi would go on to dominate Italian politics for almost two decades, becoming prime minister several times despite regular attacks on his bad behavior. Berlusconi’s opponents were able to defeat him only by focusing on policy.
The need to understand economics
April 30, 2019 | Business Mirror Opinion
By calling economics an imperial science, Stigler may not have realized that he unnecessarily added another line to the leftist popular slogan “American Imperialism” and, thus, created his own bias against some of the far-right libertarians. Stigler should have known better that history is replete with people from both extremes of the left and the right who have used pompous slogans to advance their ideological cause.
Leaving kings to rule markets courts disaster
April 27, 2019 | The Australian Business Review
While productivity and wage growth have stagnated for a decade, we’re still prospering, but we don’t know how much concentration, not only in tech, is holding us back. Remember Google itself emerged out of successful US government antitrust action against Microsoft in the late 1990s.
The emigrant economistic ethic and the value of strangers
April 25, 2019 | Punch
It makes stoutly the points I have taught for years about institutions and the spirit of enterprise and those made by two former University of Chicago Graduate School of Business professors, Raghuram Rajan and Luigi Zingales, in their book, Saving Capitalism From the Capitalists.
Economic Survey may give policy prescriptions for energy, logistics
April 24, 2019 | MoneyControl.com
In previous academic roles, Subramanian served on the finance faculty at Goizueta Business School at Emory University in the United States. He is an MBA and PhD in financial economics at Chicago’s Booth School of Business under the advice of Professor Luigi Zingales and former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Professor Raghuram Rajan.
The impeachment quandary
April 23, 2019 | The New York Times
The most effective political strategies against President Trump have treated him like a normal politician who is failing at his job — rather than like some kind of monster. House Democrats used the more ordinary approach to win dozens of races in last year’s midterms. And that same approach has worked against politicians similar to Trump in other countries, as Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago has pointed out.
How the Chicago School changed the meaning of Adam Smith's 'invisible hand'
April 22, 2019 | The Washington Post
In a recent article published in Modern Intellectual History, I suggest that we can trace the popular version of the “free-market Smith” to the “Chicago School” of economics in the 20th century. Today the Chicago School (the economics faculty at the University of Chicago) is simultaneously famous for being one of the most decorated economics departments in the world (it can claim more Nobel Prizes in economics than any other institution) and infamous for its degree of free-market fundamentalism.
Republicans turn away from experts and economics
April 11, 2019 | Bloomberg Economics
As grand theories were gradually replace with humble empirical work, economists began to see that government interventions in the market like minimum wages were often much more benign than the think tankers and pundits had predicted.
Zingales says more sense for UniCredit to buy Commerzbank
April 5, 2019 | Bloomberg Surveillance
University of Chicago Booth School Finance Professor Luigi Zingales discusses the prospects for a possible rival bid by UniCredit SpA for Commerzbank AG in case talks to merge the German lender with Deutsche Bank AG collapse. Zingales also discusses the impact of capitalism on society with Bloomberg's Francine Lacqua and Tom Keene at the Ambrosetti Forum in Cernobbio, Italy, on "Bloomberg Surveillance." (Source: Bloomberg)
Italy's elite laments dismal outlook under populist coalition
April 5, 2019 | Bloomberg Economics
“If we don’t return to a serious path of growth, we’re not going to get our way out of debt,” Luigi Zingales, finance professor at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, said in an interview at the event at Lake Como. “Of course the international context can help or damage. But the problem of Italy is that when things are great, we do O.K., and when things are not great we do a disaster.”
Surveillance Special: The Ambrosetti Spring Workshop (Podcast)
April 5, 2019 | Bloomberg Surveillance Podcast
Tom Keene and Francine Lacqua host from the Ambrosetti Spring Workshop in Cernobbio, Italy. In this episode, we feature our TV & Radio interviews with: Mohamed El-Erian, Allianz Chief Economic Adviser & Bloomberg Opinion Columnist, Laurence Boone, OECD Chief Economist, Nouriel Roubini, Roubini Macro Associates CEO, Jacob Frenkel, JPMorgan Chase International Chairman, Luigi Zingales, Chicago Booth School Professor, and Jim O’Neill, Chatham House Chair.
Ex-RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan: I hope this book stirs your blood
March 28, 2019 | Mid-day.com
I think the broad issue of the underpinnings of capitalism was based on discussions and works with Luigi. Some of the historical aspects stemmed from my work with Rodney. The book is about trying to understand why capitalism and democracy work so well together in the industrial countries: why is there so much anxiety and protest about it now?
Understanding economics shouldn't just be for economists
March 28, 2019 | The Boar
George Stigler, a Nobel Laureate in economics, said, “The public has chosen to speak and vote on economic problems, so the only open question is how intelligently it speaks and votes.” This is a question for us to ask ourselves – how intelligently are we all voting?
Surveillance: Investing in Lyft with NYU’s Segram (Podcast)
March 18, 2019 | Bloomberg Surveillance Podcast
Luigi Zingales, University of Chicago Booth School Finance Professor, talks bank mergers and the benefits of being "too big to fail."
Fed stays on hold with clouds on the horizon, Zingales says
March 18, 2019 | Bloomberg Surveillance
University of Chicago Booth School Finance Professor Luigi Zingales discusses the factors that he believes will keep the Federal Reserve on hold at its upcoming meeting. He speaks with Bloomberg's Taylor Riggs on "Bloomberg Surveillance."
Want to change corporate culture? Focus on actions.
March 15, 2019 | strategy+business
Early in my career, I was part of a team tasked with transforming operations for a healthcare services provider. The CEO was worried that employees were not committed to the company’s new strategy, which required an enormous shift in the corporate culture. People had historically focused on quarterly targets, but they now needed to prioritize caring for patients, being easy to do business with, and developing long-term relationships.
Elizabeth Warren’s tech assault propels fringe antitrust view to spotlight
March 14, 2019 | Bloomberg
Democratic 2020 contender Elizabeth Warren’s call to break up big tech companies like Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. thrust into the mainstream an emerging movement that favors an aggressive attack on corporate power.
Ride sharing Uber and Lyft increase accidents and deaths
March 10, 2019 | AUTO Connected Car News
Ride sharing companies contributed to more traffic deaths according to a study by the Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State University Chicago Booth School of Business. The arrival of ridesharing is associated with an increase of 2-3% in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents.
The book, The Third Pillar: How Markets and State Leave the Community Behind, written by former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram G. Rajan, is based on his paper with Luigi Zingales: Saving Capitalism from Capitalists.
University of Chicago president speaks out on Trump's proposed order on free speech
March 5, 2019 | The Pantagraph
The president of the University of Chicago is speaking out against a proposed executive order by President Donald Trump that would address free speech on college campuses across the country.
Rent control would benefit some tenants but sap vitality from Chicago
March 5, 2019 | Chicago Tribune
Apartment-dwellers in Chicago’s up-and-coming neighborhoods may be lucky, but many of them feel vulnerable. Why? Because rents typically rise as communities become more desirable. So, what if Chicago were to introduce a rent-control ordinance designed to protect residents from housing cost increases?
It's members' money, not Greg Combet and big super's
March 5, 2019 | The Australian Financial Review
Industry superannuation supremo Greg Combet fired the opening shot this week in what is shaping up to be the "Super Wars".
Firms scramble to reply to draft ecommerce policy within a week
March 5, 2019 | Economic Times
There is a global backlash against US technology companies that are being accused of abusing their market power through their data collection practices.
Bloomberg unwittingly vindicates Stigler
February 26, 2019 | Cato Institute
In a recent Bloomberg Government article, Cheryl Bolen pushes back against what she perceives to be two myths of the much-touted Trump deregulatory agenda: that deregulation is in fact occurring, and that repeal of existing regulations actually helps businesses.
Vital Signs: when watchdogs become pets – or the problem of ‘regulatory capture’
February 14, 2019 | The Conversation
Markets require regulators. As Adam Smith, the champion of the invisible hand, notes in The Wealth of Nations, when individual interests are left unregulated they work to turn competitive markets into monopolies. But what happens when regulators meant to check individual interests fail to promote the public interest?
Looking gift horses in the mouth
February 12, 2019 | Investors Chronicle
'Run your winners' and 'never look a gift horse in the mouth'. Such old pieces of advice can sometimes cost us money.
Il campus di Brunico ospiterà per tre giorni il «gotha» della finanza
February 09, 2019 | Alto Adige
Dal 13 al 15 febbraio, nel campus di Brunico, si terrà la prima edizione di un convegno internazionale dedicato ai temi dell’industria bancaria, della governance delle imprese e di altri temi di attualità. L’intervento centrale è stato affidato a Luigi Zingales, professore alla University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Uber drivers under 25 to take extra road safety course
February 8, 2019 | Dutch News
A University of Chicago research paper co-authored by John Barrios, shared by Amsterdam municipal council this week, suggested that ‘ridesharing services’ in American cities increased fatal accidents by 2% to 3%.
Geopolitics: MBAs evolve to help students navigate global chaos
January 22, 2019 | Financial Times
‘In business schools, we usually do not teach geopolitics,” says Cedomir Nestorovic, a professor and executive MBA academic director at Essec Business School in Singapore. But in an era of unprecedented geopolitical volatility, in which the settled assumptions, and many of the institutions, of the postwar global order are being undermined, that may have to change.
NYT columnist David Leonhardt talks populism at the IOP
January 21, 2019 | The Chicago Maroon
David Leonhardt, an op-ed columnist at The New York Times and 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary, spoke at the Institute of Politics on Thursday evening about populism in America. The event was moderated by Luigi Zingales, a professor at the Booth School of Business and director of the Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State.
The shutdown shows the weakness of the resistance
January 20, 2019 | The New York Times
The grass-roots progressive activism of the past two years has been inspiring. But it’s still a shadow of what the country needs.
Revisiting democratic elitism: The Italian school of elitism, American political science, and the problem of plutocracy
January 16, 2019 | The Journal of Politics
Contemporary political science has fetishized a product of its own invention: the elite theory of democracy. American political science’s understanding of “democratic elitism” is founded on a fundamental misreading of the Italian School of Elitism and Joseph Schumpeter’s political thought.
On Zingales' crony capitalists
January 12, 2019 | Forbes India
The other day at the IIM Bangalore, we had an interesting lecture by Professor Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business on ‘Crony Capitalism’. Professor Zingales’ premise is simple: capitalism is being destroyed by bad/crony capitalists, in cahoots with the State trying to garner surplus/monopoly-profits/rents.
Italy and the EU: Reconcilable differences?
January 3, 2019 | Altamar
For Italy’s populist League and Five Star parties, ongoing strife with Brussels is just what the doctor ordered. Italy isn’t going to “Brexit” anytime soon, but Italy’s support for the European project will remain under strain. Pundits who predicted that the EU’s Italian crisis would reach the boiling point are just plain wrong.