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Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a second landmark antitrust lawsuit against Google, targeting its monopoly in the online advertising marketplace. To simplify the apparent complexity of the case ? and to understand why and how it matters to consumers, the advertising market, the tech industry, and the economy ? Luigi conducted a special bonus interview with Dina Srinivasan, one of the foremost lawyers in the field of competition policy, and the author of the 2019 article, "Why Google Dominates Advertising Markets" (Stanford Technology Law Review).
Then, Bethany joins Luigi to discuss the implications of this case and the Facebook-Google "Jedi Blue" ad agreement for consumer harm, the business model of journalism, democracy, and beyond.
Show notes:In a Wall Street Journal article about Google?s Secret ?Project Bernanke,? Jeff Horwitz and Keach Hagey quoted Google Chief Economist Hal Varian's answer to a question he was asked during the Stigler Center's 2019 Antitrust and Competition Conference. Watch the video excerpt here."Why Google Dominates Advertising Markets," by Dina Srinivasan, Stanford Technology Law Review, December 2019Read ProMarket's ongoing coverage of Google here.
China's emergence from its stringent zero-COVID policy seems to be the opposite of controlled and competent, two words that have otherwise been frequently used to describe its balancing act between capitalism and one-party rule. Beyond this, we are witnessing an unprecedented convergence of factors: a government crackdown on domestic Big Tech, population decline, a persisting real estate crisis, and the Biden administration?s recent introduction of some of the most draconian export controls in history.
To discuss this crossroads in China?s economy and society, Luigi and Bethany talk to Chicago Booth?s Chang-Tai Hsieh. Amidst the paradox of escalating tensions and record-breaking bilateral trade, they discuss whether we are underestimating China, what advice to give to Western businesses operating there, and the long-term prospects for the country's economy and their global implications.
On February 9th, 2023, "China?s New Covid Strategy," the next webinar in the Stigler Center's series on China's political economy, will feature Chang-Tai Hsieh, along with Schwarzman Scholars/Harvard Medical School's Joan Kaufman and the Financial Times' Nian Liu (Stigler Center Journalist in Residence, 2021). Register here.Revisit previous webinars hosted by the Stigler Center on China?s political economy and read a summary: https://www.promarket.org/2023/02/02/event-notes-chinas-political-economy-in-review/ Economists share blame for China?s ?monstrous? turn, Janos Kornai in the Financial Times.
Earlier this month, Joe Biden made his first visit to the southern United States border as President, after two years of back-and-forth over his administration's immigration policy. While the cost-benefit debate of immigration has always been politically contentious, a new book by economists Leah Boustan and Ran Abramitzky provides data and insight on how decades of immigration policy have shaped the United States over time.
Luigi and Bethany sit with Boustan to unpack gender, country of origin, culture, and other cross-sectional variations in this data. How do immigrants and their succeeding generations impact the jobs, wages, and housing prices for the native-born? Conversely, who is left to make a change if all motivated people leave a country? Can data sway the immigration story beyond the border crisis?
For the beginning of the year, we are revisiting two previous yet timely conversations, with Adrian Wooldridge (author of "The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World") and Michael Sandel (author of "The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good").
With them, Bethany and Luigi discuss whether meritocracy creates a better world for everyone, or if it creates massive inequality. Wooldridge makes the nuanced case that while meritocracy is generally beneficial, we as a society need to recapture the notion of merit from the elites. Sandel, on the other hand, argues in a nuanced way that essentially the problem with meritocracy is not the failure to live up to the ideal, but the idea itself.
Capitalisn't will be back in your feeds with a brand new episode on January 19. Don't forget to rate and review our podcast if you haven't already, and leave us a voicemail at https://www.speakpipe.com/Capitalisnt.
In mid-2021, Lord Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England, joined our podcast and was almost singular (compared to other experts) in predicting the inflation that we see today. Now, as we look back on 2022, he rejoins us with a somewhat more optimistic outlook on what may happen next.
King, Bethany, and Luigi go back to the basics to unpack what was foreseeable, and what was less so. How did "too much money, too few goods" cause today's inflation? What were the effects of energy shocks, the COVID-related labor market, and what might be the implications for asset prices, wages, and interest rates, among other things? They discuss the successes and pitfalls of economic models, the risks ahead in policy approaches, and the political pressures that might impact their implementation.
Why were so many Taylor Swift fans unable to secure tickets for her upcoming US tour?
Possible explanations vary, but many have pointed to market power concentration in creative industries, and how it affects the creative class and consumers. Consider Amazon's influence in book publishing, Google/Facebook's advertising duopoly effect on news media, or in Swift's case, Ticketmaster?s control of ticketing and venues for artists. In a new book (co-authored with scholar Rebecca Giblin), Cory Doctorow ? a renowned writer and activist ? calls this ?capture? of creative labor markets "Chokepoint Capitalism."
Doctorow joins Bethany and Luigi to discuss the negative effects of concentration, why the doctrine that gave us these market effects is inadequate, and what could be done to return more power and profits to creative workers and beyond ? while also asking the question: what are we trying to accomplish with competition itself?
Read an excerpt from the book here: https://www.promarket.org/2022/10/03/why-streaming-doesnt-pay/
[Show Notes: During the episode, Luigi mentions the paper of a Stigler Center Fellow. Here is a ProMarket piece describing this research in further detail: https://www.promarket.org/2022/11/10/the-economics-of-content-moderation-on-social-media/]
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, we've discussed its many aspects but we haven't talked to anyone actually in or from the country. On this episode, we do both. Ukrainian economist Tymofiy Mylovanov is the president of the Kyiv School of Economics, advisor to the Zelensky administration, and former Ukrainian Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture.
Mylovanov shares what has and hasn't surprised him about the war, reveals Russia?s other strategic advantages beyond energy resources, and offers a game theoretical approach to understanding the potential outcomes of this conflict. Along the way, he laments the cost of human lives as the price for democracy, and encourages us to remember history?s lessons.
Please consider supporting the humanitarian aid campaign of the Kyiv School of Economics Charitable Foundation at Mylovanov's institution: https://kse.ua/we-save-lives/