Economics serving society

(December 11) Lecture by Thomas Philippon: “The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets”

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The Banque de France - PSE Chair is pleased to invite you to Thomas Philippon’s lecture (Stern School of Business), on December 11 2019, dedicated to the presentation and discussion of his new book. The event will take place at the Banque de France and will be discussed by David Spector (Paris School of Economics).

“The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets”

Date: December 11, 2019 ; 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Place: Banque de France : 31 rue Croix des Petits Champs, 75001 Paris
Online registration (compulsory) on this page


More information about the book

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Why are cell-phone plans so much more expensive in the United States than in Europe? It seems a simple question. But the search for an answer took Thomas Philippon on an unexpected journey through some of the most complex and hotly debated issues in modern economics. Ultimately he reached his surprising conclusion: American markets, once a model for the world, are giving up on healthy competition. Sector after economic sector is more concentrated than it was twenty years ago, dominated by fewer and bigger players who lobby politicians aggressively to protect and expand their profit margins. Across the country, this drives up prices while driving down investment, productivity, growth, and wages, resulting in more inequality. Meanwhile, Europe—long dismissed for competitive sclerosis and weak antitrust—is beating America at its own game.

Philippon, one of the world’s leading economists, did not expect these conclusions in the age of Silicon Valley start-ups and millennial millionaires. But the data from his cutting-edge research proved undeniable. In this compelling tale of economic detective work, we follow him as he works out the basic facts and consequences of industry concentration in the U.S. and Europe, shows how lobbying and campaign contributions have defanged antitrust regulators, and considers what all this means for free trade, technology, and innovation. For the sake of ordinary Americans, he concludes, government needs to return to what it once did best: keeping the playing field level for competition. It’s time to make American markets great—and free—again.