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Speaker Series: E. Glen Weyl, New England Lab, Microsoft Research

  • When: September 19, 2018, 12–1:30 pm
  • Where: ABF Woods Conference Room, 750 N. Lake Shore Drive, 4th Floor, Lakeside, Chicago IL 60611

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Antitrust Remedies for Labor Market Power

Recent research indicates that labor market power has contributed to wage inequality and economic stagnation. Although the antitrust laws prohibit firms from restricting competition in labor markets like in product markets, the government does little to address the labor market problem and private litigation has been rare and mostly unsuccessful. The reason is that the analytic methods for evaluating labor market power in antitrust contexts are primitive, far less sophisticated than the legal rules used to judge product market power. To remedy this asymmetry, we propose methods for judging the effects of mergers on labor markets. We also extend our approach to other forms of anticompetitive practices undertaken by employers against workers. We highlight some arguments and evidence indicating that market power may be even more important in labor than in product markets. 

Full paper can be found here:  

E. (Eric) Glen Weyl is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New York City, who uses ideas from political economy to develop social technology for widely-shared prosperity and social cooperation. His recent book with long-time collaborator Eric A. Posner, Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Societydevelops a new social ideology based on radically extending market exchange to dramatically reduce inequality of wealth and power. He is teaching a course on the book at Princeton University this fall as a Visiting Research Scholar and Lecturer.

Glen was born in San Francisco on May 6, 1985 and raised in the Bay Area, where he was a Democratic and socialist activist, before becoming an Ayn Rand follower and founding a national teenage Republican organization while attending boarding school at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut.  Much of his life since has been about reconciling these apparently contradictory ideologies. As he worked to do this, he was valedictorian of Princeton University’s 2007 class, receiving an AB in economics, followed by an MA and PhD in 2008.  He then spent three years as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and three years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago before joining Microsoft.  He is a Sloan Research Fellow 2014-2019.

Glen’s work focuses on “political economy”, a philosophically-inclined field of inquiry that gave birth to modern economics, sociology and political science, as a way to build “social technology”, algorithms and designs for social institutions. He has developed these ideas through academic research in a range of fields, for example articles published in the American Economic Review, Science, the Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Economics and Computation, the Harvard Law Review and Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

However, he has increasingly moved beyond academic work, founding the RadicalxChange movement to bring together activists, communicators, entrepreneurs and researchers committed to using market mechanism to create a radically more just society.  In the process he has founded and consulted for a range of companies (especially in the blockchain space), helped create a number of activist groups, consulted for several governments and collaborated with artists and designers.

Outside his professional life, Glen serves on the advisory boards of Esopus, an art magazine.  He is married to Alisha C. Holland, a political scientist studying urban Latin America at Princeton’s Politics department.

Pacific Standard Magazine published an in-depth profile on Glen a couple of years ago.

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