Skorup and Thierer’s Research on Cronyism Cited by Washington Post, SFChronicle, Businessweek, and The Daily Caller

A recent working paper recently released by the IEP’s Brent Skorup and the Mercatus Center’s Adam Thierer has generated considerable media attention.The Washington Post’s “Wonkblog,” the Daily Caller, the San Francisco Chronicle and the weekly newsmagazine Businessweek have all cited Skorup and Thierer’s paper, “A History of Cronyism and Capture in the Information Economy Sector,” which details the increased cronyism in the IT market caused by government regulation. Skorup and Thierer received additional press on their research when US News and World Report published an Op-ed written by the pair on the same subject.

Skorup and Thierer’s research and scholarship on cronyism has proved to be important due to the increased popular concern regarding the growth in lobbying expenditures among major tech companies in recent years. Observers have decried the increased focus on political influence as opposed to research and development in the industry. Skorup and Thierer have argued that this trend towards cronyism reflects recent efforts by government agencies to increase regulation of emerging technology markets. Skorup and Thierer offer an important contribution by challenging the popular narrative that government action is needed to combat cronyism. The impact of this argument can be seen in the Washington Post’s reference to their work.

Thierer and Skorup argue that skyrocketing lobbying spending proves the need for deregulation. “When policymakers dispense favors, they usually expect something in return,” they argue. Only by eliminating the regulatory schemes that allow policymakers to dispense favors can government eliminate the incentive to get into the lobbying game, they believe. But that may be easier said than done. Take spectrum policy, for example. Thierer and Skorup decry the “politicization of spectrum policy,” and advocate the use of auctions to take the politics out of spectrum allocation decisions. In their view, giving spectrum to the highest bidder eliminates the potential for favoritism.

Skorup and Thierer Op-ed on Cronyism Published by US News and World Report

IEP’s Brent Skorup, along with co-author Adam Thierer of the Mercatus Center, published an op-ed in US News and World Report, detailing the threats posed by increased cronyism in the IT sector. The op-ed, featured in the Economic Intelligence Blog, details specific harms caused by cronyism while also posing solutions designed to alleviate this issue.

The op-ed, which can be found here, is based on a working paper recently released by the duo on the same subject. This paper offers an in-depth analysis of cronyism.

Skorup and Thierer on Cronyism in the IT Sector

IEP’s Brent Skorup and the Mercatus Center’s senior research fellow Adam Thierer have published a working paper regarding the history of cronyism in the IT sector. Skorup and Thierer argue in the paper, which is titled “A History of Cronyism and Capture in the Information Economy Sector,” that growth and entrepreneurship in the information economy are threatened by the current prospect of increased regulation and accompanying lobbying. Such regulation could harm growth due to an associated rise in cronyism. Cronyism causes companies to shift resources into ascertaining influence within the regulatory structure, instead of focusing on research and development. Skorup and Thierer provide context to their discussion by looking at cronyism’s historical role in the technology and telecommunications sectors, as well as posing solutions to alleviate this growing issue.

The article can be found here, as well as below.

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