In This Review

The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets
The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets
By Thomas Philippon
368 pp, Harvard University Press, 2019
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This primer on the recent woes of the U.S. economy focuses on rising inequality, the market dominance of a small number of companies, weak levels of investment, and low productivity growth. It attributes these troubling developments to a decline in competition that has been brought about in large part by the rise of very powerful technology companies and above all by the lack of enforcement of antitrust policies. Philippon also points to the damaging role of politicians who protect the interests of their wealthy donors by sponsoring and creating loopholes in tax and regulatory laws. The book provides a useful comparison with Europe, which suffers from the same ailments but to a lesser degree, and where the European Union and its member states more vigorously enforce policies designed to guarantee competition.