Inequality and economic policy

How is the changing economy creating new forms of private power and economic inequality? What does a 21st century economic policy agenda look like? My work in this area explores the law, policy, and history of these questions in areas such as:

  • Financial regulation
  • Competition policy
  • Social policy and the changing nature of work
  • Housing and urban inequality

In my book, I focus on financial regulation since the 2008 crisis, and the debates over "too-big-to-fail" financial firms.  My next book project explores the changing nature of inequality and economic opportunity, and the future of the social contract in this “New Gilded Age” of inequality, private power, and political gridlock.

Current works in progress: 

  • "Private Power, Public Values: Regulating Social Infrastructure in a Changing Economy" (under review).  Argues that Progressive Era theories of public utility can be adapted to regulating the private provision of basic necessities, from broadband to finance to healthcare.
  • "Canary in the Coal Mine: The On-Demand Economy and the Regulatory Challenges of 21st Century Capitalism" (under review).  Dissects the different types of systemic policy change needed to address problems in the on-demand economy, from new modes of social insurance to reformed city planning to alternative modes of labor organizing.
  • "Creating the New Social Contract," White Paper, Roosevelt Institute (forthcoming).  How should we redesign our social contract and economic and social policy more broadly to address problems of growing inequality and a changing economy?
  • 'Creating an Infrastructure of Opportunity," American Constitution Society policy paper (forthcoming).  How can we expand our conception of and investment in public goods to make economic opportunity more widely shared?  

Recent publications and talks

UNTAMED: How to check corporate, financial, and monopoly power

Roosevelt Institute, June 2016

I co-authored sections on competition policy and regulatory responsiveness for this White Paper on how to restructure economic rules to combat inequality.  You can read the report here, or view the panel from our launch event to the right, featuring Mike Konczal (Roosevelt Institute), Rana Foroohar (Time Magazine), Rashad Robinson (Color of Change), and myself. 


Economics of power


Increasing economic inequality is not just about the changes in the workforce. It’s also about a shift in the balance of power in the economy.


How To Revive Progressive-Era Economics for the New Gilded Age

The Nation, July 2015

How do we fight concentrations of private corporate power? By studying how they did it last time.


Curbing the New Corporate Power

The Boston Review, May/June 2015 

How should we regulate the new forms of private power in the internet economy? From Amazon to Google to Uber, these technological giants present novel forms of corporate power that outstrip conventional modes of regulation.  But reformers from a century ago developed a novel approach for corporate giants that exerted control over key aspects of economic infrastructure: the public utility model. This model offers a starting point for addressing the new forms of power in the information economy.