In this work, Kathleen Thelen traces the origins of, what is known as, the "Amazon Economy" to the late 19th century, when large-scale retailers capitalized on the uniquely permissive regulatory landscape of the American political economy to outgrow the capacity of the government to regulate them. Thelen's account focuses on features of the legal context, in particular a uniquely congenial competition regime, and on the impact of a fragmented regulatory landscape that invited regulatory arbitrage and outright rule-breaking. As they grew, America's large retailers were able to assemble an ever-growing political support coalition that could be weaponized to head off the regulatory efforts they faced.
** Please note: Events in this series do not include a presentation. Attendees of this seminar are expected to read a paper in advance and enter into a discussion. This is an in-person event. To receive a copy of the paper, please contact Morgan Gillespie at firstname.lastname@example.org. **