Episode 8: Is market power weighing on the US economy?
01 Apr 2019
Since 2000, fewer and fewer companies have come to control larger and larger shares of the market in a wide variety of industries. In fact, 75% of US industries have experienced a rise in concentration over that period. What does this mean for competition across the economy and in individual sectors, and is it detrimental or beneficial to the economy?
In the eighth episode of The Flip Side, Head of Research Jeff Meli and Senior US Economist Jonathan Millar examine the intensity of concentration in the US economy through trends in labour’s share of income, corporate profits, business dynamism and investment since the turn of the millennium.
They debate whether the dominant dynamic behind these trends is linked to one of two hypotheses about competition: 1) market power, when companies use their market share to extract additional profits by raising consumer prices, holding down wages or discouraging market entrants, or 2) winner-take-all, where companies amass market share as a side-effect of increased competition through innovation, productivity gains and efficiency.
An expanded Impact Series study shines a spotlight on rising industrial concentration and its effects on the US economy.
About the analysts
Jeff Meli is Head of Research within the Investment Bank at Barclays. Jeff joined Barclays in 2005 as Head of US Credit Strategy Research. He later became Head of Credit Research. He was most recently Co-Head of FICC Research and Co-Head of Research before being named Head of Research globally. Previously, he worked at Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan, with a focus on structured credit. Jeff has a PhD in Finance from the University of Chicago and an AB in Mathematics from Princeton.
Jonathan Millar is Senior US Economist at Barclays in New York. He has expertise in monetary policy, productivity, business investment and the industrial sector. Prior to joining Barclays, Jonathan was a Principal Economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve in Washington, DC. He also spent two years in Paris as an economist with the Organisation for Economic Development. Prior to these roles, Jonathan taught economics at the University of Michigan and had positions at the Bank of Canada, at the IMF, and as a specialist in energy derivatives at DTE Energy Trading.