Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative

Author(s)

Ioana Marinescu

Publication Date

3-2018

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Volume

6

Number

03

Document Type

Brief

Summary

Labor market concentration can worsen after a merger takes place, and this heightened concentration can negatively affect wages. The focus of antitrust analysis, however, has been on the prices of consumer products, not the wages of laborers. New research indicates that, on average, labor markets are highly concentrated, and that higher concentration is associated with significantly lower posted wages for new jobs. This brief uses existing economic tools to develop a model for evaluating labor market concentration and its effects, to determine if a merger will run the risk of anticompetitively suppressing wages, employment, and output. Regulators can use this model to apply antitrust principles to labor markets, as a basis for antitrust enforcement.

License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

The Other Side of a Merger: Labor Market Power, Wage Suppression, and Finding Recourse in Antitrust Law

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