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Trends in Aggregate Concentration in the United States

  • Lawrence J. White

I assemble two rarely used data sets to measure aggregate concentration in the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s. Despite the merger waves of those decades, aggregate concentration declined in the 1980s and the early 1990s, but rose modestly in the late 1990s. The levels at the end of the decade were at or below the levels of the late 1980s or early 1990s. The average size of firm and the relative importance of larger size classes of firms increased, however. Gini coefficients for employment and payroll shares of companies showed moderate but steady increases from 1988 through 1999.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/089533002320951019
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 16 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 137-160

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:16:y:2002:i:4:p:137-160
Note: DOI: 10.1257/089533002320951019
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  1. John E. Kwoka Jr. & Lawrence J. White, 2000. "The New Industrial Organization and Small Business," Working Papers 00-03, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  2. Evans, William N & Kessides, Ioannis N, 1994. "Living by the "Golden Rule": Multimarket Contact in the U.S. Airline Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 341-66, May.
  3. White, Lawrence J, 1981. "What Has Been Happening to Aggregate Concentration in the United States?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 223-30, March.
  4. Oliver E. Williamson, 1967. "Hierarchical Control and Optimum Firm Size," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 123.
  5. Lawrence J. White, 1995. "Tying, Banking, And Antitrust: It'S Time For A Change," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(4), pages 26-35, October.
  6. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1990. "Multimarket Contact and Collusive Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
  7. Lawrence J. White, 1993. "The Community Reinvestment Act: Good Intentions Headed in the Wrong Direction," Working Papers 93-01, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  8. Marvel, Howard P & McCafferty, Stephen, 1986. "The Political Economy of Resale Price Maintenance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1074-95, October.
  9. Feinberg, Robert M, 1985. ""Sales-at-Risk": A Test of the Mutual Forebearance Theory of Conglomerate Behavior," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 225-41, April.
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