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Trends in Aggregate Concentration in the United States

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  • Lawrence J. White

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence J. White, 2002. "Trends in Aggregate Concentration in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 137-160, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:16:y:2002:i:4:p:137-160
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/089533002320951019
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    Cited by:

    1. M'Chirgui, Zouhaïer, 2009. "Dynamics of R&D networked relationships and mergers and acquisitions in the smart card field," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1453-1467, November.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2015. "The Rise and Decline of General Laws of Capitalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
    3. Mitton, Todd, 2008. "Institutions and concentration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 367-394, June.
    4. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2008. "Competitive Prices and Organizational Choices," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-173, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    5. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2004. "Managerial Firms, Vertical Integration, and Consumer Welfare," Economics Working Papers 0037, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
    6. Alvin J. Silk & Charles King III, 2008. "Concentration Levels in the U.S. Advertising and Marketing Services Industry: Myth vs. Reality," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-044, Harvard Business School.
    7. Pease, Stephanie & Paliwoda, Stanley & Slater, Jim, 2006. "The erosion of stable shareholder practice in Japan ("Anteikabunushi Kosaku")," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 618-640, December.
    8. Toke Reichstein & Michael Dahl, 2004. "Are Firm Growth Rates Random? Analysing Patterns and Dependencies," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 225-246.
    9. Robert W. Crandall & Clifford Winston, 2005. "Does antitrust policy improve consumer welfare? Assessing the evidence," Chapters,in: Governments, Competition and Utility Regulation, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Michael Dietrich, 2003. "Giant Firms in the Information Economy," Working Papers 2003006, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2003.
    11. Li, Haizheng & Luo, Jifeng, 2008. "Industry consolidation and price in the US linerboard industry," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 93-115, April.

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