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The Challenge of Market Power under Globalization


  • David Mayer-Foulkes


The legacy of Adam Smith leads to a false confidence on the optimality of laissez faire policies for the global market economy. Instead, the polarized character of current globalization deeply affects both developed and underdeveloped economies. Current globalization is characterized by factor exchange between economies of persistently unequal development. This implies the existence of persistent extraordinary market power in transnational corporations, reflected in their disproportionate participation in income and policy. These are shown to be steady-state features of globalization in a convergence club model of development and underdevelopment including trade and foreign direct investment (FDI). Moreover, results in tax competition explain how the increased share of transnational profits under globalization leads to lower corporate taxes, more conservative policies, and weaker institutions for balancing market power. The increased level of market power under globalization poses a serious challenge for national and global governance that deeply impacts economic development, distribution, sustainability, and democracy everywhere.

Suggested Citation

  • David Mayer-Foulkes, 2015. "The Challenge of Market Power under Globalization," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(2), pages 244-264, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:19:y:2015:i:2:p:244-264

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    2. Howitt, Peter & Mayer-Foulkes, David, 2005. "R&D, Implementation, and Stagnation: A Schumpeterian Theory of Convergence Clubs," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(1), pages 147-177, February.
    3. Michael P. Devereux & Simon Loretz, 2013. "What Do We Know About Corporate Tax Competition?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 66(3), pages 745-774, September.
    4. Mayer-Foulkes David A, 2010. "Long-Term Fundamentals of the 2008 Economic Crisis," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 9(4), pages 1-25, January.
    5. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-947, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:eecrev:v:94:y:2017:i:c:p:126-147 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. David Mayer-Foulkes & Kurt A. Hafner, 2017. "The technology Gradient in the Market Economy," Working papers DTE 606, CIDE, División de Economía.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F60 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General


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