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Concentration in US Labor Markets: Evidence From Online Vacancy Data

Author

Listed:
  • José A. Azar
  • Ioana Marinescu
  • Marshall I. Steinbaum
  • Bledi Taska

Abstract

Using data on the near-universe of online US job vacancies collected by Burning Glass Technologies in 2016, we calculate labor market concentration using the Herfindahl-Hirschman index (HHI) for each commuting zone by 6-digit SOC occupation. The average market has an HHI of 4,378, or the equivalent of 2.3 recruiting employers. 60% of labor markets are highly concentrated (above 2,500 HHI) according to the DOJ/FTC guidelines. Highly concentrated markets account for 20% of employment. Many plausible alternative market definitions show that more than 40% of markets are highly concentrated, suggesting that employers have market power in many US labor markets.

Suggested Citation

  • José A. Azar & Ioana Marinescu & Marshall I. Steinbaum & Bledi Taska, 2018. "Concentration in US Labor Markets: Evidence From Online Vacancy Data," NBER Working Papers 24395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24395
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tribalism, Terranism, and Technology: The Pitfalls and Promises of Globalization
      by Jason Barr in Building the skyline on 2018-10-19 12:14:07

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Azar, José & Vives, Xavier, 2018. "Oligopoly, Macroeconomic Performance, and Competition Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 13000, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Kevin Rinz, 2018. "Labor Market Concentration, Earnings Inequality, and Earnings Mobility," CARRA Working Papers 2018-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Ben Lipsius, 2018. "Labor Market Concentration does not Explain the Falling Labor Share," 2018 Papers pli1202, Job Market Papers.
    4. Mertens, Matthias, 2018. "Labour market power and the distorting effects of international trade," IWH Discussion Papers 18/2018, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    5. Pedro S. Martins, 2018. "Making their own weather? Estimating employer labour-market power and its wage effects," Working Papers 95, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    6. Azar, José & Vives, Xavier, 2018. "Oligopoly, Macroeconomic Performance, and Competition Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 13000, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law

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