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Concentration in US Labor Markets: Evidence From Online Vacancy Data

Author

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  • 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. For manufacturing industries, we show that labor market concentration is distinct from product market concentration, and is negatively correlated with wages in each industry’s top occupation.

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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    Blog mentions

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

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    1. repec:cpr:ceprdp:14231 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Azar, José & Vives, Xavier, 2018. "Oligopoly, Macroeconomic Performance, and Competition Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 13000, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Gregor Jarosch & Isaac Sorkin & Jan Sebastian Nimczik, 2019. "Granular Search, Concentration and Wages," 2019 Meeting Papers 1018, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Flavien Moreau & Ludovic Panon, 2019. "Macroeconomic Effects of Market Structure Distortions," 2019 Meeting Papers 579, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Hartmann, Dominik & Jara-Figueroa, Cristian & Kaltenberg, Mary & Gala, Paulo, 2019. "Mapping stratification: The industry-occupation space reveals the network structure of inequality," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 06-2019, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    6. Martins, Pedro S., 2014. "30,000 Minimum Wages: The Economic Effects of Collective Bargaining Extensions," IZA Discussion Papers 8540, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. David Berger & Kyle Herkenhoff & Simon Mongey, 2018. "Labor Market Power," 2018 Meeting Papers 170, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Guido Matias Cortes & Jeanne Tschopp, 2019. "Rising Concentration and Wage Inequality," Diskussionsschriften dp1912, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    9. Richter, Philipp M. & Runkel, Marco & Schmidt, Robert C., 2019. "Strategic environmental policy and the mobility of firms," KCG Working Papers 14, Kiel Centre for Globalization (KCG).
    10. Steven Berry & Martin Gaynor & Fiona Scott Morton, 2019. "Do Increasing Markups Matter? Lessons from Empirical Industrial Organization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 44-68, Summer.
    11. Kevin Rinz, 2018. "Labor Market Concentration, Earnings Inequality, and Earnings Mobility," CARRA Working Papers 2018-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    12. Ben Lipsius, 2018. "Labor Market Concentration does not Explain the Falling Labor Share," 2018 Papers pli1202, Job Market Papers.
    13. Gregor Jarosch & Jan Sebastian Nimczik & Isaac Sorkin, 2019. "Granular Search, Market Structure, and Wages," NBER Working Papers 26239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Ghanshyam Sharma & Kurt W. Rotthoff, 2019. "Impact of Market Concentration on Employment and Wages: a Look at the Insurance Industry," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 47(2), pages 169-178, June.
    15. Arthur Turrell & Bradley J. Speigner & Jyldyz Djumalieva & David Copple & James Thurgood, 2019. "Transforming Naturally Occurring Text Data into Economic Statistics: The Case of Online Job Vacancy Postings," NBER Chapters, in: Big Data for 21st Century Economic Statistics, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Mertens, Matthias, 2018. "Labour market power and the distorting effects of international trade," IWH Discussion Papers 18/2018, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    17. 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.
    18. José Azar & Xavier Vives, 2018. "Oligopoly, Macroeconomic Performance, and Competition Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 7189, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Kristin Forbes, 2019. "Has globalization changed the inflation process?," BIS Working Papers 791, Bank for International Settlements.
    20. Mertens, Matthias, 2019. "Labour market power and the distorting effects of international trade," IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers 2/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    21. Okudaira, Hiroko & Takizawa, Miho & Yamanouchi, Kenta, 2019. "Minimum wage effects across heterogeneous markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 110-122.
    22. Nicolas Abad, 2019. "Firms' Labor Market Power and Aggregate Instability," Working Papers hal-02329802, HAL.

    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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