100 years of rising corporate concentration

  • We collect data on the size distribution of all U.S. corporate businesses for 100 years. We document that corporate concentration (e.g., asset share or sales share of the top 1%) has increased persistently over the past century. Rising concentration was stronger in manufacturing and mining before the 1970s, and stronger in services, retail, and wholesale after the 1970s. Furthermore, rising concentration in an industry aligns closely with investment intensity in research and development and information technology. Industries with higher increases in concentration also exhibit higher output growth. The long-run trends of rising corporate concentration indicate increasingly stronger economies of scale.

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Author:Spencer Yongwook KwonGND, Yueran MaGND, Kaspar ZimmermannGND
Parent Title (English):SAFE working paper ; No. 359
Series (Serial Number):SAFE working paper (359)
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Working Paper
Year of Completion:2022
Year of first Publication:2022
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/09/29
Tag:Corporate concentration; economies of scale
Issue:May 2022
Page Number:96
Institutes:Wirtschaftswissenschaften / Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / House of Finance (HoF)
Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / Center for Financial Studies (CFS)
Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe (SAFE)
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
JEL-Classification:E Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / E0 General / E01 Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth
E Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / E2 Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment / E23 Production
N Economic History / N1 Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations / N12 U.S.; Canada: 1913–
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht