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Jel Classification:L12 

Report
Monopolies Inflict Great Harm on Low- and Middle-Income Americans

Today, monopolies inflict great harm on low- and middle-income Americans. One particularly pernicious way they harm them is by sabotaging low-cost products that are substitutes for the monopoly products. I'll argue that the U.S. housing crisis, legal crisis, and oral health crisis facing the low- and middle-income Americans are, in large part, the result of monopolies destroying low-cost alternatives in these industries that the poor would purchase. These results would not surprise those studying monopolies in the first half of the 20th century. During this period extensive evidence was ...
Staff Report , Paper 601

Working Paper
Monopolies: Silent Spreaders of Poverty and Economic Inequality

The Covid-19 crisis has exposed the vast inequalities that exist within the US economy. As the virus has spread silently, it has laid bare other crises that face our nation---especially the economic vulnerabilities of the country's poor and marginalized. Many of these vulnerabilities can, in fact, be traced back to a single cause that itself has spread silently, but over the last several decades, not months: Monopolies. That monopolies are "silent spreaders of poverty and economic inequality" was well known to economic and legal scholars of the 1930s and 1940s. Wendell Berge, who was ...
Working Papers , Paper 772

Working Paper
Solving the Housing Crisis will Require Fighting Monopolies in Construction

U.S. government concerns about great disparities in housing conditions are at least 100 years old. For the first 50 years of this period, U.S. housing crises were widely considered to stem from the failure of the construction industry to adopt new technology -- in particular, factory production methods. The introduction of these methods in many industries had already greatly narrowed the quality of goods consumed by low- and high-income Americans. It was widely known why the industry failed to adopt these methods: Monopolies in traditional construction blocked and sabotaged them. Very little ...
Working Papers , Paper 773

Working Paper
Because of Monopolies, Income Inequality Significantly Understates Economic Inequality

In social science research, household income is widely used as a stand-in for, or approximation to, the economic well-being of households. In a parallel way, income-inequality has been employed as a stand-in for inequality of economic well-being, or for brevity, "economic-inequality." But there is a force in market economies, ones with extensive amounts of monopoly, like the United States, which leads income-inequality to understate economic-inequality. This force has not been recognized before and derives from how monopolies behave. Monopolies, of course, raise prices. This reduces the ...
Working Papers , Paper 777

Report
Analyzing the Influence of Occupational Licensing Duration and Grandfathering on Labor Market Outcomes

The length of time from the implementation of an occupational licensing statute (i.e., licensing duration) may matter in influencing labor market outcomes. Adding to or raising the entry barriers are likely easier once an occupation is established and has gained influence in a political jurisdiction. States often enact grandfather clauses and ratchet up requirements that protect existing workers and increase entry costs to new entrants. We analyze the labor market influence of the duration of occupational licensing statutes for 13 major universally licensed occupations over a 75-year period. ...
Staff Report , Paper 556

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