Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/191427
Authors: 
Gans, Joshua
Leigh, Andrew
Schmalz, Martin C.
Triggs, Adam
Year of Publication: 
2018
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper No. 7402
Abstract: 
Economic theory suggests that monopoly prices hurt consumers but benefit shareholders. But in a world where individuals or households can be both consumers and shareholders, the impact of market power on inequality depends in part on the relative distribution of consumption and corporate equity ownership across individuals or households. The paper calculates this distribution for the United States, using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances and the Consumer Expenditure Survey, spanning nearly three decades from 1989 to 2016. In 2016, the top 20 percent consumed approximately as much as the bottom 60 percent, but had 13 times as much corporate equity. Because ownership is more skewed than consumption, increased mark-ups increase inequality. Moreover, over time, corporate equity has become even more skewed relative to consumption.
Subjects: 
monopoly
market power
inequality
JEL: 
D42
D43
D61
D63
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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