Antitrust Remedies for Labor Market Power

  • Citation: Naidu, Suresh, Eric A. Posner, Glen Weyl, "Antitrust Remedies for Labor Market Power," Harvard Law Review 132, no. 2 (December 2018): 536-601.
    • Topics:
    • Business and Trade
    • Keywords:
    • labor monopsony
    • antitrust law
    • merger analysis
    • labor market

Recent research indicates that labor market power has contributed to wage inequality and economic stagnation. Although the antitrust laws prohibit firms from restricting competition in labor markets as in product markets, the government does little to address the labor market problem, and private litigation has been rare and mostly unsuccessful. One reason is that the analytic methods for evaluating labor market power in antitrust contexts are far less sophisticated than the legal rules used to judge product market power. To remedy this asymmetry, we propose methods for judging the effects of mergers on labor markets. We also extend our approach to other forms of anticompetitive practices undertaken by employers against workers. We highlight some arguments and evidence indicating that market power may be even more important in labor markets than in product markets.

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