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There is renewed focus by economists and policymakers in the US about the slowdown in productivity growth and innovation, especially since the beginning of the 21st century. Why has labor’s share in national income declined steadily since the early 1980s? Should we be concerned with the rise of monopoly capital in the form of “super-star” companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google, that now dominate sales, profits and production, and where the utilization of labor is low compared to other companies and industries? What do these trends mean for productivity growth? Experts from academia and the private sector joined BFI for a conversation on the growth of market power and implications for US innovation, productivity, and more.

Super-Star Firms, Monopolies, and Productivity: Are We in a New Gilded Age or a New Rust Age?

Cocktails & Conversations: Super-Star Firms, Monopolies, and Productivity


Thursday, May 9, 2019
5:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Cocktails and Networking
5:30 pm - 5:40 pm
Welcome and Introductions
Jason Tyler, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Northern Trust
5:40 pm - 6:35 pm
Roundtable Discussion
Steven Strongin, Senior Advisor, Global Investment Research, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Chad Syverson, George C. Tiao Distinguished Service Professor, Booth School of Business; Co-Director of BFI Industrial Organization Initiative
John Van Reenen, Gordon Y. Billard Professor, MIT Department of Economics and Sloan School of Management
Kerwin Kofi Charles, Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor and former interim Dean, Harris Public Policy
6:35 pm - 6:45 pm
Audience Q&A