Marshall I. Steinbaum

Roosevelt Institute,
1789 Lanier Pl, NW Apt 1
Washington, DC 20009

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Roosevelt Institute

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2018Concentration in US Labor Markets: Evidence From Online Vacancy Data
with José A. Azar, Ioana Marinescu, Bledi Taska: w24395
Using data on the near-universe of online US job vacancies collected by Burning Glass Technologies in 2016, we calculate labor market concentration using the Herfindahl-Hirschman index (HHI) for each commuting zone by 6-digit SOC occupation. The average market has an HHI of 4,378, or the equivalent of 2.3 recruiting employers. 60% of labor markets are highly concentrated (above 2,500 HHI) according to the DOJ/FTC guidelines. Highly concentrated markets account for 20% of employment. For manufacturing industries, we show that labor market concentration is distinct from product market concentration, and is negatively correlated with wages in each industry’s top occupation.
December 2017Labor Market Concentration
with José Azar, Ioana Marinescu: w24147
A product market is concentrated when a few firms dominate the market. Similarly, a labor market is concentrated when a few firms dominate hiring in the market. Using data from the leading employment website CareerBuilder.com, we calculate labor market concentration for over 8,000 geographic-occupational labor markets in the US. Based on the DOJ-FTC horizontal merger guidelines, the average market is highly concentrated. Using a panel IV regression, we show that going from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile in concentration is associated with a 17% decline in posted wages, suggesting that concentration increases labor market power.

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