Date of Thesis

Spring 2020


Over the last few decades, there has been substantial economic research and scholarly debate in regards to economic growth, productivity, industrial concentration, business investment and the labor share, amongst other macroeconomic issues. Anemic GDP growth, the productivity paradox, and the current technological paradigm motivates this paper to find evidence for competing theories in the literature regarding the impact of the documented increase in industrial concentration that has recently occurred in the U.S. After compiling an expansive review of the recent literature, this study creates a framework to analyze manufacturing data in the U.S. economy over the 1958-2011 period. It then bridges concentration ratios to the sectoral data to look at measures of profitability, capital accumulation, and industrial concentration in manufacturing over the 1997-2011 period. The results of this study are as follows: First, highly concentrated sectors in manufacturing have higher profit shares (i.e., lower wage shares) over the 1997-2011 period. Second, the output-capital ratio is lower in more highly concentrated sectors over the 1997-2011 period. Third, the rate of capital accumulation seems to be lower in more highly concentrated sectors than it is for less concentrated sectors in manufacturing over the 1997-2007 period. The paper concludes by pointing towards a potential connection between the state of antitrust institutions and rising income inequality in the U.S.


industrial concentration, profitability, capital accumulation, manufacturing, labor share, antitrust

Access Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Erdogan Bakir