A recent fall in the labour share of income has helped fuel rising inequality and populist demand for dramatic reform of competition law. While these pushes cannot find an immediate response in competition law enforcement, they have stirred a debate within the competition community on monopsony and labour market power retained by employers, and on when exercise of employer monopsony power infringes competition law.
In June 2019, the OECD held a hearing aimed at discussing the anticompetitive concerns in labour markets. The session will focus on the factors contributing to the creation of monopsony power and its effects on workers and consumers. It will explore why cases involving monopsony power have been relatively rare, and what use competition authorities could make of their enforcement powers to prevent the creation of monopsony power, for example through mergers or no-poaching agreements, and the abuse of that power. Other ways to increase the countervailing market power of workers and to address downward pressure on wages and job losses will also be considered.
The topic was explored again during the 2020 Competition Open Day held on 26 February 2020 at the OECD Centre in Paris.
All related materials for the discussion are available on this page.
JUNE 2019 ROUNDTABLE INFORMATION
Herbert HOVENKAMP Bio
Professor, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Marshall STEINBAUM Bio
University of Utah, USA
Competition Policy for Labour Markets by Herbert Hovenkamp
Monopsony and the Business Model of Gig Economy Platforms by Marshall Steinbaum
Market Concentration, 2018
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Market Studies, 2008