A Proposal to Enhance Antitrust Protection Against Labor Market Monopsony
23 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2019
Date Written: December 21, 2018
Recent empirical studies have revealed that labor market monopsony is far more common than previously thought, and that there is a strong correlation between wage suppression and labor market concentration. Yet few antitrust cases have been brought by workers against employers who exercise significant market power against them, and hardly any such cases have been successful. In contrast, antitrust cases against monopolists on the product market side are common. We argue that section 2 of the Sherman Act, which prohibits certain forms of monopolization (and has been interpreted to apply to labor market monopsonization as well) is insufficient for addressing monopsonization of labor markets because of structural differences between labor markets and product markets. We propose a new statute that would strengthen the law by giving employees a more robust claim against labor monopsonists who abuse their market power.
Keywords: antitrust, monopsony
JEL Classification: L1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation