FTC Hearing #3 GMU Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century #FTC-2018-0088-D-0013

Submission Number:
Susan Flander
Initiative Name:
FTC Hearing #3 GMU Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century
Antitrust in Labor Markets (Oct. 16): Is a lack of competition among employers a significant contributor to observed macroeconomic trends in labor markets, such as the declining labor share and/or real wage stagnation? Yes What are other explanations for these trends? Over policing in unnecessary areas of information, law changes that directly effect business licensing, employment, and fraudulent credit / collections strategies that allow the tampering with financial records, non adherence or respect to laws that protect temporary and permanent employees, movement of IRA, 401K or other shareholder rights How should the agencies approach defining relevant labor markets for purposes of antitrust analysis? Complaint and court systems What (if any) reliable evidence is available on the existence and effect of employer concentration in properly defined labor markets? NA Does available evidence suggest a causal relationship between employer concentration and labor market outcomes, such as wage? Yes Does this evidence suggest a change in antitrust enforcement is needed? No Should the agencies and courts apply the consumer welfare standard to the analysis of monopsonistic labor markets in which firms are buyers and workers are sellers? Unknown, what is the basis of the question...an example of a monopsony occurs when there is one major employer and many workers seeking to gain employment; if there is only one main employer of labor, then they have market power in setting wages and choosing how many workers to employ. Currently, wages and average wage statistics are provided by the US Government based on recruiting agencies and employers on a sliding scale and who properly report this data. How should the agencies and courts resolve cases where evidence suggests output in the product market is likely to increase but employment and wages are likely to decline because of reduced competition in a properly defined labor market? This is a unknown based on the business and the market it monopolizes