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CEP discussion paper
Intangibles and industry concentration: supersize me
Matej Bajgar, Chiara Criscuolo and Jonathan Timmis
October 2021
Paper No' CEPDP1806:
Full Paper (pdf)

Tags: competition; industry and entrepreneurship; innovation

This paper presents new evidence on the growing scale of big businesses in the United States, Japan and 11 European countries. It documents a broad increase in industry concentration across the majority of countries and sectors over the period 2002 to 2014. The rising concentration is strongly associated with intensive investment in intangibles, particularly innovative assets, software and data, and this relationship is magnified in more globalized and digital-intensive industries. The results are consistent with intangibles disproportionately benefiting large firms and enabling them to scale up and raise their market shares, increasingly over time.