[OPE-L] centralization of capital

From: Paul Adler (padler@USC.EDU)
Date: Wed Feb 15 2006 - 11:52:12 EST

Marxists often assert that capitalism means the growing
centralization of capital. I wonder if any OPErs can help me locate
empirical studies of this trend. Perhaps I haven't been looking in
the right places, but I have not managed to find much on this trend
in the US economy.

I am also unsure what metrics would best capture centralization.

I did a little calculation using Compustat data on the sales of the
largest publicly-held corporations in 1950 versus 2000, and the GDP
for those years. The results were quite startling:

The top 10 corporations total sales represented 10.9% of GDP in 1950,
and 16.5% in 2000.
The 100 corporations' total sales represented 27.4% of GDP in
1950.... and 66% in 2000.

Is this a good way to capture the trend in question?


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