The American Corporation Today

By Carl Kaysen | Go to book overview

"general public." Perhaps because I am a relic of an earlier era, I project into the future a history in which pressures from the side of political institutions, as well as the market, have been an indispensable element in shaping the evolution of corporate structure and behavior and moving it in a more socially desirable direction.


Appendix

1. Changes in the Extent of Competition in the American Economy

There are no precise measures of the extent of competition or its converse, monopoly power, in the markets of an economy, but quantitative indicators that can be compared over time do exist. 1 The most widely available important measure is the concentration ratio, which measures the degree to which a small number of firms (four or eight) dominate a market. A high concentration ratio is not itself a measure of monopoly power, but a low one is a more certain sign of competition. 2

The most recent comprehensive set of measures of the trend in monopoly and competition in U.S. markets was made by W. G. Shepherd. 3 His findings are summarized in Tables 1.1 and 1.2. They show a small increase in the share of economic activity accounted for by competitive markets in the U.S. economy between 1939 and 1958, and a substantial increase between 1958 and 1980. Shepherd explains the change as the result of three forces: increased import competition, antitrust action, and deregulation. The interplay of the last two was hard to disentangle; together they outweighed the changes due to import competition. A more recent study, carrying the measures forward to 1987, shows a slight increase in the share of concentrated industries, but not enough to suggest a reversal of the broad trend. 4


2. The Relative Importance of Large Corporations in Economic Activity

Several sets of data show the size and industrial distribution of business firms in the United States. One major source of data on the activities of businesses distributed by size is the Statistics of Income, based on income tax returns. In 1990, the most recent year for which complete data are available, 20 million business firms filed income tax returns. 5Table 1.3 shows the distribution of these firms by industry group, form of organization, and

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The American Corporation Today
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Contributors ix
  • 1 - Introduction and Overview 3
  • Appendix 20
  • 2 - The Rise and Transformation of the American Corporation 28
  • Notes 67
  • 3 - How American is the American Corporation? 74
  • Notes 97
  • 4 from Antitrust to Corporation Governance? the Corporation and the Law: 1959-1994 102
  • Notes 122
  • 5 - Financing the American Corporation: the Changing Menu of Financial Relationships 128
  • References 178
  • 6 - The U.S. Corporation and Technical Progress 187
  • References 231
  • 7 - The American Corporation as an Employer: Past, Present, and Future Possibilities 242
  • References 267
  • 8 - The Corporation Faces Issues of Race and Gender 269
  • Notes 290
  • 9 - Corporate Education and Training 292
  • References 319
  • 10 - The Modern Corporation as an Efficiency Instrument: the Comparative Contracting Perspective 327
  • Notes 354
  • Notes 356
  • 11 - The Corporation as a Dispenser of Welfare and Security 360
  • Notes 379
  • References 380
  • 12 - Almost Everywhere: Surging Inequality and Falling Real Wages 383
  • Notes 409
  • 13 - The Corporation as a Political Actor 413
  • Notes 433
  • 14 - Architecture and the Business Corporation 436
  • Notes 470
  • Index 487
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