Corporations today operate according to a model of corporate governance known as “shareholder primacy.” This theory claims that the purpose of a corporation is to generate returns for shareholders, and that decision-making should be focused on a singular goal: maximizing shareholder value. This single-minded focus—which often comes at the expense of investments in workers, innovation,

In Left Behind: Snapshots from the 21st Century Labor Market, Roosevelt Program Director Rakeen Mabud and Program Associate Jess Forden explore today’s changing economy and the future of work through the lens of six occupations: carework, food service, manufacturing, mining, nursing, and trucking. Despite a seemingly robust and healthy economy, as indicated by headline measures

America’s failing antitrust system is, in large part, to blame for today’s market power problem. Lax antitrust law and enforcement have allowed troubling trends like corporate consolidation to remain unchallenged, further embedding our skewed economy. In highly consolidated markets, consumers have limited choice and little power to pick their price, quality, or provider for the

The State of U.S. Antitrust Law

On Friday, September 21, Roosevelt Chief Economist Joseph E. Stiglitz provided opening remarks at the ongoing Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hearings regarding competition and consumer protection in the 21st century. Professor Stiglitz called for a new antitrust standard, as outlined in an upcoming report co-authored by Roosevelt Research Director and Fellow Marshall Steinbaum. Watch the keynote here and

Is globalization good or bad for workers? One view sees it as an inevitable and desirable process of making economies more efficient: It may displace workers in the short run, but it has the potential to make them richer in the long run. Another view sees globalization as a net negative, leading to a loss

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It has been ten years since the financial crisis dealt the biggest blow to the world economy since the Great Depression. While growth has returned, and the jobmarket  has by now tightened—especially in the United States, where the crisis originated—the reverberations of the crisis continue to affect us in ways both large and small, both obvious

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Since the 1970s, America’s antitrust policy regime has been weakening and market power has been on the rise. High market concentration—in which few firms compete in a given market—is one indicator of market power. From 1985 to 2017, the number of mergers completed annually rose from 2,308 to 15,361 (IMAA 2017). Recently, policymakers, academics, and

Banks today are increasingly consolidating branch locations, while also moving away from low-cost financial services to high-profit activities, leaving marginalized Americans underserved and left behind in today’s economy. Without access to basic banking services, such as checking and savings accounts or small loans, consumers are vulnerable
to a host of financial abuses. To foster a more

Workers are increasingly powerless in the 21st century economy. Working people have few rights on the job, corporations and wealthy individuals hold outsized influence in politics and policymaking, economic inequality is vast and deep, and economic mobility is out of reach for most. Most notably, the unionization rate—a key measure of worker voice and worker

In a joint publication of the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and the Roosevelt Institute, Irene Tung and Katy Milani expose the extent of stock buyback spending across the U.S. economy from 2015 to 2017—finding that companies spent almost 60 percent of net profits on buybacks. At a time of growing economic inequality, with millions