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That problem, as Eeckhout puts it, is “wage stagnation and extreme wage inequality.”

Over the past half-century, the situation for workers in most rich countries has deteriorated on average, setting this era apart from the 30 glorious years (les trente glorieuses) after World War II, when West Europeans, Canadians, and Americans enjoyed a near-miraculous period of sustained growth, including broad-based growth in real wages and higher living standards.

The global scale allows superstar firms to compete for entire markets, rather than competing within markets. 

Once one or two behemoths have achieved dominance in a given sector, they can maintain their market power by constructing bulwarks against competition from new entrants.

In an admirable effort to step out of the ivory tower, the Tirole-Blanchard report seeks to equip political leaders for the task of public persuasion.

Project Syndicate 1 October 2021


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