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Economic Brief

June 6, 2019

Richmond Fed Research Addresses Market Concentration Concerns

Policymakers in the United States and Europe have expressed concerns that markets are becoming less competitive as they become more concentrated, but the Richmond Fed’s latest Economic Brief concludes that the evidence is mixed and more research is needed to reach a consensus.

While evidence regarding the level of competition is murky, evidence regarding the level of market concentration seems clear: Richmond Fed research suggests that national industry concentration has increased since 1990 while local industry concentration has decreased over the same period.

The Richmond Fed’s Economic Brief series provides web-exclusive essays on economic issues and trends. Sign up to receive an email notification when a new essay is posted.


As part of our nation’s central bank, the Richmond Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks working together with the Board of Governors to support a healthy economy and deliver on our mission to foster economic stability and strength. We connect with community and business leaders across the Fifth Federal Reserve District — including the Carolinas, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and most of West Virginia — to monitor economic conditions, address issues facing our communities, and share this information with monetary and financial policymakers. We also work with banks to ensure they are operating safely and soundly, supply financial institutions with currency that’s fit for distribution, and provide a safe and efficient way to transfer funds through our nation’s payments system.

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Jim Strader (804) 697-8956 (804) 332-0207 (mobile)