Over the past twenty years, the United States has experienced what Dr. Thomas Philippon calls "The Great Reversal," or a slow drift away from the free market competition which defined the American economy for the last century, towards an increasingly oligopolistic consolidation of market power. What does this mean? For the average American, prices have increased, wages remain stagnant, quality has declined, and the variety of goods has diminished. The reason? The growing political power of incumbent firms, who use their established economic power to influence the political process in their favor, towards high barriers to entry and decreased antitrust scrutiny, through lobbying and the financing of campaigns. Or have they? "The Great Reversal," and hypotheses like it, are far from a consensus... This Thesis is a meta study of the literature surrounding domestic competition in the United States and the impact that the lobbying activity of industry leaders has on said competition. Analyzing over 20 papers covering economics, political science, and political economy, this Thesis argues that domestic competition in the United States has indeed declined over the past two decades and that the growing political power of firms, rather than "unique" technological or structural changes in the economy, has caused this drift away from free markets. Using this analysis, this Thesis further suggests a few solutions to "The Great Reversal" and restoring competition in the American economy.
- The Impact of Lobbying on U.S. Market Competitiveness