On May 31, 2022, Matt Schmitt, a Senior Vice President in our Washington, DC office won Best Antitrust Article of 2021 on Labor Monopsony for a paper he co-authored entitled “Employer Consolidation and Wages: Evidence from Hospitals” by the award selection committee of the Board of Trustees of the Jerry S. Cohen Memorial Fund.
Each year, the American Antitrust Institute hosts the presentation of the Jerry S. Cohen Award as well as several category awards for Antitrust Scholarship. The awards are administered by the law firm Jerry S. Cohen founded, Cohen Milstein, and are given each year to the best antitrust writings published during the prior year.
Dr. Schmitt and Elena Prager’s article, which is published in the American Economic Review Vol. 111, No. 2, February 2021, tests whether wage growth slows following employer consolidation by examining hospital mergers.
“We test whether wage growth slows following employer consolidation by examining hospital mergers. We find evidence of reduced wage growth in cases where both (i) the increase in concentration induced by the merger is large and (ii) workers’ skills are industry-specific. In all other cases, we fail to reject zero wage effects. We consider alternative explanations and find that the observed patterns are unlikely to be explained by merger-related changes besides labor market power. Wage growth slowdowns are attenuated in markets with strong labor unions, and wage growth does not decline after out-of-market mergers that leave local employer concentration unchanged.”
The article is available for download here.