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The Cartelization of the World

By including countries at all stages of development, globalization promised economic opportunity not just for companies but also for workers and consumers. But what happens when the opportunities available to giant businesses far exceed what is on offer for everyone else?

In this Big PictureJayati Ghosh explains how a few multinational conglomerates have exploited global value chains to squeeze customers and workers, while undermining competition. Simon Tilford argues that the race to the bottom on corporate-tax rates has reinforced larger firms' advantage over new market entrants. And Sebastian Buckup points to other specific policy decisions that have allowed multinationals to achieve market dominance and stifle competition.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Blankenburg and Richard Kozul-Wright offer hard data on the increase in market concentration and rent-seeking activities over the past two decades. And Dalia Marin shows that the problems associated with "superstar" firms are especially pronounced in the digital sectors that will determine the structure of the future economy. But Pascal Salin offers a counterpoint, suggesting that the Big Tech firms occupy a market position that reflects their own ingenuity.

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