Common Ownership Reduces Wages and Employment

35 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2021

See all articles by José Azar

José Azar

University of Navarra, IESE Business School; CEPR

Yue Qiu

Temple University

Aaron Sojourner

University of Minnesota; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: November 1, 2021


In this study, we examine the effects of common ownership on labor market outcomes. We find that an increase in common ownership in a labor market is associated with decreases in both wages per employee and the employment-to-population ratio. We conduct an event study based on the acquisition of Barclays Global Investors by BlackRock in 2009. Using a synthetic control method, we find that markets that were more affected by the acquisition experienced post-acquisition decreases in annual wages per employee and employment-to-population ratio relative to the counterfactual of no acquisition. The estimated treatment effects of the acquisition were stronger in markets with higher unemployment rates, lower personal income per capita, lower population density, and stricter enforcement of noncompete clauses.

Keywords: Monopsony, Oligopsony, Labor Markets, Competition Policy, Common Ownership

JEL Classification: G32, J23, J31, J43, L41

Suggested Citation

Azar, José and Qiu, Yue and Sojourner, Aaron J., Common Ownership Reduces Wages and Employment (November 1, 2021). Fox School of Business Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

José Azar

University of Navarra, IESE Business School ( email )

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034

CEPR ( email )

United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://

Yue Qiu (Contact Author)

Temple University ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Aaron J. Sojourner

University of Minnesota ( email )

Carlson School of Management
321 19th Ave S, 3-300
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
6126249521 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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