NBER Call for Papers: Economics and Politics of Mega-Firms

November 18, 2020

Economics and Politics of Mega-Firms
February 18-19, 2021 – Virtual Conference

Submission deadline: Dec. 20, 2020

To promote research on the evolving role of large corporations in economic activity,  and in particular on the implications of this trend for public policy, the NBER will convene a virtual conference on Thursday-Friday, February 18-19, 2021.  The meeting will be organized by NBER researchers Chad Syverson (University of Chicago) and John Van Reenen (London School of Economics).  This research project is made possible by generous support from the Smith Richardson Foundation.   

Research on a wide range of issues relating to the conduct and regulation of mega-firms, and the impact of these firms on markets, workers, and consumers, is welcome.  The conference will draw together insights from many sub-fields within economics, including industrial organization, international economics, labor economics, macro-economics, productivity,  and public finance.  Particular topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

   •  What is the impact of technology (e.g. network effects, intangible capital, automation) in the growth of mega-firms?
   •  Has globalization influenced the growth of mega-firms? If so, how?
   •  What has been the role of institutions in influencing the position of mega-firms?
   •  How important has antitrust enforcement been in influencing the growth of mega-firms?  What would be the effects of changes in antitrust policy?
   •  Have mega-firms contributed to a changing degree of employer labor market power?
   •  Has a slowdown in innovation diffusion contributed to a growing leader-laggard gap? If so, why?

The NBER welcomes submissions of both empirical and theoretical research, including papers by scholars who are early in their careers, who are not NBER affiliates, and who are from groups that are under-represented in the economics profession. To be considered for inclusion on the program, papers must be uploaded by midnight (EST) December 20, 2020 via the following link:


Please do not submit papers that have been accepted for publication and that will be published by February, 2021. Authors chosen to present papers will be notified in early January, 2021.    

All co-authors will be invited to participate in the virtual conference.  Questions about this conference may be addressed to confer@nber.org.  

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