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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook narrated by Zeb Soanes offers a pioneering account of the surging global tide of market power and how it stifles workers around the world.

In an era of technological progress and easy communication, it might seem reasonable to assume that the world’s working people have never had it so good. But wages are stagnant and prices are rising, so that everything from a bottle of beer to a prosthetic hip costs more. Economist Jan Eeckhout shows how this is due to a small number of companies exploiting an unbridled rise in market power - the ability to set prices higher than they could in a properly functioning competitive marketplace. Drawing on his own groundbreaking research and telling the stories of common workers throughout, he demonstrates how market power has suffocated the world of work, and how, without better mechanisms to ensure competition, it could lead to disastrous market corrections and political turmoil.

The Profit Paradox describes how, over the past 40 years, a handful of companies have reaped most of the rewards of technological advancements - acquiring rivals, securing huge profits, and creating brutally unequal outcomes for workers. Instead of passing on the benefits of better technologies to consumers through lower prices, these “superstar” companies leverage new technologies to charge even higher prices. The consequences are already immense, from unnecessarily high prices for virtually everything, to fewer start-ups that can compete, to rising inequality and stagnating wages for most workers, to severely limited social mobility.

A provocative investigation into how market power hurts average working people, The Profit Paradox also offers concrete solutions for fixing the problem and restoring a healthy economy. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2021 Jan Eeckhout (P)2021 Princeton University Press

Critic Reviews

“Eeckhout has done groundbreaking work on the rise in prices in the economy and the dynamics of the labor market. This book is a significant contribution to the field.” (Gabriel Zucman, coauthor of The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay)

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