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Michael McMahon

Supervisors:

Prof Stephen Kinsella

Working Title of Thesis:

Winner takes most: assessing the impact of the digital age on market power, competition and inequality.

Abstract

Market concentration (broadly defined as the market share of the largest firms in an industry) has increased substantially over the past 30 years. It is often particularly stark in technology intensive industries, and a number of studies have pointed to a link between the onset of the digital age and the increase in market concentration. Looking ahead, the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics may exacerbate the phenomenon. Despite the importance of these issues, the evolution of market concentration is understudied (particularly in a European context), while the likely impact of these new technologies is poorly understood. The research examines the drivers of market concentration, and address the question of how the largest firms are utilising digital technologies to take better advantage of their scale and achieve greater levels of market dominance. It also assesses the likely impact of emerging technologies such as AI and Robotics, as well as examing the consequences for inequality and implications for public policy.