José Azar

Assistant professor at IESE Business School, Universidad de Navarra. Email:

I am an economist specialized in industrial organization, antitrust and corporate governance. I received my PhD in economics from Princeton University.  I have worked on matters in the foo,
telecommunication, retail and chemical industries, among others.

My research studies the broader economic consequences of ownership by large and diversified asset managers. In my thesis, I documented a large increase in common ownership among publicly traded U.S. firms, and developed a theory of the firm that takes these overlaps into account. Based on this theory, I explored implications for oligopoly theory and economic theory more generally, as well as some evidence that higher within-industry common ownership is associated with higher profit margins. In more recent empirical work, I studied the effect of common ownership on competition in the airline and banking industries.

More recently, I have done research on market concentration in labor markets (i.e., monopsony or oligopsony) and its effect on wages.



        [Online Appendix] [Slides] [The Journal of Finance, 2018,]

Media coverageSlate, Financial Times (1/2), Digitopoly, BloombergView [Matt Levine (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/16) & Noah Smith], The Economist (1/2/3), FT AlphavilleEric Posner, Equitable Growth (1/2), American Bar Association, Atlantico (in French)WSJ Heard on the StreetEconomist's ViewBloomberg BusinessweekWirtschaftswoche (in German)ValueWalkWall Street Journal & WSJ MoneybeatHandelsblattQuartzBusiness Standard (India), Bloomberg Business, Lexology (1,2), FortuneForbes, Handelsblad (in Dutch), The AtlanticThe New Yorker,HLS Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial RegulationNew York TimesPro-MarketThe NationFinanz und Wirtschaft(in German), The Atlantic (Frank Partnoy), Bloomberg Markets, IESE Insight, Politico (1,2)

  • "Why Common Ownership Causes Antitrust Risks(with Martin Schmalz and Isabel Tecu) illustrates the extent of present-day common ownership and discusses the economic logic of why common ownership leads to reduced incentives to compete and may cause anticompetitive outcomes. [Competition Policy International, 2017]

Working Papers:

  • "Oligopoly, Macroeconomic Performance, and Competition Policy" (with Xavier Vives) develops a macroeconomic framework based on general equilibrium oligopoly, in which firms have market power in both product and labor markets. Firms maximize a weighted average of shareholder utilities, which makes the equilibrium independent of price normalization. In large economies, neither the monopolistically competitive limit of Dixit-Stiglitz nor the oligopolistic one of Neary are attained unless there is incomplete portfolio diversification with no intra-industry common ownership.

Media coverageVoxEU

  • "Labor Market Concentration" (with Ioana Marinescu and Marshall Steinbaum) measures labor market concentration in U.S. geographical-occupational markets. The average market is highly concentrated, and concentration has a large negative effect on wages.

Media coverage: The Economist (1/2), Slate, BloombergView (1/2/3/4/5), Wall Street Journal MoneyBeatMarginal Revolution, (in Italian), Handelsblad (in Dutch), The New Yorker, Wirtschaftswoche (in print), New York Times,HBR.orgFinanz und Wirtschaft (in German), American Bar Association