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Economic Concentration in Industry. A Study of the Sources and Applications of Funds for Selected Industries and Companies,
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF SYSTEMS AND LOGISTIC S
Many economists have expressed alarm about the increasing economic concentration in industry. They contend that the trend toward an oligopolistic system--with fewer and larger firms--will adversely affect the competitive market structure and the traditional pricing mechanism based upon free and unrestricted interchange between supply and demand. Any business firm faces the problem of raising necessary funds for financing the operation of its enterprise. Funds are required to provide a return to shareholders, as well as to provide for normal growth, modernization of plant and equipment, and expansion of operations. Some economists believe that larger companies have economic power over smaller ones because their larger size facilitates the availability of funds--either from the capital markets or from internally generated sources--to provide for plant expansion and acquisition of capital assets leading toward more rapid rates of growth. This study investigates whether there are any noticeable differences in the methods used by companies to obtain the required funds and in the manner in which these funds are used once they are acquired. Although the investigation is primarily of concern to economic analysts and those concerned with the regulation of industry, it should also be of interest to logisticians. If, indeed, larger companies have some advantage over the smaller ones, which would lead toward greater concentration in industry and a consequently less competitive pricing system, then this is but another factor which must be considered by logisticians in estimating the costs of acquiring the materiel to support U.S. combat forces and weapons. Author