NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Scott Hirst

Boston University
School of Law
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Institutional Affiliation: Boston University School of Law

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2019The Specter of the Giant Three
with Lucian A. Bebchuk: w25914
This paper examines the large, steady, and continuing growth of the Big Three index fund managers—BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street Global Advisors. We show that there is a real prospect that index funds will continue to grow, and that voting in most significant public companies will come to be dominated by the future “Giant Three.” We begin by analyzing the drivers of the rise of the Big Three, including the structural factors that are leading to the heavy concentration of the index funds sector. We then provide empirical evidence about the past growth and current status of the Big Three, and their likely growth into the Giant Three. Among other things, we document that the Big Three have almost quadrupled their collective ownership stake in S&P 500 companies over the past two decades...
 
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