Advertising and the consumer in the age of Big Tech: a new moment in the evolution of monopoly capitalism?

David Bailey, Dan Coffey, Carole Thornley, Philip R Tomlinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)


The monopoly capitalism literature has traditionally approached advertising from the vantage point of its role in sustaining the economic order. However, digitalised forms of advertising in contexts dominated by giant digital platform technology companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon are disrupting the existing order through a combination of subsidy and location effects, shored up by the capabilities of the new technology for real-time data collection on users. This poses significant challenges for theory and policy. In both respects the case is made for rehabilitating the earlier approach of Nicholas Kaldor, which emphasises both heterogeneity of advertising forms and questions of subsidy, to complement the dominant approaches of the monopoly capitalism school as exemplified by Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy on one side, and Keith Cowling on the other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1387-1406
JournalCambridge Journal of Economics
Issue number6
Early online date8 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2022


  • Monopoly Capitalism
  • Big Tech
  • advertising
  • Subsidies
  • Location
  • surveillance


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