Editor’s Note: this is the second in a three-part series looking at competition between elite US and UK firms. Part I presented that evidence that the US elite has vanquished their UK counterparts; Part III draws out the lessons for firms of all types.

The US elite are significantly more profitable, on an equilibrium-exchange-rate basis, than are their UK counterparts, (as described in Part 1 of this series). The geographic origins of firms, and its consequences for how firms grew, probably played an important role in establishing this profitability gap. Whatever the reason, the US elite have consolidated their lead through the great recession: they widened the profitability gap, demonstrated greater organizational vitality, and established an ‘increasing returns’ dynamic that looks set to lock-in their advantage.

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