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On the Use of Substitutability as a Measure of Competition

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  • Koeniger Winfried

    ()
    (IZA, University of Bonn)

  • Licandro Omar

    ()
    (European University Institute, FEDEA)

Abstract

In the recent macro literature the effect of competition has been analyzed by comparing economies with the same market structure but different degrees of substitutability. In this note, we argue that this approach may mingle the price effect of competition with a pure allocation effect. To illustrate the limitations of using the elasticity of substitution as a measure of competition, we present an example in which changes in the elasticity alter equilibrium allocations, but changes in the degree of market power do not. We use a simple static general equilibrium model in which sectors have different productivity. Then, higher substitutability always shifts resources towards the more productive sectors. Instead, changes in the market structure (monopolistic competition versus Bertrand duopoly) do not affect the relative price of consumption goods if the markups are symmetric, implying that the induced changes in competition do not have any price effect on equilibrium allocations.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-9

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:topics.6:y:2006:i:1:n:2

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Cited by:
  1. Omar Licandro & Antonio Navas Ruiz, 2010. "Trade Liberalization, Competition and Growth," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 806.10, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  2. Paolo Epifani & Gino Gancia, 2007. "Trade, markup heterogeneity and misallocations," Economics Working Papers 1037, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Sara Amoroso & Peter M. Kort & Bertrand Melenberg & Joseph Plasmans & Mark Vancauteren, 2010. "Firm Level Productivity under Imperfect Competition in Output and Labor Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 3082, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Daria Onori, 2013. "Competition and Growth: Reinterpreting their Relationship," Working Papers halshs-00806994, HAL.
  5. Chu, Yongqiang, 2012. "Optimal capital structure, bargaining, and the supplier market structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 411-426.
  6. Navas, Antonio, 2010. "La Apertura al Comercio Exterior y sus Efectos sobre la Productividad en Presencia de Diferencias Intersectoriales," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2010/04, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  7. Boyan Jovanovic, 2008. "When Should Firms Invest in Old Capital?," NBER Working Papers 14000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bucci, Alberto & Parello, Carmelo Pierpaolo, 2009. "Horizontal innovation-based growth and product market competition," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 213-221, January.
  9. Florin O. Bilbiie & Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2008. "Monopoly Power and Endogenous Product Variety: Distortions and Remedies," NBER Working Papers 14383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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