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Price-Cost Margins and Rent Sharing: Evidence from a Panel of French Manufacturing Firms

In: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches

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  • Bruno Crépon
  • Rozen Desplatz
  • Jacques Mairesse

Abstract

This paper presents a model for estimating both the magnitude of price-cost margins and the extent of rent sharing. The model generalizes Robert Hall's model, relating the conventional measure of total factor productivity (the "Solow residual") to the degree of imperfect competition in product markets, by also allowing for the possibility of imperfect labor markets. It does so by assuming that the firm wages and level of employment are jointly determined according to an efficient bargaining scheme between the firm and its workers. One attractive aspect of Hall's framework is that it does not require a measure of the user cost of capital to assess the magnitude of markups, in contrast to more conventional analyses. Similarly, another interesting feature of our extended framework is that it does not require a measure of the alternative external wage to estimate the degree of workers' bargaining power, contrary to most studies on rent sharing. Our model is estimated on a panel of French manufacturing firms using the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM). We find that the lack of explicit consideration of labor market imperfection results in a large underestimation of the firm true markup, corresponding to the omission of the part of the firm rent captured by workers. Our estimate of average rent sharing is about 0.6, while our estimate of average price-cost margins is of an order of magnitude of 1.4, to be compared to 1.1 only, if rent sharing is ignored.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Jacques Mairesse & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2010. "Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number mair10-1, July.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12247.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12247

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    Cited by:
    1. Sabien Dobbelaere & Jacques Mairesse, 2008. "Panel Data Estimates Of The Production Function And Product And Labor Market Imperfections," NBER Working Papers 13975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Flora Bellone & Patrick Musso & Lionel Nesta & Frédéric Warzynski, 2008. "L’effet pro-concurrentiel de l’intégration européenne : une analyse de l’évolution des taux de marge dans les industries manufacturières françaises," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2008-09, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    3. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00084267 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. João Amador & Ana Cristina Soares, 2013. "Competition in the Portuguese economy: Estimated price-cost margins under imperfect labour markets," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    5. Hervé Boulhol & Sabien Dobbelaere & Sara Maioli, 2011. "Imports as Product and Labour Market Discipline," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 49(2), pages 331-361, 06.
    6. Carlo Altomonte & Marcella Nicolini & Armando Rungi & Laura Ogliari, 2010. "Assessing the Competitive Behaviour of Firms in the Single Market: A Micro-based Approach," European Economy - Economic Papers 409, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    7. Amoroso, S., 2013. "Heterogeneity of innovative, collaborative, and productive firm-level processes," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-5663713, Tilburg University.

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