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Costs, Demand, and Imperfect Competition as Determinants of Plant_level Output Prices

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  • Timothy Dunne
  • Mark J Roberts

Abstract

The empirical modeling of imperfectly competitive markets has been constrained by the difficulty of obtaining micro data on individual producer prices, outputs, and costs. In this paper we utilize micro data collected from the 1977 Census of Manufactures to study the determinants of plant-level output prices among U.S. bread producers. A theoretical model of short-run price competition among plants producing differentiated products is used to specify reduced-form equations for each plant's price and output. Estimates of the reduced-form equations indicate that the main determinants of both the plant's output level and output price are the plant's own cost variables, particularly its capital stock and the prices of material inputs. The number of rival producers faced by the plant, the production costs of these rivals, and the demand conditions faced by the plant play no role in price or output determination. The results are not consistent with either oligopolistic competition or monopoly behavior, but rather are consistent with price-taking behavior by individual producers combined with output quality differentials across producers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 92-5.

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Date of creation: Jun 1992
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Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:92-5

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Keywords: CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

References

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  1. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," NBER Working Papers 2870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  3. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Peter C. Reiss, 1987. "Do Entry Conditions Vary across Markets?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 833-882.
  4. Block, Michael Kent & Nold, Frederick Carl, 1981. "The Deterrent Effect of Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 429-45, June.
  5. Severin Borenstein, 1989. "Hubs and High Fares: Dominance and Market Power in the U.S. Airline Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(3), pages 344-365, Autumn.
  6. Demsetz, Harold, 1973. "Industry Structure, Market Rivalry, and Public Policy," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-9, April.
  7. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1989. "Empirical studies of industries with market power," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 1011-1057 Elsevier.
  8. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
  9. Schmalensee, Richard, 1989. "Inter-industry studies of structure and performance," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 951-1009 Elsevier.
  10. Bresnahan, T.F & Reiss, P.C., 1989. "Entry And Competition In Concentrated Markets," Papers, Stanford - Studies in Industry Economics 151, Stanford - Studies in Industry Economics.
  11. Panzar, John C & Rosse, James N, 1987. "Testing for "Monopoly" Equilibrium," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 443-56, June.
  12. Garber, Steven & Klepper, Steven, 1980. ""Administered Pricing" or Competition Coupled with Errors of Measurement?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(2), pages 413-35, June.
  13. Dixit, Avinash K, 1986. "Comparative Statics for Oligopoly," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 107-22, February.
  14. Garber, Steven & Klepper, Steven, 1986. "Relative Price Changes in Recession: A Microeconometric Analysis of U.S. Manufacturing," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 187-208, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mark J Roberts & Dylan Supina, 1997. "Output Price And Markup Dispersion In Micro Data: The Roles Of Producer And Heterogeneity And Noise," Working Papers, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau 97-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:12:y:2006:i:6:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Maurice Kugler & Eric Verhoogen, 2008. "The Quality-Complementarity Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence from Colombia," NBER Working Papers 14418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," NBER Working Papers 11555, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Douglas W Dwyer, 1995. "Whittling Away At Productivity Dispersion," Working Papers, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau 95-5, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Mark J. Roberts & Dylan Supina, 1997. "Output Price and Markup Dispersion in Micro Data: The Roles of Producer Heterogeneity and Noise," NBER Working Papers 6075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dhar, Tirtha Pratim & Cotterill, Ronald W., 2002. "Price Transmission in Differentiated Product Market Channels: A Study of the Boston Fluid Milk Market and the North East Dairy Compact," Research Reports, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center 25174, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.

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