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Factor Demand and Market Power

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  • Sjöström, Magnus

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    (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

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    Abstract

    This thesis consists of five self-contained papers on factor demand and market power. The main objective of Paper [I] is to analyze potential effects on the Swedish forest sector of a continuing rise in the use of forest resources as a fuel in energy generation. The background to the problem can be found in the commitments Sweden has made concerning energy policy. Two such commitments are the phase-out of nuclear power, and a decision that the Swedish energy system should be sustainable. However, an increasing use of forest resources as an energy input may have effects outside the energy sector. In this paper we attempt to consider this by estimating a system of demand and supply equations for the four main actors on the Swedish roundwood market; forestry, sawmills, pulpmills, and the energy sector. In Paper [II], we specify and estimate a dynamic factor demand model for the Swedish pulp industry. The model is estimated using firm specific Translog cost functions, and panel data from 1972 to 1990. We find weak evidence of adjustment costs for capital. Short- and long-term elasticities are calculated and the variances are estimated using the bootstrap technique. The results suggest that the user cost of capital is a significant determinant of pulp industry investments, while output level is not. We also find that pulp industry investments are insensitive to variations in the price of electricity. Paper [III] proposes a flexible form of adjustment cost function, which allows for constant, linear, concave, or convex costs of adjustment. An empirical illustration shows that the flexible form can detect both convex and non-convex adjustment costs. Furthermore, the flexible form permits testing for the experience effect on adjustment cost. The objective of paper [IV] is to analyze the price development and price formation for wood fuel used by the Swedish district heating sector. According to previous research there is a significant potential for increasing the use of wood fuel in Sweden, at a fairly moderate cost. The basic question raised in this paper is then why this potential is not realized. Specifically we propose a methodology for testing whether the reason is that market imperfections are present. According to our results we cannot reject the efficient market hypothesis for all years. The objective of Paper [V] is to test for market power on the market for biofuels. To achieve our objective we employ a statistical model and make use of the idea of Granger causality. We use a panel data set of plant specific input prices and quantities of wood chip covering a sample of Swedish district heating plants. If past values of quantity contribute significantly to the determination of price, quantity is said to Granger cause price, which we will treat as a sign of market power. According to our findings this effect is present and we conclude that the investigated plants to some degree has market power in the market for wood chips.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Umeå University, Department of Economics in its series Umeå Economic Studies with number 633.

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    Length: 22 pages
    Date of creation: 11 May 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0633

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Department of Economics, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
    Phone: 090 - 786 61 42
    Fax: 090 - 77 23 02
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    Web page: http://www.econ.umu.se/
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    Related research

    Keywords: demand and supply; dynamic factor demand; djustment costs; bootstrap; panel data; market power;

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    References

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    1. Jorgensen, Steffen & Kort, Peter M., 1993. "Optimal dynamic investment policies under concave-convex adjustment costs," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 153-180.
    2. Lau, Lawrence J., 1976. "A characterization of the normalized restricted profit function," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 131-163, February.
    3. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1989. "Empirical studies of industries with market power," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 1011-1057 Elsevier.
    4. Robert E. Lucas & Jr., 1967. "Adjustment Costs and the Theory of Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 321.
    5. Davidson, Russell & Harris, Richard, 1981. "Non-Convexities in Continuous-Time Investment Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 235-53, April.
    6. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Atkinson, Scott E & Kerkvliet, Joe, 1989. "Dual Measures of Monopoly and Monopsony Power: An Application to Regulated Electric Utilities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 250-57, May.
    8. Erdal Atukeren, 1994. "A note on the tests of Granger-causality between exports and economic growth," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(11), pages 207-209.
    9. Appelbaum, Elie, 1982. "The estimation of the degree of oligopoly power," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 287-299, August.
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