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Changing Institutions in the European Market: the Impact on Mark-ups and Rents Allocation

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  • Antonio Bassanetti
  • Roberto Torrini
  • Francesco Zollino

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate whether the completion of the Single Market Programme has enhanced competition on the product markets across European countries, while taking into account the companion structural reforms undertaken by the member countries. In particular, since the Single Market Programme went hand in hand with major reforms in the labour market and in the institutional setting of important industries (i.e. network industries), we test for a break in both mark-ups and the division of rent between capital and labour. For this purpose we encompass efficient bargaining in the labour market in both our theoretical and empirical model. Using industry data for ten EU countries we find that, without controlling for changes in the rent sharing, mark-up estimates tend to increase in the 1990s. However, once we assume efficient bargaining in the labour market, mark-ups remain virtually unchanged or even decrease in some sectors or groups of countries; the result stems from the declining shares of rents accruing to workers owing to a decline in their bargaining power. Without controlling for this development, a rise in firms� profitability due to rent reallocation could be wrongly interpreted as an increase in market power. At the industry level the evidence is particularly strong for high and medium-tech manufacturing, for construction and for those activities that went through deep institutional changes and privatization programmes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance in its series Working Papers with number 11.

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Length: 37
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Handle: RePEc:itt:wpaper:wp2010-11

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Keywords: Mark-ups; Rent Sharing; Bargaining;

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References

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  1. Dew-Becker, Ian & Gordon, Robert J, 2008. "The Role of Labour Market Changes in the Slowdown of European Productivity Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 6722, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Harald Badinger, 2007. "Has the EU’s Single Market Programme Fostered Competition? Testing for a Decrese in Markup Rations in EU Industries," Working Papers 135, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  3. Roeger, Werner, 1995. "Can Imperfect Competition Explain the Difference between Primal and Dual Productivity Measures? Estimates for U.S. Manufacturing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 316-30, April.
  4. Ghazala Azmat & Alan Manning & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Privatization, Entry Regulation and the Decline of Labor's Share of GDP: A Cross-Country Analysis of the Network Industries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0806, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Sabien Dobbelaere & Jacques Mairesse, 2013. "Panel data estimates of the production function and product and labor market imperfections," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 1-46, 01.
  6. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "The Determinants of Unemployment across OECD Countries," Post-Print halshs-00120584, HAL.
  7. Joaquim Oliveira Martins & Stefano Scarpetta & Dirk Pilat, 1996. "Mark-Up Ratios in Manufacturing Industries: Estimates for 14 OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 162, OECD Publishing.
  8. Damien J. Neven & Lars-Hendrik Röller & Zhentang Zhang, 2002. "Endogenous Costs and Price-Cost Margins," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 294, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Griffith, Rachel & Harrison, Rupert & Simpson, Helen, 2006. "Product Market Reform and Innovation in the EU," CEPR Discussion Papers 5849, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Dobbelaere, Sabien, 2004. "Estimation of price-cost margins and union bargaining power for Belgian manufacturing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 1381-1398, December.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.

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