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Monopoly Power and Endogenous Product Variety: Distortions and Remedies

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  • Florin O. Bilbiie
  • Fabio Ghironi
  • Marc J. Melitz

Abstract

We study the efficiency properties of a dynamic, stochastic, general equilibrium, macroeconomic model with monopolistic competition and firm entry subject to sunk costs, a time-to-build lag, and exogenous risk of firm destruction. Under inelastic labor supply and linearity of production in labor, the market economy is efficient if and only if symmetric, homothetic preferences are of the C.E.S. form studied by Dixit and Stiglitz (1977). Otherwise, efficiency is restored by properly designed sales, entry, or asset trade subsidies (or taxes) that induce markup synchronization across time and states, and align the consumer surplus and profit destruction effects of firm entry. When labor supply is elastic, heterogeneity in markups across consumption and leisure introduces an additional distortion. Efficiency is then restored by subsidizing labor at a rate equal to the markup in the market for goods. Our results highlight the importance of preserving the optimal amount of monopoly profits in economies in which firm entry is costly. Inducing marginal cost pricing restores efficiency only when the required sales subsidies are financed with the optimal split of lump-sum taxation between households and firms.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14383.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14383

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Cited by:
  1. Florin O. Bilbiie & Ippei Fujiwara & Fabio Ghironi, 2011. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Endogenous Entry and Product Variety," IMES Discussion Paper Series 11-E-21, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
  2. Kristian Behrens & Yasusada Murata, 2009. "Trade, Competition, and Efficiency," Cahiers de recherche 0940, CIRPEE.
  3. Colciago, Andrea & Rossi, Lorenza, 2011. "Endogenous Market Structures and Labor Market Dynamics," MPRA Paper 29311, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Fabio Ghironi & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2011. "Optimal Fiscal Policy with Endogenous Product Variety," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 775, Boston College Department of Economics.
  5. Theresa Grafeneder-Weissteiner & Ingrid Kubin & Klaus Prettner & Alexia Prskawetz & Stefan Wrzaczek, 2012. "Coping with Inefficiencies in a New Economic Geography Model," Working Papers, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna 1204, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.
  6. Campbell Leith & Simon Wren-Lewis, 2008. "Electoral uncertainty and the deficit bias in a New Keynesian Economy," Working Papers, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow 2009_11, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Feb 2009.
  7. colciago, andrea & Rossi, Lorenza, 2011. "Endogenous Market Structures and the Business Cycle," MPRA Paper 29629, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Inga Heiland & Wilhelm Kohler, 2013. "Heterogeneous Workers, Trade, and Migration," CESifo Working Paper Series 4387, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Kristian Behrens & Yasusada Murata, 2011. "Trade, Competition, and Efficiency (revised version)," Cahiers de recherche 1118, CIRPEE.
  10. Maria José Gil-Moltó & Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2012. "Industry Dynamics and Indeterminacy in an OLG Economy with Endogenous Occupational Choice," Discussion Papers in Economics 12/09, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Sep 2012.
  11. Lewis, Vivien & Poilly, Céline, 2012. "Firm entry, markups and the monetary transmission mechanism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 670-685.

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