Globalization, Markups, and the U.S. Price Level
AbstractThis paper is the first attempt to structurally estimate the impact of globalization on markups and welfare in a monopolistic competition model. To achieve this, we work with a class of preferences that allow for endogenous markups and firm entry and exit that are especially convenient for empirical work – the translog preferences, with symmetry in substitution imposed across products. Between 1992 and 2005 we find the U.S. market experienced a series of changes that confirm the predictions of Melitz and Ottaviano (2008): import shares rose and U.S. firms exited, leading to a fall in markups, while product variety and welfare went up. We estimate the impacts of these effects on a national level, and find a cumulative drop of 5.4 percent in merchandise prices and of 1.0 percent in overall consumer prices between 1992 and 2005. Although the magnitude of the welfare gains in our translog setup is similar to that obtained by assuming CES preferences, the sources of these gains are quite different. Variety gains under translog are at least one-third smaller than in the CES case, but there is a substantial reduction in U.S. markups, resulting in a comparable welfare gain overall.
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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
- F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies
- F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-03-06 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2010-03-06 (Business Economics)
- NEP-COM-2010-03-06 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-MAC-2010-03-06 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-OPM-2010-03-06 (Open Economy Macroeconomic)
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