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Measuring Market Power in U.S. Industry

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  • Matthew D. Shapiro

Abstract

Non-competitive conduct can be assessed by estimating the size of the markup or Lerner index achieved in a market. The markup implies a price elasticity of demand faced by the representative firm. For a given markup, non-competitive conduct is greater the more elastic is the market elasticity of demand. The ratio of the firm's to the market elasticity is a measure of non-competitive conduct that is insensitive to the value of the monopoly. To implement this measure, both the firm's and the market elasticities of demand must be estimated. Hall shows how to estimate the markup, and hence the elasticity faced by the firm, from the cyclical behavior of productivity. To estimate the market elasticity, an instrumental variables procedure exploiting a covariance restriction between productivity shocks and demand shocks is used. Results for broad sectors of private industry and for non-durable manufacturing industries display a wide range of monopoly power.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2212.

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Date of creation: Apr 1987
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2212

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  1. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  2. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-47, October.
  3. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1982. "The oligopoly solution concept is identified," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 10(1-2), pages 87-92.
  4. J. Hausman & W. E. Taylor, 1981. "Identification in Linear Simultaneous Equations Models with Covariance Restrictions: An Instrumental Variables Interpretation," Working papers 280, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Ian Domowitz & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1986. "Business Cycles and the Relationship Between Concentration and Price-Cost Margins," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 1-17, Spring.
  7. Bruno, Michael, 1978. "Duality, Intermediate Inputs and Value-Added," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters, in: Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.), Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications, volume 2, chapter 1 McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
  8. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1987. "Are Cyclical Fluctuations in Productivity Due More to Supply Shocks or Demand Shocks?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 822, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Appelbaum, Elie, 1982. "The estimation of the degree of oligopoly power," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 287-299, August.
  10. Hall, Robert E., 1987. "Productivity and the business cycle," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 421-444, January.
  11. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "Market Structure and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(2), pages 285-338.
  12. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "Chronic Excess Capacity in U.S. Industry," NBER Working Papers 1973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
  14. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
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