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Markups in U.S. and Japanese Manufacturing: A Short Run Econometric Analysis

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  • Catherine J. Morrison

Abstract

In this paper a production theory-based model of firms' markup behavior is constructed. The theoretical structure is based on variants of generalized Leontief cost and expenditure functions. This structure yields a full specification of behavior from which the impacts of both supply and demand shocks on firms' markup behavior can be assessed through elasticities. Adjustment costs on both labor and capital and economies of scale are incorporated. Estimation is carried out using manufacturing data for the U.S. and Japan from 1960 through 1981. The empirical results suggest that markups for manufacturing firms in the U.S. and Japan have increased over time, but tend to be procyclical in the U.S. and countercyclical in Japan. This difference stems primarily from differential investment behavior. In addition, capacity utilization and especially returns to scale tend to counteract the short run profit potential from markup behavior, so that markups measured assuming constant returns may be biased downward. Finally, both supply and demand shocks appear to have a significant systematic impact on markups.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2799.

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Date of creation: Dec 1989
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Publication status: published as Morrison, Catherine J. "Markups In U.S. And Japanese Manufacturing: A Short-Run Econometric Analysis," Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, 1992, v10(1), 51-64.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2799

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  1. Appelbaum, Elie, 1979. "Testing price taking behavior," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 283-294, February.
  2. Morrison, Catherine J, 1985. "Primal and Dual Capacity Utilization: An Application to Productivity Measurement in the U.S. Automobile Industry," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 312-24, October.
  3. Berndt, Ernst R & Khaled, Mohammed S, 1979. "Parametric Productivity Measurement and Choice among Flexible Functional Forms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1220-45, December.
  4. Berndt, Ernst R & Morrison, Catherine J, 1981. "Capacity Utilization Measures: Underlying Economic Theory and an Alternative Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 48-52, May.
  5. Morrison, C. J. & Berndt, E. R., 1981. "Short-run labor productivity in a dynamic model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 339-365, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniele Coen-Pirani, 2004. "Markups, Aggregation, and Inventory Adjustment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1328-1353, December.
  2. Matteo Manera, 2006. "Modelling factor demands with SEM and VAR: an empirical comparison," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 121-146, October.
  3. Rumen Dobrinsky & Gábor Korösi & Nikolay Markov & László Halpern, 2004. "Firms’ Price Markups and Returns to Scale in Imperfect Markets: Bulgaria and Hungary," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-710, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. John G. Fernald & Susanto Basu, 1999. "Why is productivity procyclical? Why do we care?," International Finance Discussion Papers 638, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Chen, Kaiji & Song, Zheng, 2013. "Financial frictions on capital allocation: A transmission mechanism of TFP fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 683-703.
  6. Charlotta Groth, 2005. "Estimating UK capital adjustment costs," Bank of England working papers 258, Bank of England.
  7. Richard De Abreu Lourenco & Philip Lowe, 1994. "Demand Shocks, Inflation and the Business Cycle," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9411, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  8. Moreno, Rosina & Lopez-Bazo, Enrique & Artis, Manuel, 2002. "Evaluating the optimality of Spanish industry (1980-1993)," ERSA conference papers ersa02p353, European Regional Science Association.
  9. Lourdes Moreno Martín & Diego Rodríguez Rodríguez, . "Domestic and Foreign Price-Marginal Cost Margins: An Application to Spain Manufacturing Firms," Working Papers on International Economics and Finance 00-03, FEDEA.
  10. Sumru Altug & Fanny S. Demers & Michel Demers, 2004. "Tax Policy and Irreversible Investment," CDMA Working Paper Series 200404, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  11. Mellander, Erik, 1991. "An Indirect Approach to Measuring Productivity in Private Services," Working Paper Series 300, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised Mar 1992.
  12. Subal C. Kumbhakar, 1996. "Le ralentissement de la productivité des entreprises d'électricité au Texas : le rôle des marges, des rendements d'échelle et du progrès technique," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 126(5), pages 77-89.
  13. Catherine J. Morrison, 1989. "Unraveling the Productivity Growth Slowdown in the U.S., Canada and Japan: The Effects of Subequilibrium, Scale Economies and Markup," NBER Working Papers 2993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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