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Macroeconomics and Market Power: Context, Implications, and Open Questions

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  • Chad Syverson

Abstract

This article assesses several aspects of recent macroeconomic market power research. These include the ways market power is defined and measured; the use of accounting data to estimate markups; the quantitative implications of theoretical connections among markups, prices, costs, scale elasticities, and profits; and conflicting evidence on whether greater market power has led to lower investment rates and a lower labor share of income. Throughout this discussion, I characterize the congruencies and incongruencies between macro evidence and micro views of market power and, when they do not perfectly overlap, explain the open questions that need to be answered to make the connection complete.

Suggested Citation

  • Chad Syverson, 2019. "Macroeconomics and Market Power: Context, Implications, and Open Questions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 23-43, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:33:y:2019:i:3:p:23-43
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.33.3.23
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    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/doi/10.1257/jep.33.3.23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. José Azar & Martin C. Schmalz & Isabel Tecu, 2018. "Anticompetitive Effects of Common Ownership," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 73(4), pages 1513-1565, August.
    2. Ali Hortaçsu & Chad Syverson, 2015. "The Ongoing Evolution of US Retail: A Format Tug-of-War," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 89-112, Fall.
    3. Efraim Benmelech & Nittai Bergman & Hyunseob Kim, 2018. "Strong Employers and Weak Employees: How Does Employer Concentration Affect Wages?," NBER Working Papers 24307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Robert E. Hall, 2018. "New Evidence on the Markup of Prices over Marginal Costs and the Role of Mega-Firms in the US Economy," NBER Working Papers 24574, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 394-425, March.
    6. Loukas Karabarbounis & Brent Neiman, 2019. "Accounting for Factorless Income," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 167-228.
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    Cited by:

    1. R. Andrew Butters & Thomas N. Hubbard, 2019. "Industry Structure, Segmentation, and Competition in the U.S. Hotel Industry," NBER Working Papers 26579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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