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The Price–Marginal Cost Markup And Its Determinants In U.S. Manufacturing


  • Mazumder, Sandeep


This paper estimates the price–marginal cost markup for U.S. manufacturing using a new methodology. Most existing techniques of estimating the markup are a variant on the Hall (1988) framework that involves manipulating the Solow Residual. However, this paper argues that this notion is based on the unreasonable assumption that labor can be costlessly adjusted at a fixed wage rate. By relaxing this assumption we are able to derive a generalized markup index, which, when estimated using manufacturing data, is highly countercyclical and decreasing in trend since the 1960s. When we then seek to explain what causes the manufacturing markup to behave in this way, the most important determinant is the share of imported goods in the industry. Thus, increasing foreign competition in manufacturing has led to a decline in the industry's markup over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Mazumder, Sandeep, 2014. "The Price–Marginal Cost Markup And Its Determinants In U.S. Manufacturing," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 783-811, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:18:y:2014:i:04:p:783-811_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Chrysovalantis Amountzias, 2017. "An Investigation of the Degree of Market Power in the Greek Manufacturing and Service Industries," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 447-464, December.
    2. Chrysovalantis Amountzias, 2018. "The Effects of Competition, Liquidity and Exports on Markups: Evidence from the UK Food and Beverages Sector," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 187-208, June.

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