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Recovering markups from production data

  • De Loecker, Jan

In this paper, I discuss, what I call, the Production-Approach to recovering markups. In contrast to the most popular approach in empirical IO, which relies on demand estimation, this approach requires standard production data while allowing for various price-setting models and puts no restrictions on underlying consumer demand. Using production data together with standard cost minimization allows a researcher to obtain markups in a flexible way. After presenting a brief and selective overview of the literature I contrast the production approach to that of the more popular demand estimation approach. This discussion makes it clear that both approaches face important trade-offs and at a minimum empirical economist should have both techniques as part of their toolbox. The hope is that the use of both methods will only depend on the data at hand and the relevant institutional knowledge, paired with the actual research question we are trying to answer.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 29 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 350-355

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:29:y:2011:i:3:p:350-355
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  1. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "The Relation Between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," NBER Working Papers 1785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ackerberg, Daniel & Lanier Benkard, C. & Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 2007. "Econometric Tools for Analyzing Market Outcomes," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 63 Elsevier.
  4. Z, Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1997. "Production Functions : The Search for Identification," Working Papers 97-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  5. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2006. "Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1637-1673, November.
  6. Gautam Gowrisankaran & Marc Rysman, 2007. "Dynamics of Consumer Demand for New Durable Goods," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2007-024, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  7. Harrison, Ann E., 1994. "Productivity, imperfect competition and trade reform : Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 53-73, February.
  8. Klette, T.J., 1998. "Market Power, Scale Economies and Productivity: Estimates from a Panel of Establishment Data," Memorandum 15/1998, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  9. Steven Berry & James Levinsohn & Ariel Pakes, 2001. "Differentiated Products Demand Systems from a Combination of Micro and Macro Data: The New Car Market," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1337, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. James Levinsohn, 1991. "Testing the Imports-as-Market-Discipline Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 3657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Amil Petrin, 2002. "Quantifying the Benefits of New Products: The Case of the Minivan," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 705-729, August.
  14. Aviv Nevo, 2000. "Mergers with Differentiated Products: The Case of the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 395-421, Autumn.
  15. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  16. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
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