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Recovering markups from production data

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  • De Loecker, Jan

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • De Loecker, Jan, 2011. "Recovering markups from production data," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 350-355, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:29:y:2011:i:3:p:350-355
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