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When is the Price Cost Margin a Safe Way to Measure Changes in Competition?

Author

Listed:
  • Jan Boone

    ()

  • Jan Ours

    ()

  • Henry Wiel

    ()

Abstract

The price cost margin (PCM) is a popular way to measure competition. Although we know that this measure is not without problems, we actually do not know how often and under which conditions a change in PCM points in the wrong direction. We use a new competition measure, the profit elasticity, which is more robust than PCM. Our empirical analysis based on Dutch data shows that when competition changes the probability that PCM points in the wrong direction increases with industry concentration. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Boone & Jan Ours & Henry Wiel, 2013. "When is the Price Cost Margin a Safe Way to Measure Changes in Competition?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 45-67, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:decono:v:161:y:2013:i:1:p:45-67
    DOI: 10.1007/s10645-012-9196-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philippe Aghion & Nick Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: an Inverted-U Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 701-728.
    2. Rabah Amir & Val E. Lambson, 2000. "On the Effects of Entry in Cournot Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(2), pages 235-254.
    3. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-342, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Jan Boone, 2008. "A New Way to Measure Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1245-1261, August.
    6. Nickell, Stephen J, 1996. "Competition and Corporate Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-746, August.
    7. van der Wiel, H.P., 2010. "Competition and innovation : Together a tricky rollercoaster for productivity," Other publications TiSEM 2764dae1-3502-4775-82da-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    8. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1991. "Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 977-1009, October.
    9. Harold Creusen & Bert Minne & Henry van der Wiel, 2006. "Competition in the Netherlands; an analysis of the period 1993-2001," CPB Document 136, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Picchio, Matteo & van Ours, Jan C., 2011. "Market imperfections and firm-sponsored training," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 712-722, October.
    2. repec:eee:exehis:v:67:y:2018:i:c:p:134-151 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Leon, Florian, 2015. "Does bank competition alleviate credit constraints in developing countries?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 130-142.
    4. Brouwer, E. & van der Wiel, H.P., 2010. "Competition and Innovation : Pushing Productivity Up or Down?," Discussion Paper 2010-52, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Raymond W. & Plotnikova T., 2015. "How does firms' perceived competition affect technological innovation in Luxembourg?," MERIT Working Papers 001, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    6. Léon, Florian, 2016. "Does the expansion of regional cross-border banks affect competition in Africa? Indirect evidence," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 66-77.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competition; Profit elasticity; Price cost margin; Measures of competition; Concentration; D43; L13;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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