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Competition: Theoretical Parameterizations and Empirical Measures

  • Jan Boone

This paper proposes relative profits (RP) as a robust measure of competition. I consider nine different parameterizations of competition and show that more intense competition increases the profits of a firm relative to a less efficient firm. Further, popular competition measures like the price-cost margin (PCM) and Herfindahl index (H) can either increase or decrease in response to more intense competition. In this sense, RP is a more robust competition measure than PCM and H.

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Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 164 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 587-611

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200812)164:4_587:ctpaem_2.0.tx_2-r
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  1. Philippe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted U Relationship," NBER Working Papers 9269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2003. "Macroeconomic Effects of Regulation and Deregulation in Goods and Labor Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 879-907.
  3. Boone, J., 2000. "Competitive pressure : The effects on investments in product and process innovation," Other publications TiSEM 88418185-7603-4c36-92fd-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  4. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1989. "Empirical studies of industries with market power," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 1011-1057 Elsevier.
  5. 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.
  6. Fisher, Franklin M & McGowan, John J, 1983. "On the Misuse of Accounting Rates of Return to Infer Monopoly Profits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 82-97, March.
  7. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1995. "Measuring the Intensity of Competition in Export Markets," NBER Working Papers 5226, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hay, Donald A & Liu, Guy S, 1997. "The Efficiency of Firms: What Difference Does Competition Make?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 597-617, May.
  9. Athey, Susan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2001. "Investment and Market Dominance," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
  10. Clarke, Roger & Davies, Stephen & Waterson, Michael, 1984. "The Profitability-Concentration Relation: Market Power or Efficiency?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 435-50, June.
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