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Competition: Theoretical Parameterizations and Empirical Measures

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  • Jan Boone

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Boone, 2008. "Competition: Theoretical Parameterizations and Empirical Measures," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(4), pages 587-611, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200812)164:4_587:ctpaem_2.0.tx_2-r
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Klette, Tor Jakob, 1999. "Market Power, Scale Economies and Productivity: Estimates from a Panel of Establishment Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 451-476, December.
    2. 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.
    3. 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 435-450, June.
    4. Jan Boone, 2000. "Competitive Pressure: The Effects on Investments in Product and Process Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 549-569, Autumn.
    5. 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.
    6. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Knetter, Michael M., 1999. "Measuring the intensity of competition in export markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 27-60, February.
    7. 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.
    8. Boone, J. & van Ours, J.C. & van der Wiel, H.P., 2007. "How (Not) to Measure Competition," Discussion Paper 2007-32, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. 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.
    10. Athey, Susan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2001. "Investment and Market Dominance," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
    11. 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.
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    More about this item

    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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