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Competitive Profits in the Long Run

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  • Val Eugene Lambson

Abstract

Profit rates differ across industries. Explanations have often relied on static models of imperfect competition. This paper develops a dynamic model of perfect competition to demonstrate that long-run average profit rates differ even across competitive industries when the effects of sunk costs on entry and exit are considered. The hypothesis that firms maximize their present expected values has few empirical implications for long-run average profit rates, but it does have implications for the behaviour of variables over time; for example, industries with high variability in the number of firms should exhibit low variability in firm values.

Suggested Citation

  • Val Eugene Lambson, 1992. "Competitive Profits in the Long Run," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 125-142.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:59:y:1992:i:1:p:125-142.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/2297929
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    Cited by:

    1. Amir, Rabah & Wooders, John, 2000. "One-Way Spillovers, Endogenous Innovator/Imitator Roles, and Research Joint Ventures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-25, April.
    2. Moretto, Michele, 2008. "Competition and irreversible investments under uncertainty," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 75-88, March.
    3. AMIR, Rabah, 2001. "Stochastic games in economics and related fields: an overview," CORE Discussion Papers 2001060, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    4. Amir, Rabah & Lambson, Val E., 2007. "Imperfect competition, integer constraints and industry dynamics," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 261-274, April.
    5. Demougin, Dominique & Siow, Aloysius, 1996. "Managerial husbandry and the dynamics of ongoing hierarchies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1483-1499, August.
    6. Andrea Vaona, 2010. "On the gravitation and convergence of industry profit rates in Denmark, Finland, Italy and the US," Working Papers 02/2010, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    7. Adelina Gschwandtner & Val E. Lambson, 2004. "Sunk costs, Profit Volatility, and Turnover," Vienna Economics Papers 0405, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    8. Luca Corato & Michele Moretto & Sergio Vergalli, 2013. "Land conversion pace under uncertainty and irreversibility: too fast or too slow?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 110(1), pages 45-82, September.
    9. Adelina Gschwandtner & Val E. Lambson, 2009. "Sunk Entry Costs, Sunk Depreciation costs, and Industry Dynamics," Vienna Economics Papers 0902, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    10. Fishman, Arthur & Rob, Rafael, 2003. "Consumer inertia, firm growth and industry dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 24-38, March.
    11. Das, Sanghamitra & Das, Satya P., 1997. "Dynamics of entry and exit of firms in the presence of entry adjustment costs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 217-241, April.
    12. Amir, Rabah & Lambson, Val E., 2003. "Entry, exit, and imperfect competition in the long run," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 191-203, May.
    13. Joseph G. Haubrich & Joseph A. Ritter, 1996. "Dynamic commitment and imperfect policy rules," Working Paper 9601, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    14. Joseph A. Ritter & Joseph G. Haubrich, 1996. "Commitment as investment under uncertainty," Working Paper 9606, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    15. Pakes, Ariel & Ericson, Richard, 1998. "Empirical Implications of Alternative Models of Firm Dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-45, March.
    16. Tor Jakob Klette & Arvid Raknerud, 2002. "How and why do Firms differ?," Discussion Papers 320, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    17. Gschwandtner, Adelina & Lambson, Val E., 2002. "The effects of sunk costs on entry and exit: evidence from 36 countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 109-115, September.
    18. Amir, Rabah & Halmenschlager, Christine & Jin, Jim, 2011. "R&D-induced industry polarization and shake-outs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 386-398, July.
    19. Andrea Vaona, 2010. "On the gravitation and convergence of industry incremental rates of return in OECD countries," Working Papers 03/2010, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    20. Mark E. Levonian, 1994. "The persistence of bank profits: what the stock market implies," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-17.
    21. Haubrich, Joseph G. & Ritter, Joseph A., 2004. "Committing and reneging: A dynamic model of policy regimes," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-18.
    22. Arnab Bhattacharjee, 2005. "Models of Firm Dynamics and the Hazard Rate of Exits: Reconciling Theory and Evidence using Hazard Regression Models," Econometrics 0503021, EconWPA.
    23. David Greenstreet, 2007. "Exploiting Sequential Learning to Estimate Establishment-Level Productivity Dynamics and Decision Rules," Economics Series Working Papers 345, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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