IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/emetrp/v84y2016ip445-510.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Prices, Markups, and Trade Reform

Author

Listed:
  • Jan De Loecker
  • Pinelopi K. Goldberg
  • Amit K. Khandelwal
  • Nina Pavcnik

Abstract

This paper examines how prices, markups, and marginal costs respond to trade liberalization. We develop a framework to estimate markups from production data with multi‐product firms. This approach does not require assumptions on the market structure or demand curves faced by firms, nor assumptions on how firms allocate their inputs across products. We exploit quantity and price information to disentangle markups from quantity‐based productivity, and then compute marginal costs by dividing observed prices by the estimated markups. We use India's trade liberalization episode to examine how firms adjust these performance measures. Not surprisingly, we find that trade liberalization lowers factory‐gate prices and that output tariff declines have the expected pro‐competitive effects. However, the price declines are small relative to the declines in marginal costs, which fall predominantly because of the input tariff liberalization. The reason for this incomplete cost pass‐through to prices is that firms offset their reductions in marginal costs by raising markups. Our results demonstrate substantial heterogeneity and variability in markups across firms and time and suggest that producers benefited relative to consumers, at least immediately after the reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan De Loecker & Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Amit K. Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik, 2016. "Prices, Markups, and Trade Reform," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 445-510, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:emetrp:v:84:y:2016:i::p:445-510
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mary Amiti & Jozef Konings, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1611-1638, December.
    2. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2013. "A Structural Approach to Identifying the Sources of Local Currency Price Stability," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 175-210.
    3. Pinelopi K Goldberg & Amit K Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2010. "Multiproduct Firms and Product Turnover in the Developing World: Evidence from India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 1042-1049, November.
    4. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    5. Thierry Mayer & Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2021. "Market Size, Competition, and the Product Mix of Exporters," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Firms and Workers in a Globalized World Larger Markets, Tougher Competition, chapter 5, pages 109-150, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. 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.
    7. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Burstein, 2008. "Pricing-to-Market, Trade Costs, and International Relative Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1998-2031, December.
    8. Panagariya, Arvind, 2011. "India: The Emerging Giant," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199751563.
    9. Thierry Mayer & Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2021. "Market Size, Competition, and the Product Mix of Exporters," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Firms and Workers in a Globalized World Larger Markets, Tougher Competition, chapter 5, pages 109-150, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    10. De Loecker, Jan, 2010. "A Note on Detecting Learning by Exporting," CEPR Discussion Papers 8121, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Rana Hasan & Devashish Mitra & K.V. Ramaswamy, 2007. "Trade Reforms, Labor Regulations, and Labor-Demand Elasticities: Empirical Evidence from India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 466-481, August.
    12. László Halpern & Miklós Koren & Adam Szeidl, 2015. "Imported Inputs and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(12), pages 3660-3703, December.
    13. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
    14. Petia Topalova, 2010. "Factor Immobility and Regional Impacts of Trade Liberalization: Evidence on Poverty from India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 1-41, October.
    15. Emi Nakamura & Dawit Zerom, 2010. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 1192-1230.
    16. Jan De Loecker & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 2014. "Firm Performance in a Global Market," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 201-227, August.
    17. Jan De Loecker & Frederic Warzynski, 2012. "Markups and Firm-Level Export Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2437-2471, October.
    18. Levinsohn, James, 1993. "Testing the imports-as-market-discipline hypothesis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 1-22, August.
    19. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "Market Structure and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(2), pages 285-338.
    20. S.K. Bhutani, 2009. "China and India," India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, , vol. 65(4), pages 383-391, October.
    21. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Why Do Management Practices Differ across Firms and Countries?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 203-224, Winter.
    22. Amit Khandelwal, 2010. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1450-1476.
    23. Jan De Loecker, 2011. "Product Differentiation, Multiproduct Firms, and Estimating the Impact of Trade Liberalization on Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1407-1451, September.
    24. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 245-276.
    25. David Atkin, 2013. "Trade, Tastes, and Nutrition in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1629-1663, August.
    26. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
    27. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
    28. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-947, October.
    29. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408.
    30. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    31. Costas Arkolakis & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2010. "The Extensive Margin of Exporting Products: A Firm-level Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3309, CESifo.
    32. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2009. "On estimating firm-level production functions using proxy variables to control for unobservables," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 112-114, September.
    33. Nakamura, Emi & Zerom, Dawit, 2008. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," MPRA Paper 14389, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    34. Atkin, David & Donaldson, Dave, 2015. "Who’s Getting Globalized? The Size and Implications of Intra-national Trade Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 10759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    35. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2004. "Can Labor Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 91-134.
    36. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    37. Marc J. Melitz & Giancarlo I. P. Ottaviano, 2021. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Firms and Workers in a Globalized World Larger Markets, Tougher Competition, chapter 4, pages 87-108, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    38. Goldberg, Pinelopi K. & Verboven, Frank, 2005. "Market integration and convergence to the Law of One Price: evidence from the European car market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 49-73, January.
    39. Klette, Tor Jakob & Griliches, Zvi, 1996. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators When Output Prices Are Unobserved and Endogenous," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 343-361, July-Aug..
    40. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Amit Kumar Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2010. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1727-1767.
    41. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
    42. Jan De Loecker, 2013. "Detecting Learning by Exporting," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 1-21, August.
    43. Harrison, Ann E., 1994. "Productivity, imperfect competition and trade reform : Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 53-73, February.
    44. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity (DOI:10.111/j.1467-937x.2007.00463.x)," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 985-985.
    45. Katayama, Hajime & Lu, Shihua & Tybout, James R., 2009. "Firm-level productivity studies: Illusions and a solution," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 403-413, May.
    46. Carsten Eckel & J. Peter Neary, 2010. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 188-217.
    47. Pinelopi Goldberg & Amit Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2009. "Trade Liberalization and New Imported Inputs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 494-500, May.
    48. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
    49. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
    50. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    51. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "Multiple-Product Firms and Product Switching," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 70-97, March.
    52. W. M. Corden, 1966. "The Structure of a Tariff System and the Effective Protective Rate," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 221-221.
    53. Hellerstein, Rebecca, 2008. "Who bears the cost of a change in the exchange rate? Pass-through accounting for the case of beer," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 14-32, September.
    54. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g8m210prh is not listed on IDEAS
    55. 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.
    56. Baumol, William J & Panzar, John C & Willig, Robert D, 1983. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 491-496, June.
    57. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
    58. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    59. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2019. "The Elusive Pro-Competitive Effects of Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(1), pages 46-80.
    60. Thierry Mayer & Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2021. "Market Size, Competition, and the Product Mix of Exporters," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Firms and Workers in a Globalized World Larger Markets, Tougher Competition, chapter 5, pages 109-150, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    61. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
    62. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-890, July.
    63. Panzar, John C., 1989. "Technological determinants of firm and industry structure," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-59, Elsevier.
    64. Sivadasan Jagadeesh, 2009. "Barriers to Competition and Productivity: Evidence from India," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-66, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Bräuer, Richard & Mertens, Matthias & Slavtchev, Viktor, 2019. "Import competition and firm productivity: Evidence from German manufacturing," IWH Discussion Papers 20/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    2. Umut Kilinç, 2019. "Export Destination Characteristics and Markups: The Role of Country Size," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 86(341), pages 116-138, January.
    3. Jan De Loecker & Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2016. "Effect of International Competition on Firm Productivity and Market Power," NBER Working Papers 21994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alvaro Garcia-Marin & Nico Voigtländer, 2019. "Exporting and Plant-Level Efficiency Gains: It's in the Measure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1777-1825.
    5. Mauro Caselli & Arpita Chatterjee & Alan Woodland, 2017. "Multi-product exporters, variable markups and exchange rate fluctuations," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1130-1160, November.
    6. Singh, Rahul & Chanda, Rupa, 2021. "Technical regulations, intermediate inputs, and performance of firms: Evidence from India," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    7. Bloom, Nick & Manova, Kalina & Teng Sun, Stephen & Van Reenen, John & Yu, Zhihong, 2018. "Managing trade: evidence from China and the US," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88703, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Manova, Kalina & Yu, Zhihong, 2017. "Multi-product firms and product quality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 116-137.
    9. Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 1-54, Elsevier.
    10. Flora Bellone & Patrick Musso & Lionel Nesta & Frederic Warzynski, 2016. "International trade and firm-level markups when location and quality matter," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-91.
    11. Xunyong Xiang & Feixiang Chen & Chun†Yu Ho & Wen Yue, 2017. "Heterogeneous effects of trade liberalisation on firm†level markups: Evidence from China," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(8), pages 1667-1686, August.
    12. Alvaro Garcia Marin & Nico Voigtländer, 2018. "Product-Level Efficiency and Core Competence in Multi-Product Plants," 2018 Meeting Papers 737, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Ayuma Ken Kikkawa & Yuan Mei & Pablo Robles Santamarina, 2019. "The Impact of NAFTA on Prices and Competition: Evidence from Mexican Manufacturing Plants," CESifo Working Paper Series 7700, CESifo.
    14. Goldberg, Pinelopi & Pavcnik, Nina, 2016. "The Effects of Trade Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 11104, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Matteo Bugamelli & Silvia Fabiani & Enrico Sette, 2015. "The Age of the Dragon: The Effect of Imports from China on Firm‐Level Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(6), pages 1091-1118, September.
    16. Ariel Weinberger, 2015. "Markups and misallocation with trade and heterogeneous firms," Globalization Institute Working Papers 251, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    17. Bas, Maria & Paunov, Caroline, 2021. "Disentangling trade reform impacts on firm market and production decisions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    18. Vandenbussche, Hylke & Viegelahn, Christian, 2018. "Input reallocation within multi-product firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 63-79.
    19. Geoffrey Barrows & Helene Ollivier, 2016. "Emission intensity and firm dynamics: reallocation, product mix, and technology in India," GRI Working Papers 245, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    20. Daniele Curzi & Maria Garrone & Alessandro Olper, 2021. "Import Competition and Firm Markups in the Food Industry," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 103(4), pages 1433-1453, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F01 - International Economics - - General - - - Global Outlook

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:emetrp:v:84:y:2016:i::p:445-510. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/essssea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/essssea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.