The cyclicality of Mark-ups and Profit Margins: Some Evidence for Manufacturing and Services
This paper uses industry and firm data to look at price cost mark-ups and firm profit margins in UK manufacturing and services. In particular it examines how they behave over the business cycle. It has two main findings. First, the estimated average mark-ups and the profit margin results both suggest that there is imperfect competition in manufacturing and services. Second, mark-ups are pro-cyclical, as are profit margins even after allowing for movements in their standard determinants. This suggests that price pressures may increase during recovery periods and decrease during recessions. One possible explanation for this is Kreps and Scheinkman's argument that the pro-cyclicality of capacity constraints means that firms move between Cournot and Bertrand competition over the cycle. The finding that mark-ups are pro- cyclical also raises doubts about macroeconomic models that assume that demand shocks may affect employment via counter-cyclical mark-ups.
|Date of creation:||Dec 1997|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8AH|
Phone: +44 (0)171 601 4030
Fax: +44 (0)171 601 5196
Web page: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Haskel, Jonathan & Martin, Christopher & Small, Ian, 1995. "Price, Marginal Cost and the Business Cycle," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 25-41, February.
- Charles Bean & James Symons, 1989.
"Ten Years of Mrs. T,"
in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 13-72
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Catherine J. Morrison, 1990. "Market Power, Economic Profitability and Productivity Growth Measurement: An Integrated Structural Approach," NBER Working Papers 3355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Layard, R. & Nickell, S., 1989.
"The Thatcher Miracle?,"
343, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
- Weitzman, Martin L, 1982. "Increasing Returns and the Foundations of Unemployment Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 787-804, December.
- Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991.
"Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
- Tom Doan, . "RATS program to replicate Arellano-Bond 1991 dynamic panel," Statistical Software Components RTZ00169, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984.
"Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information,"
Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
- Green, Edward J. & Porter, Robert H., 1982. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Working Papers 367, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Edward J Green & Robert H Porter, 1997. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1147, David K. Levine.
- Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
- 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.
- Cowling, Keith & Waterson, Michael, 1976. "Price-Cost Margins and Market Structure," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 43(171), pages 267-74, August.
- Ian Domowitz & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1986. "Business Cycles and the Relationship Between Concentration and Price-Cost Margins," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 1-17, Spring.
- Mark Bils, 1989. "Pricing in a Customer Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 699-718.
- Robert E. Hall, 1986.
"The Relation Between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry,"
NBER Working Papers
1785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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 921-47, October.
- Roeger, Werner, 1995. "Can Imperfect Competition Explain the Difference between Primal and Dual Productivity Measures? Estimates for U.S. Manufacturing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 316-30, April.
- Machin, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 1993. "Profit Margins and the Business Cycle: Evidence from UK Manufacturing Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 29-50, March.
- Domowitz, Ian & Hubbard, R Glenn & Petersen, Bruce C, 1988.
"Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 55-66, February.
- Ian Domowitz & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1986. "Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 2115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Morrison, C J, 1994. "The Cyclical Nature of Markups in Canadian Manufacturing: A Production Theory Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(3), pages 269-82, July-Sept.
- Clarke, Roger & Davies, Stephen W, 1982. "Market Structure and Price-Cost Margins," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 49(195), pages 277-87, August.
- Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1991. "Markups and the Business Cycle," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 63-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:72. 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: (Digital Media Team)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.