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Product Market Competition Wages and Productivity: International Evidence from Establishment-Level Data

  • David Blanchflower
  • Stephen Machin

That greater product market competition has the potential to affect outcomes in labour and product markets is borne out one by one of the key premises of standard economic theory which predicts that, all other things held constant, prices should be lower and efficiency enhanced by more competition. In this paper we test this notion by considering the relationship between product market competition and establishment-level wages and economic performance. We use two microeconomic data sources from British and Australia to consider this relationship. Our results find only a limited role for market competition to impact on wages and productivity. In British workplaces, labour productivity is not raised by more competition, whilst Australia we can only find evidence of the conventionally excepted positive impact in manufacturing workplaces. With respect to wages, the results are more consistent with the competition hypothesis, though effects are not that strong, with significant effects only being found for some of the skill groups within our samples of establishments. Hence, there is only limited support for the key hypothesis of interest that we could consider.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0286.

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Date of creation: Apr 1996
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0286
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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