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

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  • David Blanchflower
  • Stephen Machin

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • David Blanchflower & Stephen Machin, 1996. "Product Market Competition Wages and Productivity: International Evidence from Establishment-Level Data," CEP Discussion Papers dp0286, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0286
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Disney & Jonathan Haskel & Ylva Heden, 2003. "Restructuring and productivity growth in uk manufacturing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 666-694, July.
    2. Vesna Stavrevska, 2011. "The efficiency wages perspective to wage rigidity in the open economy: a survey," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(3), pages 273-299, June.
    3. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta, 2003. "Regulation, productivity and growth: OECD evidence," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(36), pages 9-72, April.
    4. Saul Estrin & Jozef Konings & Zbigniew Zolkiewski & Manuela Angelucci, 2001. "The Effect of Ownership and Competitive Pressure on Firm Performance in Transition Countries. Micro Evidence from Bulgaria, Romania and Poland," LICOS Discussion Papers 10401, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    5. Bernd Görzig & Martin Gornig & Axel Werwatz, 2004. "East Germany's Wage Gap: A Non-Parametric Decomposition Based on Establishment Characteristics," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 451, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Brown, J David & Earle, John S, 2000. "Competition And Firm Performance: Lessons From Russia," CEPR Discussion Papers 2444, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Blanchflower, D-G, 1997. "Changes Over Time in Union Relative Wage Effects in Great Britain and the United States," Papers 15, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
    8. Scarpetta, Stefano & Tressel, Thierry, 2004. "Boosting productivity via innovation and adoption of new technologies : any role for labor market institutions?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3273, The World Bank.
    9. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2629-2710 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Eduardo Rodriguez-Oreggia & Hector Moreno Moreno & David Mulato Martinez, 2008. "Has product market competition reshaped returns to schooling in Mexico?," EconoQuantum, Revista de Economia y Negocios, Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Economico Administrativas, Departamento de Metodos Cuantitativos y Maestria en Economia., vol. 5(1), pages 61-77, Julio - D.
    11. repec:ilo:ilowps:368776 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Brown, J David & Earle, John S, 2001. "Competition Enhancing Policies and Infrastructure: Evidence from Russia," CEPR Discussion Papers 3022, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Peter F. Orazem & Milan Vodopivec, 2009. "Do Market Pressures Induce Economic Efficiency? The Case of Slovenian Manufacturing, 1994–2001," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 553-576, October.
    14. Bernd Gorzig & Martin Gornig & Axel Werwatz, 2005. "Explaining Eastern Germany's Wage Gap: The Impact of Structural Change," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 449-464.
    15. Bernd Görzig & Martin Gornig & Axel Werwatz, 2006. "Firm Specific Wage Spread in Germany - Decomposition of regional differences in inter firm wage dispersion," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-045, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    16. Sumon Kumar Bhaumik & Shubhashis Gangopadhyay & Shagun Krishnan, 2006. "Reforms, Entry and Productivity: Some Evidence from the Indian Manufacturing Sector," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 822, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

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