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Productivity Spreads, Market Power Spreads and Trade

  • Ralf Martin

Much of recent Trade theory focuses on heterogeneity of firms and the differential impact trade policy might have on firms with different levels of productivity. A common problem is that most firm level dataset do not contain information on output prices of firms which makes it difficult to distinguish between productivity differences and differences in market power between firms. This paper develops a new econometric framework that allows estimating both firm specific productivity and market power in a semi-parametric way based on a control function approach. The framework is applied to Chilean firm level data from the early 1980, shortly after the country underwent wide ranging trade reforms. The finding is that in all sectors of the economy market power declined and productivity increased. In sectors with higher import penetration productivity particularly at the bottom end of the distribution increased faster. At the same time market power declined particularly so at the top end of the market power distribution. We also show, that ignoring the effect on market power leads to an underestimation of the positive effects of increased import penetration on productivity.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0997.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0997
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Albrecht Ritschl & Samad Sarferaz, 2010. "Crisis? What Crisis? Currency vs. Banking in the Financial Crisis of 1931," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2010-014, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
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