Firm and Establishment Volatility: The Role of Sunk Costs, Profit Uncertainty and Technological Change
The degree of endemic volatility in the number of firms and establishments varies considerably across industries. Examining the within-industry range of variation (max.-min.) of the number of firms over our sample period, the low and high values across U.S. manufacturing industries are 4 and 3,500 firms respectively, with a mean value of about 324 firms. This reveals that (1) the typical industry experiences significant fluctuations in the number of firms and (2) there are large cross-industry differences in this dimension. Theory suggests several potential factors that might explain this dispersion of firm volatility across industries: for example, sunk capital costs, uncertainty about profits and technological change. An advantage of the manufacturing industry dataset we have assembled for this study is that it combines the annual time-series data from the Annual Survey of Manufactures with data from the five-yearly Census of Manufactures. The former allows us to measure uncertainty about profits and technological change, while the latter enables us to obtain information on the industry-specific size distribution of establishments, the number of establishments per firm and construct proxies for sunk capital costs. Our empirical findings show that: (1) industries with higher sunk capital costs and profit uncertainty have significantly lower variability of the number of firms; and (2) these relationships are non-linear as suggested by theory with initial increases in sunk costs or uncertainty having relatively greater effect on firm volatility. The effects of technological change appear to be mixed. We explore the implications of our findings for antitrust analysis.
|Date of creation:||2003|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich|
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page: http://www.cesifo-group.de
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- 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.
- Jovanovic, Boyan & MacDonald, Glenn M, 1994.
"The Life Cycle of a Competitive Industry,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 322-347, April.
- Jovanovic, B. & MacDonald, G., 1993. "The Life Cycle of a Competitive Industry," Working Papers 93-34, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Jovanovic, B. & MacDonald, G.M., 1992. "The Life-Cycle of Competitive Industry," Papers 92-09, Rochester, Business - Financial Research and Policy Studies.
- Boyan Jovanovic & Glenn MacDonald, 1993. "The Life-Cycle of a Competitive Industry," NBER Working Papers 4441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Vivek Ghosal, 2003.
"Impact of Uncertainty and Sunk Costs on Firm Survival and Industry Dynamics,"
CIG Working Papers
SP II 2003-12, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
- Ghosal, Vivek, 2002. "Impact of Uncertainty and Sunk Costs on Firm Survival and Industry Dynamics," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 86, Royal Economic Society.
- Susanto Basu, 1996.
"Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 719-751.
- Susanto Basu, 1995. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," NBER Working Papers 5336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1992.
"Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach,"
27692663, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-1366, September.
- Elie Appelbaum & Chin Lim, 1985. "Contestable Markets under Uncertainty," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 28-40, Spring.
- Schmalensee, Richard., 1987.
"Inter-industry studies of structure and performance,"
1874-87., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Schmalensee, Richard, 1989. "Inter-industry studies of structure and performance," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 951-1009 Elsevier.
- Ghosal, Vivek, 2000. "Product market competition and the industry price-cost markup fluctuations:: role of energy price and monetary changes," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 415-444, April.
- Thomas F. Cooley & Vincenzo Quadrini, 1999.
"Financial Markets and Firm Dynamics,"
99-14, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932.
- Vivek Ghosal & Prakash Loungani, 1995.
"Product market competition and the impact of price uncertainty on investment: some evidence from U.S. manufacturing industries,"
International Finance Discussion Papers
517, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Ghosal, Vivek & Loungani, Prakash, 1996. "Product Market Competition and the Impact of Price Uncertainty on Investment: Some Evidence from US Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 217-228, June.
- Cabral, Luís M B & Mata, José, 2001.
"On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3045, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Luís M B Cabral & José Mata, 2003. "On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1075-1090, September.
- Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988.
"Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment,"
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity,
Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
- Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1995.
"Capital utilization and returns to scale,"
Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues
95-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," NBER Working Papers 5125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Burnside, C & Eichenbaum, M & Rebelo, S, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," RCER Working Papers 402, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," CEPR Discussion Papers 1221, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Spencer, Barbara J. & Brander, James A., 1992. "Pre-commitment and flexibility : Applications to oligopoly theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1601-1626, December.
- Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1990.
"Macroeconomic Models with Equity and Credit Rationing,"
in: Asymmetric Information, Corporate Finance, and Investment, pages 15-42
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz & Andrew Weiss, 1989. "Macroeconomic models with equity and credit rationing," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1990. "Macroeconomic Models with Equity and Credit Rationing," NBER Working Papers 3533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kessides, Ioannis N, 1986. "Advertising, Sunk Costs, and Barriers to Entry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(1), pages 84-95, February.
- John Sutton, 1997.
"Technologie a tržní struktura
[Technology and Market Structure]," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 1997(1), pages 29-45.
- Burnside, Craig, 1996. "Production function regressions, returns to scale, and externalities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 177-201, April.
- Pakes, Ariel & Ericson, Richard, 1998.
"Empirical Implications of Alternative Models of Firm Dynamics,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-45, March.
- Pakes, A. & Ericson, R., 1990. "Empirical Implications Of Alternative Models Of Firm Dynamics," Papers 594, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Ariel Pakes & Richard Ericson, 1989. "Empirical Implications of Alternative Models of Firm Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 2893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kessides, Ioannis N, 1990. "Market Concentration, Contestability, and Sunk Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 614-622, November.
- Gort, Michael & Klepper, Steven, 1982. "Time Paths in the Diffusion of Product Innovations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 630-653, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_980. 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: (Klaus Wohlrabe)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.