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The Rise of Market Power and the Macroeconomic Implications

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  • De Loecker, Jan
  • Eeckhout, Jan

Abstract

We document the evolution of markups based on firm-level data for the US economy since 1950. Initially, markups are stable, even slightly decreasing. In 1980, average markups start to rise from 18% above marginal cost to 67% now. There is no strong pattern across industries, though markups tend to be higher, across all sectors of the economy, in smaller firms and most of the increase is due to an increase within industry. We do see a notable change in the distribution of markups with the increase exclusively due to a sharp increase in high markup firms. We then evaluate the macroeconomic implications of an increase in average market power, which can account for a number of secular trends in the last 3 decades: 1. decrease in labor share; 2. increase in capital share; 3. decrease in low skill wages; 4. decrease in labor force participation; 5. decrease in labor flows; 6. decrease in migration rates; 7. slowdown in aggregate output.

Suggested Citation

  • De Loecker, Jan & Eeckhout, Jan, 2017. "The Rise of Market Power and the Macroeconomic Implications," CEPR Discussion Papers 12221, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12221
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    Cited by:

    1. Bougette, Patrice & Budzinski, Oliver & Marty, Frédéric, 2017. "Exploitative abuse and abuse of economic dependence: What can we learn from the industrial organization approach?," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 111, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    2. Stefano Schiavo & Lionel Nesta, 2017. "International Competition and Rent Sharing in French Manufacturing," DEM Working Papers 2017/07, Department of Economics and Management.
    3. Teresa C. Fort & Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2018. "New Perspectives on the Decline of US Manufacturing Employment," NBER Working Papers 24490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. David Rezza Baqaee & Emmanuel Farhi, 2017. "Productivity and Misallocation in General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 24007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. John P. Weche & Achim Wambach, 2018. "The fall and rise of market power in Europe," Working Paper Series in Economics 379, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    6. Sophie Piton, 2018. "Do Unit Labor Costs Matter? A Decomposition Exercise on European Data," PSE Working Papers halshs-01785345, HAL.
    7. Erik Brynjolfsson & Daniel Rock & Chad Syverson, 2018. "Artificial Intelligence and the Modern Productivity Paradox: A Clash of Expectations and Statistics," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Artificial Intelligence: An Agenda National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Chu, Angus C. & Kou, Zonglai & Liu, Xueyue, 2018. "Labor union and the wealth-income ratio," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 29-35.
    9. Dominique Guellec & Caroline Paunov, 2017. "Digital Innovation and the Distribution of Income," NBER Chapters,in: Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the 21st Century National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Marta Aloi & Huw Dixon & Anthony Savagar, 2018. "Labor Responses, Regulation and Business Churn in a Small Open Economy," Studies in Economics 1804, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    11. Marta Aloi & Huw Dixon & Anthony Savagar, 2018. "Labour responses, regulation and business churn in a small open economy," Discussion Papers 2018/06, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    12. Caselli, Francesco & Manning, Alan, 2018. "Robot arithmetic: new technology and wages," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 87371, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman & Hyunseob Kim, 2018. "Strong Employers and Weak Employees: How Does Employer Concentration Affect Wages?," Working Papers 18-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    14. Ahmed S. Rahman, 2017. "Rise of the Machines Redux – Education, Technological Transition and Long-run Growth," Departmental Working Papers 61, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
    15. Caselli, Francesco & Manning, Alan, 2017. "Robot arithmetic: can new technology harm all workers or the average worker?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86589, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 2017. "Rethinking Stabilization Policy: Evolution or Revolution?," NBER Working Papers 24179, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Li, Yifan & Miao, Zhuang, 2018. "Trade costs, import penetration, and markups," MPRA Paper 85668, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Adrjan, Pawel, 2018. "The mightier, the stingier: Firms’ market power, capital intensity, and the labor share of income," MPRA Paper 83925, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Markups; Market Power; Secular Trends; Labor Market.;

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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