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Imperfect Competition, Market Size and Firm Turnover


  • Asplund, Björn Marcus
  • Nocke, Volker


This paper is motivated by the empirical regularity that industries differ greatly in the level of firm turnover, and that entry and exit rates are positively correlated across industries. Our objective is to investigate the effect of sunk costs and, in particular, market size on entry and exit rates. We analyse a stochastic dynamic model of a monopolistically competitive industry. Each firm's marginal cost (or, alternatively, perceived quality) is assumed to follow a Markov process. We show existence and uniqueness of a stationary equilibrium with simultaneous entry and exit: efficient firms survive while inefficient ones leave the market and are replaced by new entrants. We perform comparative statics with respect to the level of sunk costs: entry costs are positively and fixed production costs negatively related to entry and exit rates. Another empirical prediction of the model is that the level of firm turnover is increasing in market size. The intuition is as follows. In larger markets, price-cost margins are smaller since the number of active firms is larger. This implies that the marginal surviving firm has to be more efficient than in smaller markets. Hence, in larger markets, the expected life span of firms is shorter. Moreover, firm profits and values are more skewed in larger markets. In the empirical part, the prediction on market size and firm turnover is tested on industries where firms compete in well-defined geographical markets of different sizes. We use data on local services (driving schools) in Sweden in the 1990s. The empirical results provide some support for the prediction that hazard rates are increasing with market size.

Suggested Citation

  • Asplund, Björn Marcus & Nocke, Volker, 2000. "Imperfect Competition, Market Size and Firm Turnover," CEPR Discussion Papers 2625, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2625

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Herguera, Iñigo & Lutz, Stefan, 1997. "Trade policy and leapfrogging," UC3M Working papers. Economics 7214, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    2. Feenstra, Robert C., 1995. "Estimating the effects of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1553-1595 Elsevier.
    3. Veugelers, Reinhilde & Vandenbussche, Hylke, 1999. "European anti-dumping policy and the profitability of national and international collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-28, January.
    4. Wauthy, Xavier, 1996. "Quality Choice in Models of Vertical Differentiation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 345-353, September.
    5. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    6. Motta, Massimo, 1993. "Endogenous Quality Choice: Price vs. Quantity Competition," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 113-131, June.
    7. Ulrich Lehmann-Grube, 1997. "Strategic Choice of Quality When Quality is Costly: The Persistence of the High-Quality Advantage," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(2), pages 372-384, Summer.
    8. KONINGS, Jozef & VANDENBUSSCHE, Hylke & VEUGELERS, Reinhilde, 1998. "Union wage bargaining and European antidumping policy in imperfectly competitive markets," SESO Working Papers 1998003, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcus Asplund & Volker Nocke, 2003. "Firm Turnover in Imperfectly Competitive Markets," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-010, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Jack Glen & Kevin Lee & Ajit Singh, 2003. "Corporate profitability and the dynamics of competition in emerging markets: a time series analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(491), pages 465-484, November.
    3. Volker Nocke, 2006. "A Gap for Me: Entrepreneurs and Entry," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(5), pages 929-956, September.
    4. Carlos Carreira & Paulino Teixeira, 2011. "The shadow of death: analysing the pre-exit productivity of Portuguese manufacturing firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 337-351, April.
    5. David Greenstreet, 2007. "Exploiting Sequential Learning to Estimate Establishment-Level Productivity Dynamics and Decision Rules," Economics Series Working Papers 345, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Entry; Exit; Firm Turnover; Industry Dynamics; Market Size; Monopolistic Competition;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets


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