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Entry and competition in differentiated products markets

  • Catherine SCHAUMANS
  • Frank VERBOVEN

We propose a methodology for estimating the competition effects from entry when firms sell differentiated products. We first derive precise conditions under which Bresnahan and Reiss’entry threshold ratios (ETRs) can be used to test for the presence and to measure the magnitude of competition effects. We then show how to augment the traditional entry model with a revenue equation. This revenue equation serves to adjust the ETRs by the extent of market expansion from entry, and leads to unbiased estimates of the competition effects from entry. We apply our approach to seven different local service sectors. We find that entry typically leads to significant market expansion, implying that traditional ETRs may substantially underestimate the competition effects from entry. In most sectors, the second entrant reduces markups by at least 30%, whereas the third or subsequent entrants have smaller or insignificant effects. In one sector, we find that even the second entrant does not reduce markups, consistent with a recent decision by the competition authority.

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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces11.23.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces11.23
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  1. Steven Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 1996. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency in Radio Broadcasting," NBER Working Papers 5528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-47, October.
  3. Jan De Loecker & Frederic Warzynski, 2012. "Markups and Firm-Level Export Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2437-71, October.
  4. Reiss, Peter C. & Wolak, Frank A., 2007. "Structural Econometric Modeling: Rationales and Examples from Industrial Organization," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 64 Elsevier.
  5. Asplund, Marcus & Sandin, Rickard, 1999. "The Number of Firms and Production Capacity in Relation to Market Size," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 69-85, March.
  6. Katja Seim, 2006. "An empirical model of firm entry with endogenous product‐type choices," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 619-640, 09.
  7. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1989. "Empirical studies of industries with market power," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 1011-1057 Elsevier.
  8. Schaumans, Catherine & Verboven, Frank, 2006. "Entry and Regulation - Evidence from Health Care Professions," CEPR Discussion Papers 5482, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Can Free Entry Be Inefficient? Fixed Commissions and Social Waste in the Real Estate Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1076-1122, October.
  10. Ackerberg, Daniel & Lanier Benkard, C. & Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 2007. "Econometric Tools for Analyzing Market Outcomes," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 63 Elsevier.
  11. Michael J. Mazzeo, 2002. "Product Choice and Oligopoly Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 221-242, Summer.
  12. Chad Syverson, 2001. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Working Papers 01-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  13. Berry, Steven T, 1992. "Estimation of a Model of Entry in the Airline Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 889-917, July.
  14. N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 48-58, Spring.
  15. Manuszak, Mark D., 2002. "Endogenous market structure and competition in the 19th century American brewing industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 673-692, May.
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