IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example

  • Chad Syverson

Many studies have documented large and persistent productivity differences across producers, even within narrowly defined industries. This paper both extends and departs from the past literature, which focused on technological explanations for these differences, by proposing that demand-side features also play a role in creating the observed productivity variation. The specific mechanism investigated here is the effect of spatial substitutability in the product market. When producers are densely clustered in a market, it is easier for consumers to switch between suppliers (making the market in a certain sense more competitive). Relatively inefficient producers find it more difficult to operate profitably as a result. Substitutability increases truncate the productivity distribution from below, resulting in higher minimum and average productivity levels as well as less productivity dispersion. The paper presents a model that makes this process explicit and empirically tests it using data from U.S. ready-mixed concrete plants, taking advantage of geographic variation in substitutability created by the industry's high transport costs. The results support the model's predictions and appear robust. Markets with high demand density for ready-mixed concrete and thus high concrete plant densities have higher lower-bound and average productivity levels and exhibit less productivity dispersion among their producers.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10501.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10501.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Chad Syverson, 2004. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1181-1222, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10501
Note: IO PR
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
  4. Z, Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1997. "Production Functions : The Search for Identification," Working Papers 97-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  5. 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.
  6. Nickell, Stephen J, 1996. "Competition and Corporate Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-46, August.
  7. Tor Jakob Klette & Zvi Griliches, 1992. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators When Output Prices Are Unobserved and Engogenous," NBER Working Papers 4026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Chad Syverson, 2003. "Product Substitutability and Productivity Dispersion," NBER Working Papers 10049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1993. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 4313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Levinsohn, J. & Petrin, A., 1999. "When Industries Become More Productive, Do Firms?: Investigating Productivity Dynamics," Working Papers 445, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  12. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  13. Michael Raith, 2003. "Competition, Risk, and Managerial Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1425-1436, September.
  14. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. John C. Haltiwanger, 1997. "Measuring and analyzing aggregate fluctuations: the importance of building from microeconomic evidence," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 55-78.
  16. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8904, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  17. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & C.J. Krizan, 2002. "The Link Between Aggregate and Micro Productivity Growth: Evidence from Retail Trade," NBER Working Papers 9120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Chad Syverson, 2001. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Working Papers 01-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  19. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  20. Bee Yan Aw & Xiaomin Chen & Mark J. Roberts, 1997. "Firm-level Evidence on Productivity Differentials, Turnover, and Exports in Taiwanese Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 6235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Mark J. Roberts & Dylan Supina, 1997. "Output Price and Markup Dispersion in Micro Data: The Roles of Producer Heterogeneity and Noise," NBER Working Papers 6075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Buse, A, 1992. "The Bias of Instrumental Variable Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 173-80, January.
  23. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "The Growth and Failure of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 671-98, November.
  24. Chad Syverson, 2001. "Output Market Segmentation and Productivity," Working Papers 01-07, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  25. John Shea, 1997. "Instrument Relevance in Multivariate Linear Models: A Simple Measure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 348-352, May.
  26. Thomas A Abbott III, 1992. "Price Dispersion In U.S. Manufacturing: Implications For The Aggregation Of Products And Firms," Working Papers 92-3, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  27. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  28. Mark J Roberts & Dylan Supina, 1997. "Output Price And Markup Dispersion In Micro Data: The Roles Of Producer And Heterogeneity And Noise," Working Papers 97-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  29. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  30. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1991. "Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 977-1009, October.
  31. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  33. Shea, John, 1993. "The Input-Output Approach to Instrument Selection," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(2), pages 145-55, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10501. 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: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.