IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Chronic Excess Capacity in U.S. Industry

Listed author(s):
  • Robert E. Hall

Previous research has suggested that firms in a number of industries have considerable market power, in the sense that their prices exceed their marginal costs. However, the observed profits of those industries are not nearly as high as would occur under full exploitation of the market power with a constant returns technology. Rather, because of fixed costs associated with a minirnumn scale of operation or for other reasons, industry equilibriumn occurs at a point where no abnormal returns are earned, even though market power exists. This inference is supported by an empirical study that shows that most industries hold capital far beyond the point that would minimize cost given their actual output. In this sense, the industries have chronic excess capacity.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1973.

in new window

Date of creation: Jul 1986
Publication status: Published as "The Relation Between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S.Industry" , JPE, Vol. 96, no. 5 (1988): 921-947.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1973
Note: EFG
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:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

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:1973. 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.