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Declining Competition and Investment in the U.S

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  • Germán Gutiérrez
  • Thomas Philippon

Abstract

The U.S. business sector has under-invested relative to Tobin's Q since the early 2000's. We argue that declining competition is partly responsible for this phenomenon. We use a combination of natural experiments and instrumental variables to establish a causal relationship between competition and investment. Within manufacturing, we show that industry leaders invest and innovate more in response to exogenous changes in Chinese competition. Beyond manufacturing we show that excess entry in the late 1990's, which is orthogonal to demand shocks in the 2000's, predicts higher industry investment given Q. Finally, we provide some evidence that the increase in concentration can be explained by increasing regulations.

Suggested Citation

  • Germán Gutiérrez & Thomas Philippon, 2017. "Declining Competition and Investment in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 23583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23583
    Note: CF EFG IO ME PE PR
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    Cited by:

    1. Guschanski, Alexander & Onaran, Özlem, 2018. "The labour share and financialisation: Evidence from publicly listed firms," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 19371, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.
    2. Onaran, Özlem & Guschanski, Alexander, 2018. "The causes of falling wage share: sectoral and firm level evidence from developed and developing countries – what have we learned?," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 19373, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies

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