Cyclical Markups: Theories and Evidence
If changes in aggregate demand were an important source of macroeconomic fluctuations, real wages would be countercyclical unless markups of price over marginal cost were themselves countercyclical. We thus examine three theories of markup variation at cyclical frequencies. The first assumes only that the elasticity of demand is a function of the level of output. In the second, firma face a tradeoff between exploiting their existing customers and attracting new customers. Markups then depend also on rates of return and future sales expectations; a high rate of return or expectations of low sales growth lead firms to assign a lower value to future revenues from new customers. Firma thus raise prices and markups. In the third theory, markups are chosen to ensure that no one deviates from an (implicitly) collusive understanding. Increases in rates of return or pessimistic expectations then lead firms to be less concerned with future punishments so that markups fall. Aggregate post-war data from the U.S. are moat consistent with the predictions of the implicit collusion model.
|Date of creation:||Dec 1990|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Blanchard, O.J. and S. Fischer (eds.) NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 1988.
"Dynamic Competition with Switching Costs,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 123-137, Spring.
- Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1988. "Dynamic Competition with Switching Costs," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1h02g9q4, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Joseph Farrell and Carl Shapiro., 1988. "Dynamic Competition with Switching Costs," Economics Working Papers 8865, University of California at Berkeley.
- Olivier Blanchard & Changyong Rhee & Lawrence Summers, 1990.
"The Stock Market, Profit and Investment,"
NBER Working Papers
3370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rotemberg, Julio J & Woodford, Michael, 1992.
"Oligopolistic Pricing and the Effects of Aggregate Demand on Economic Activity,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1153-1207, December.
- Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing and the Effects of Aggregate Demand on Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 3206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gallant, A. Ronald & Jorgenson, Dale W., 1979. "Statistical inference for a system of simultaneous, non-linear, implicit equations in the context of instrumental variable estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2-3), pages 275-302.
- Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
- Gottfries, Nils, 1986. " Price Dynamics of Exporting and Import-Competing Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(2), pages 417-36.
- Parsons, Donald O, 1973. "Quit Rates Over Time: A Search and Information Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 390-401, June.
- Domowitz, Ian & Hubbard, R Glenn & Petersen, Bruce C, 1988.
"Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 55-66, February.
- Ian Domowitz & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1986. "Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 2115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988.
"Financial Market Imperfections and Business Cycles,"
NBER Working Papers
2494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Greenwald, Bruce C & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1993. "Financial Market Imperfections and Business Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 77-114, February.
- Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
- Robert B. Barsky & Gary Solon, 1989. "Real Wages Over The Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 2888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3534. 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.