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What is the Impact of Increased Business Competition?

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  • Sónia Félix
  • Chiara Maggi

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of a structural reform that reduces entry costs for firms. We provide novel empirical evidence on the response of firms’ entry, employment, and exit behavior. To do so, we use as a natural experiment a reform in Portugal that significantly reduced entry time and costs. We find that the reform had an expansionary impact: firm entry and employment increased by 25% and 4% per year, respectively. Moreover, around 60% of the increase in employment came from incumbent firms expanding their size, with most of the rise occurring among the firms that were the most productive before the reform. Standard models of entry, exit, and firm dynamics, which assume a constant elasticity of substitution, are inconsistent with our findings about the heterogeneous response of incumbents to the reform. We show that a model with heterogeneous firms and variable markups accounts for our evidence. In this framework, the most productive firms face a lower demand elasticity and increase their employment in response to the entry of new firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Sónia Félix & Chiara Maggi, 2019. "What is the Impact of Increased Business Competition?," Working Papers w201904, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w201904
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    Cited by:

    1. Germán Gutiérrez & Callum Jones & Thomas Philippon, 2019. "Entry Costs and the Macroeconomy," NBER Working Papers 25609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. William L. Gamber, 2021. "Entry, Variable Markups, and Business Cycles," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2021-077, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Andy Chin Woon Fook & Omkar Dastane, 2021. "Effectiveness of Loyalty Programs in Customer Retention: A Multiple Mediation Analysis," Jindal Journal of Business Research, , vol. 10(1), pages 7-32, June.
    4. Gerald Carlino & Thorsten Drautzburg, 2020. "The role of startups for local labor markets," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(6), pages 751-775, September.
    5. Gutiérrez, Germán & Jones, Callum & Philippon, Thomas, 2021. "Entry costs and aggregate dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(S), pages 77-91.
    6. Cláudia Braz & Maria Manuel Campos, 2019. "An analytical assessment of the risks to the sustainability of the Portuguese public debt," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles and Banco de Portugal Economic Studies, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    7. Sónia Félix & Sudipto Karmakar & Petr Sedláček, 2021. "Serial Entrepreneurs, the Macroeconomy and Top Income Inequality," Working Papers w202113, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy

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