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Monopoly Power and Endogenous Variety in Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium: Distortions and Remedies

Author

Listed:
  • Marc J. Melitz

    (Princeton University)

  • Fabio Ghironi

    (Boston College)

  • Florin O. Bilbiie

    (Nuffield College, Oxford)

Abstract

We study the efficiency properties of a dynamic, stochastic, general equilibrium, macroeconomic model with monopolistic competition and firm entry subject to sunk costs, a time-to-build lag, and exogenous risk of firm destruction. Under inelastic labor supply and linearity of production in labor, the market economy is efficient if and only if symmetric, homothetic preferences are of the C.E.S. form studied by Dixit and Stiglitz (1977). Otherwise, efficiency is restored by properly designed sales, entry, or asset trade subsidies (or taxes) that induce markup synchronization across time and states, and align the consumer surplus and profit destruction effects of firm entry. When labor supply is elastic, heterogeneity in markups across consumption and leisure introduces an additional distortion. Efficiency is then restored by subsidizing labor at a rate equal to the markup in the market for goods. Our results highlight the importance of preserving the optimal amount of monopoly profits in economies in which firm entry is costly. Inducing marginal cost pricing restores efficiency only when the required sales subsidies are financed with the optimal split of lump-sum taxation between households and firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc J. Melitz & Fabio Ghironi & Florin O. Bilbiie, 2007. "Monopoly Power and Endogenous Variety in Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium: Distortions and Remedies," 2007 Meeting Papers 772, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed007:772
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
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    6. Benassy, Jean-Pascal, 1996. "Taste for variety and optimum production patterns in monopolistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 41-47, July.
    7. Kim, Jinill, 2004. "What determines aggregate returns to scale?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1577-1594, June.
    8. A. P. Lerner, 1934. "The Concept of Monopoly and the Measurement of Monopoly Power," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(3), pages 157-175.
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    Cited by:

    1. Epifani, Paolo & Gancia, Gino, 2011. "Trade, markup heterogeneity and misallocations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 1-13, January.
    2. Ippei Fujiwara & Naohisa Hirakata, 2009. "Dynamic Aspects of Productivity Spillovers, Terms of Trade, and the “Home Market Effect”," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(4), pages 958-969, November.
    3. Kazuyoshi Ohki, 2016. "Welfare analysis and policy implications in Melitz-type model where markup differs across industries," ISER Discussion Paper 0984, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    4. Swati Dhingra & John Morrow, 2012. "The Impact of Integration on Productivity and Welfare Distortions Under Monopolistic Competition," FIW Working Paper series 088, FIW.
    5. Argia M. Sbordone, 2007. "Globalization and Inflation Dynamics: The Impact of Increased Competition," NBER Chapters,in: International Dimensions of Monetary Policy, pages 547-579 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jaimovich, Nir & Floetotto, Max, 2008. "Firm dynamics, markup variations, and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(7), pages 1238-1252, October.
    7. Demidova, Svetlana & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2009. "Trade policy under firm-level heterogeneity in a small economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 100-112, June.
    8. Paul Scanlon, 2008. "New Goods and Asset Prices," 2008 Meeting Papers 927, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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