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Productivity and Misallocation in General Equilibrium

Author

Listed:
  • David Baqaee

    (London School of Economics and Political)

  • Emmanuel Farhi

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

This paper develops a general theory of aggregation in inefficient economies. We provide nonparametric formulas for aggregating microeconomic shocks in economies with distortions such as taxes, markups, frictions to resource reallocation, financial frictions, and nominal rigidities. We allow for arbitrary elasticities of substitution, returns to scale, factor mobility, and input-output network linkages. We show how to separately measure changes in technical and allocative efficiency. We also show how to compute the social cost of distortions. We pursue applications focusing on firm-level markups in the United States. We find that improvement in allocative efficiency, due to the reallocation over time of market share to high-markup firms, accounts for about half of aggregate TFP growth over the period 1997–2015. We also find that eliminating the misallocation resulting from the large and dispersed markups estimated in the data would raise aggregate TFP by about 15%, increasing the economy-wide cost of monopoly distortions by two orders of magnitude compared with the famous 0.1% estimate by Harberger (1954). These exact numbers should be interpreted with care because the data are imperfect and require substantial imputation.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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  • David Baqaee & Emmanuel Farhi, 2018. "Productivity and Misallocation in General Equilibrium," 2018 Meeting Papers 357, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed018:357
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D5 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium
    • D50 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - General
    • D57 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Input-Output Tables and Analysis
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment

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