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Declining Dynamism, Increasing Markups and Missing Growth: The Role of the Labor Force

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  • Michael Peters

    (Yale University)

  • Conor Walsh

    (Yale University)

Abstract

A growing body of empirical research highlights substantial changes in the US economy during the last three decades. Business dynamism – namely job reallocation, firm entry and creative destruction – is declining. Market power, as measured by markups and industry concentration, seems to be on the rise. Aggregate productivity growth is sluggish. We show that declines in the rate of growth of the labor force can qualitatively account for all of these features in a standard model of firm-dynamics. Despite its richness we can characterize the link between population growth and dynamism, markups and growth analytically. When we calibrate the model to the universe of U.S. Census data, the labor force channel can explain a large fraction of the aggregate trends.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Peters & Conor Walsh, 2019. "Declining Dynamism, Increasing Markups and Missing Growth: The Role of the Labor Force," 2019 Meeting Papers 658, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed019:658
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    File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2019/paper_658.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daniel Garcia‐Macia & Chang‐Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2019. "How Destructive Is Innovation?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(5), pages 1507-1541, September.
    2. Autor, David & Dorn, David & Katz, Lawrence F. & Patterson, Christina & Van Reenen, John, 2017. "The fall of the Labor share and the rise of superstar firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 83616, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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