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Panel data estimates of the production function and product and labor market imperfections




Embedding the efficient bargaining model into the R. Hall (1988) approach for estimating price-cost margins shows that both imperfections in the product and labor markets generate a wedge between factor elasticities in the production function and their corresponding shares in revenue. This article investigates these two sources of discrepancies both at the industry level and the firm level using an unbalanced panel of 10646 French firms in 38 manufacturing industries over the period 1978-2001. By estimating standard production functions and comparing the estimated factor elasticities for labor and materials and their shares in revenue, we are able to derive estimates of average price-cost mark-up and extent of rent sharing parameters. For manufacturing as a whole, our estimates of these parameters are of an order of magnitude of 1.17 and 0.44 respectively. Our industry-level results indicate that industry differences in these parameters and in the underlying estimated factor elasticities and shares are quite sizeable. Since firm production function, behavior and market environment are very likely to vary even within industries, we also investigate firm-level heterogeneity in estimated mark-up and rent-sharing parameters. To determine the degree of true heterogeneity in these parameters, we adopt the P.A. Swamy (1970) methodology allowing to correct the observed variance in the firm-level estimates from their sampling variance. The median of the firm estimates of the price-cost mark-up ignoring labor market imperfections is of 1.10, while as expected it is higher of 1.20 when taking them into account and the median of the corresponding firm estimates of the extent of rent sharing is of 0.62. The Swamy corresponding robust estimates of true dispersion are of about 0.18, 0.37 and 0.35, showing indeed very sizeable within-industry firm heterogeneity. We find that firm size, capital intensity, distance to the industry technology frontier and investing in R&D seem to account for a significant part of this heterogeneity.

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Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 09/586.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:09/586
Contact details of provider: Postal: Hoveniersberg 4, B-9000 Gent
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  1. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1999. "GMM estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions," IFS Working Papers W99/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Karier, Thomas M, 1985. "Unions and Monopoly Profits," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 34-42, February.
  3. Dobbelaere, Sabien, 2004. "Estimation of price-cost margins and union bargaining power for Belgian manufacturing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 1381-1398, December.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier J & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2001. "Macroeconomic Effects of Regulation and Deregulation in Goods and Labour Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 2713, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Ackerberg, Daniel & Lanier Benkard, C. & Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 2007. "Econometric Tools for Analyzing Market Outcomes," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 63 Elsevier.
  6. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1989. "Empirical studies of industries with market power," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 1011-1057 Elsevier.
  7. Clark, Simon, 1993. "The Strategic Use of Inventories in an Infinite Horizon Model of Wage and Employment Bargaining," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 40(2), pages 165-83, May.
  8. Schmalensee, Richard, 1989. "Inter-industry studies of structure and performance," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 951-1009 Elsevier.
  9. Ellen Brock & Sabien Dobbelaere, 2006. "Has International Trade Affected Workers’ Bargaining Power?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(2), pages 233-266, July.
  10. Conyon, M & Machin, Stephen, 1991. "The Determination of Profit Margins in UK Manufacturing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 569-82, June.
  11. Bruno Crépon & Rozen Desplatz & Jacques Mairesse, 2010. "Price-Cost Margins and Rent Sharing: Evidence from a Panel of French Manufacturing Firms," NBER Chapters, in: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches, pages 583-610 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. H. Boulhol & S. Dobbelaere & S. Maioli, 2007. "Imports as product and labour market discipline," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 07/479, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  13. Clark, Simon, 1991. "Inventory Accumulation, Wages, and Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 230-38, March.
  14. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "The Relation Between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," NBER Working Papers 1785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. James Levinsohn, 1991. "Testing the Imports-as-Market-Discipline Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 3657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Horn, Henrik & Wolinsky, Asher, 1988. "Worker Substitutability and Patterns of Unionisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 484-97, June.
  17. Nickell, Stephen, 1999. "Product markets and labour markets1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, March.
  18. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  19. Bughin, Jacques, 1996. "Trade Unions and Firms' Product Market Power," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 289-307, September.
  20. Damien J. Neven & Lars-Hendrik Röller & Zhentang Zhang, 2002. "Endogenous Costs and Price-Cost Margins," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 294, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  21. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
  22. Veugelers, Reinhilde, 1989. "Wage premia, price-cost margins and bargaining power in Belgian manufacturing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 169-180, January.
  23. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1719, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  24. repec:bla:restud:v:58:y:1991:i:2:p:277-97 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. James A. Brander & Barbara J. Spencer, 1984. "Export Subsidies and International Market Share Rivalry," NBER Working Papers 1464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Alan Manning, 2010. "Imperfect competition in the labour market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28729, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  27. Filip Abraham & Jozef Konings & Stijn Vanormelingen, 2006. "Price and wage setting in an integrating Europe : firm level evidence," Working Paper Research 93, National Bank of Belgium.
  28. Swamy, P A V B, 1970. "Efficient Inference in a Random Coefficient Regression Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 311-23, March.
  29. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  30. Doiron, Denise J, 1992. "Bargaining Power and Wage-Employment Contracts in a Unionized Industry," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(3), pages 583-606, August.
  31. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1977. "The modified second-round estimator in the general qualitative response model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 295-299, May.
  32. Jacques Mairesse & Zvi Griliches, 1988. "Heterogeneity in Panel Data: Are There Stable Production Functions?," NBER Working Papers 2619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. David Roodman, 2003. "XTABOND2: Stata module to extend xtabond dynamic panel data estimator," Statistical Software Components S435901, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Oct 2015.
  34. Michel Dumont & Glenn Rayp & Peter Willemé, 2006. "Does internationalization affect union bargaining power? An empirical study for five EU countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 77-102, January.
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